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Easy Livin
Honorary Collaborator / Retired Admin
2 stars If you have the choice, there are better Strawbs compilations

A reasonable, if somewhat brief introduction to the music of the Strawbs. The tracks are taken from their early A&M albums, up to "Hero and Heroine". One non album single, "Here it comes" is also present.

The track selections are adequate, although the inclusion of only "Lay down" from the hugely successful "Bursting at the seams" is strange. Conversely, there is rather an over-emphasis on their earlier, less well known output.

Rick Wakeman is of course featured on some of the tracks, prior to his defection to Yes. Of these, "The shepherd's song" is where he shines brightest.

In summary, a fair cross section of early tracks, but there are now better Strawbs compilations.

Report this review (#19708)
Posted Saturday, August 14, 2004 | Review Permalink
Chris S
Honorary Collaborator
2 stars Yes this an odd compilation and I urge only diehard collectors to seek this one out.The' Shepherd's song' and ' Benedictus' the best of them. It is odd only in the fact that the selection is unusual. The songs are great though.
Report this review (#19709)
Posted Friday, September 10, 2004 | Review Permalink
3 stars This album was released shortly after"Hero and heroine", and intended as a - quote: "...profound acknowledgement of the developments that have taken place over the last 6 years", unquote.

That, this album certainly is. Strawbs developed and evolved..more so than most of their contemporaries, in the process alienating most of their early audience when they eschewed the acoustic folk act in favour of electric prog-rock. The upside: Their audience grew much, much bigger and the music became more dynamic. The punters who enjoyed soft, lilting songs like "Another day" and "Song of a sad, little girl" ducked when the Strawbs cranked up the volume for "Lay down" and "Lay a little light one me".

You can find them all here, side by side, together with the string-laden single "Forever" and "the Actor" a track from Dave Cousins solo-LP "Two weeks last summer"(1972).

Oddly, when the Strawbs perform live nowadays, mostly as an acoustic trio, their prog- oriented numbers blend seamlessly into the folk-ballads. The differences don't seem to matter anymore. It's all good music.

Report this review (#19710)
Posted Sunday, February 6, 2005 | Review Permalink
4 stars Yes, there have been many Strawbs compilations and collections issued over the years. The sad fact is that this brief, but exceptional introduction to the band's heyday from 1968 through 1974 has not been reissued on compact disc and so is only available as a used vinyl record. What distinguished this collection is the chronological and hence sonic transformation of the band from a predominantly acoustic very traditional sounding ensemble (okay, so the word "folk" comes to mind), to a heavier rock influenced band. Moreover, their most familiar and listenable tunes are also featured (missing only perhaps the chart hit "Part of the Union"). Although I own a number of Strawbs CDs from their halcyon years, I still play this more often than any of the rest. Last but not least it should be noted that the rare single B-side (and album track from the now hard-to-find Dragonfly) "Another Day" was included on this compilation but apparently was not deemed appropriate for any subsequent anthology. It is a delightful little ditty. Clearly this album is worth seeking out if it can be found in excellent condition.
Report this review (#52691)
Posted Friday, October 21, 2005 | Review Permalink
2 stars One of many collections that are available. Now that "one week last summer" is available on Cd there is nothing here that remains rare other than on vinyl. All of the tracks here are good Strawbs numbers. It would have made better sense if the last 3 tracks had not been included and few tracks like "witchwood" had. As it is the first side works well and half of the 2nd then the record changes pace. The final tracks are good but don't sit well on this compilation. There is nothing very special about the artwork either. If you find it in excellent condition and want a strawbs compilation then by all means buy it, there are worse one available. However there is nothing to make this set worth seeking out !
Report this review (#92051)
Posted Tuesday, September 26, 2006 | Review Permalink

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