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RECOLLECTION

Strawbs

Prog Folk


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5 stars This vintage live recording is a missing link of sorts. While it contains all but one song from the long ago "Antiques & Curios," it is twice as long. It gives a much truer picture of what Rick Wakeman's keyboard playing really meant to this band. The additional songs are mostly from the first Strawbs A&M album, and include "That Which Once Was Mine," with a jazzy harpsichord ending, a beautiful organ solo on "Josephine For Better Or For Worse," and an excellent version of "The Battle." Prior to this release, one might have thought that Wakeman was only marking time with the Strawbs before moving on to Yes. This CD shows he was an integral member of the band who could interpret the earlier material with great sensitivity. The other members are in fine form here too, and even the previously released songs are often cleaner sounding than on "Antiques & Curios," with John Ford's bass more in control on "Song of a Sad Little Girl." When you combine this release with the live material from the same line-up included on the "A Taste of Strawbs" box set, you suddenly see what all the fuss was about. The audience certainly did.

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Send comments to randi (BETA) | Report this review (#128808)
Posted Monday, July 16, 2007 | Review Permalink
Rune2000
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Prog Metal Team
3 stars Rick Wakeman might have been relatively tamable in a secluded studio setting but the young wizard just couldn't give the Strawbs a similar low key presence in a live setting and Recollection acknowledges this quite clearly!

From the first tones of We'll Meet Again Sometime it becomes clear that Wakeman's playing demands just as much attention as the sound that come from the other four members combined! Whether or not this is a good thing is of course highly dependent on if you come from pure Folk Rock or the Progressive Rock's side of the debate. His keyboard work isn't necessary to enjoy these otherwise rather simple folk tunes, but if you want to one-up the whole experience then this is definitely the way to go. It does make less sense when Wakeman tries to make a strictly folk number like The Man Who Called Himself Jesus sound jazzy, but that can only be blamed on the performer's inexperience. I'm also surprised that an excellent instrumental interlude of his like Temperament Of Mind didn't make it on From the Witchwood, but the same did happened to John Ford's great Keep the Devil Outside even though that track finally got its dues on the album's reissue.

By this point you might be wondering why I dedicated most of this review talking about Rick Wakeman, as if completely ignoring that this was actually suppose to be a group effort. The answer for this is quite simple. This is not really much of a group effort and Wakeman finally hits the final spike in that debate on the 12-minute The Antique Suite. There's just no way this epic piece would have sounded even half as exciting without his magic touch in the underlying keyboard arrangements.

In conclusion, Recollection isn't really an essential part of the Strawbs' history but it does show a sightly different story behind the Rick Wakeman-years which could be interesting for fans of his. Still, that same conclusion can be achieved by listening to the previously released live album Just A Collection Of Antiques And Curios, which skips a lot of filler material while retaining most of the essential compositions.

***** star songs: Antique Suite (12:15)

**** star songs: We'll Meet Again Sometime (4:13) That Which Once Was Mine (3:33) Fingertips (6:09) Temperament Of Mind (5:28) Josephine For Better Or For Worse (3:27) Battle (5:52) Where Is This Dream Of Your Youth (12:09)

*** star songs: Or Am I Dreaming (2:30) Song Of A Sad Little Girl (5:29) Man Who Called Himself Jesus (4:36) Dance On (2:24)

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Send comments to Rune2000 (BETA) | Report this review (#293819)
Posted Sunday, August 08, 2010 | Review Permalink

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