Progarchives, the progressive rock ultimate discography
The Collectors - Grass and Wild Strawberries CD (album) cover


The Collectors


From, the ultimate progressive rock music website

Bookmark and Share
Sean Trane
Prog Folk
4 stars The second album from the Collectors should have been a real peak of psychadelia as it is a full-blown ecological concept (albeit with hippy ideals that pervades from those magic years), but strangely so, the album is almost a step backwards in the songwriting - sounding more like the 60's.

Although there are many excellent moments on the record, I feel that this album is more drawn to the Moody Blues than their debut (which was more axed towards HP Lovecraft and Vanilla Fudge), some of the highlights are Things I Remember and the Spirit-like Teletype Click.

However smoothly most of the album runs along the road, there are a few bumps, most notably the My Love Delights Me - which sounds like Hey Nonie Nonie (done by Sladfe a few years later) - a relatively deceptive Dream Of Desolation - which does not sound desolate enough to this writer - and an Early Morning - too pop-ish for an early morning. However, the finale is riveting and maybe the best moment of the album (bringing you back to the previous album) and a fitting ending to an ambitious project.

Can one throw stones at an innovator or an adventurer? My guess is NO, (even if I am sometimes harsh towards some prog artistes), and these guys will do some more musical venturing under the Chilliwack name. But this is another story, and this album, although quite worthy has a hard time living up to its debut.

Report this review (#64163)
Posted Wednesday, January 11, 2006 | Review Permalink
4 stars The Collectors's Gras and Wild Strawberries is somewhat more conventional than the Collectors's debut. The songwriting however is very strong and the vocals as good as ever.

The best song may be an up-tempo bluegrass song called "My love delights me". It's an optimistic song with a catchy melody. Other highlights are "Gras and Wild Strawberries", "The seventeenth Summer", the spooky "Teletype Click", "Early Morning" and "Sheep on the hillside". The weakest track is IMO "Don't turn away", because of the weak lyrics.

The songs have a more conventional set-up and longer composition are absent. Sometimes there are bluesrock themes, but always accompanied with some good saxophone, flute or vocals. This album may be less magical then the Collectors's debut, but is equally convincing, because the enthousiastic aproach. In "early morning" the guitar has a free role and shows some really nice soloplay.

Fans of the Collectors's debut will also enjoy this record. The average quality of the songs is really good and the last song is a real outburst in vocals, which will last you with good feelings. Four stars.

Report this review (#636600)
Posted Monday, February 20, 2012 | Review Permalink
siLLy puPPy
PSIKE, JR/F/Canterbury & Eclectic Teams
3 stars THE COLLECTORS went in a completely different direction on the followup to their groundbreaking self-titled psychedelic debut that came out in 1968. Having been clueless as to what they had accomplished with their earliest drifting into progressive rock territory particularly with the 19-minute side swallowing "What Love (Suite)," the band shifted gears into a more accessible sound which made GRASS AND WILD STRAWBERRIES just another rock album and thus many steps down form the adventurous debut.

While an attempt to be more mainstream was the idea at least, GRASS AND WILD STRAWBERRIES was still a bit strange and distinct from the average 60s rock album but was also a lot more generic in many ways. This collection of twelve songs were written in conjunct with Canadian playwright George Ryga who wrote all the lyrics to provide a soundtrack to his 1969 play of the same title. This strange hybrid of psychedelic rock and theatrical music wasn't quite as revolutionary or successful as the over-the-top debut which also didn't attain the status of top band names of the era.

The band kept all of its band members for this second album and retrained at least some of its attributes that made the debut so unique. THE COLLECTORS still mined harmonies from Gregorian chants, still mixed rock with classical and jazz sounds and had a propensity to take you somewhere on the music spectrum that you didn't think possible but that's pretty much where the similarities end. GRASS AND WILD STRAWBERRIES is a much more energetic set of songs compared to the laid back debut. Drummer Ross Turney really turns up his firepower several notches on this one.

This is also a more uniform sounding album unlike the eternally drifting debut. The basis of the tracks are a steady beat rock groove with Baroque pop melodic hooks. The guitar, bass and drum interplay is more in the line of contemporary bands like The Moody Blues rather than The Doors or Pink Floyd. The vocal harmonies are more like Crosby, Stills and Nash and lead vocalist Howie Vickers delivers a more enthusiast singing style on this album sounding indeed as if he was singing a Broadway play. In fact the entire think sounds like a rock opera the way the sections are emphasized to narrate a tale.

While GRASS AND WILD STRAWBERRIES is a decent and even pleasant album to experience, it pales in comparison to the outrageously creative debut. This one comes across as a rather forgettable blip of 60s sounds and although THE COLLECTORS were well ahead of the pack on their debut, they seem to have gotten cold feet here and backpedaled to the point where the album sounds rather generic. Sure the occasional jazzy sax squawks and awkwardness of the mixed styles still stands out but as far as the momentum of the songs themselves, not so much. This was the end of the road for THE COLLECTORS. Vickers would leave soon after this release and the rest of the band rebranded as the band Chilliwack.

Report this review (#2655887)
Posted Monday, December 27, 2021 | Review Permalink

THE COLLECTORS Grass and Wild Strawberries ratings only

chronological order | showing rating only

Post a review of THE COLLECTORS Grass and Wild Strawberries

You must be a forum member to post a review, please register here if you are not.


As a registered member (register here if not), you can post rating/reviews (& edit later), comments reviews and submit new albums.

You are not logged, please complete authentication before continuing (use forum credentials).

Forum user
Forum password

Copyright Prog Archives, All rights reserved. | Legal Notice | Privacy Policy | Advertise | RSS + syndications

Other sites in the MAC network: — jazz music reviews and archives | — metal music reviews and archives

Donate monthly and keep PA fast-loading and ad-free forever.