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Strawbs - Just A Collection Of Antiques And Curios CD (album) cover




Prog Folk

3.74 | 74 ratings

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Andrea Cortese
Special Collaborator
Honorary Collaborator
4 stars I've always thought that "...Antiques and Curious" had something special. After so many listenings I can assure you it is true! One of the most memorable live performance in all the music's history. Not for the complexity of music, nor for the aggressive style of the band, neither for richness of instruments played. Nothing at all! The most relevant element here is the pureness of music, the polite recording of a wonderful evening at the Queen Elizabeth Hall. A superb live performance of acoustic guitars, piano, organ and harpsichord, few lines of bass guitar spoken, great and deep emotions from the voices of the leader Dave Cousin, of Tony Hooper, Richard Hudson and John Ford.

A live performanve I've said. A memorable live performance. The first memorable live performance of a certain Rick Wakeman who was at the time the fifth Strawbs' member. His prodigious skills on piano was immidiately cleared as he started to play his classical pastiche "Temperament of Mind". Two ovations erase from the audience as they were listening to Vivaldi, Bach, Mozart or Mahler alive! And the audience was right, since that perfoemance brought, immidiately, a great (worth) success for Wakeman.

Do not expect from this record songs as in Grave New World or Hero and Heroine. This work was realized in the first period of the band when they did not still were sure to build up their music in a more stronger and electric shape. That went later. For now, "...Antiques and Curious" still is in the folk genre with a foot already moved to a step forward. The direction was evident: the band was trying to elaborate their own way to such borning star named "art rock".The "Antique Suite" (12,12 minutes long) is the most evident proof.

By the way, songs like "Martin Luther King's Dream" or "Song of a Sad Little Girl" (my favourite one of the two) are two classic of the Strawbs' production even if aren't prog at all! I didn't care too much, and I do not care too much now, because is the whole opus to have "that sparkling something" that made me think of it as an impressive record. A real pleasure for me. Not for Strawbs newcomers, though. I reccomend they start with the following "From the Witchwood".

Andrea Cortese | 4/5 |


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