Progarchives, the progressive rock ultimate discography
Strawbs - Classic Strawbs CD (album) cover



Prog Folk

From, the ultimate progressive rock music website

Bookmark and Share
Honorary Collaborator
3 stars This double LP is a compilation. There are some songs from "Ghosts", "Hero and heroine" , "Nomadness" "Grave new world" and "From the witchwood". It gives you a good idea of the work produced by Strawbs in the 70's. So, it is dynamic folk progressive rock, with lead vocals sounding a bit like Peter Gabriel. Rick Wakeman was the keyboardist in the early years. The trademark of The Strawbs are the amazing keyboards, which can be VERY intense and floating (mellotron and organ); the good guitar can sound near the hard rock style; there are often acoustic guitars, and the drums are sophisticated enough. The bass is quite present and never dull. Many songs on it are very pleasant to listen: do not miss the poignant "The winter long"

Rating: 3.5 stars

Report this review (#19732)
Posted Wednesday, April 14, 2004 | Review Permalink
Easy Livin
Honorary Collaborator / Retired Admin
4 stars "Classic" indeed

This is indeed "Classic Strawbs". The tracks centre around the "Bursting at the seams" period, but are taken from eight of their albums released in the late1960's and early 1970's.

It is refreshing to find that the effort has been made here to gather in some of the band's best tracks, rather than playing safe with their hit singles and more accessible songs. Thus, there is no room for "Part of the union" or "Lay down", but excellent longer pieces like "Autumn", "The life auction", and "Ghosts" all get to grace this double album.

Credit is also due to the compilers for finding room for the live "Antiques and curious" version of "Where is this dream of your youth" which features a great long organ solo from Rick Wakeman.

This collection features some of the Strawbs most progressive works, which also happen to be among there best tracks. Highly recommended.

Report this review (#19733)
Posted Wednesday, August 11, 2004 | Review Permalink
Chris S
Honorary Collaborator
4 stars This is one compilation that is highly recommended. Just look at the quality of the songs put together on here.' Benedictus', ' Tears and Pavan', ' The Vision of the Lady of the Lake', ' The Life Auction' and on and on. You can't miss with this one especially when most compilations are questionable.
Report this review (#19734)
Posted Saturday, September 11, 2004 | Review Permalink
5 stars A superb selection of early Strawbs recordings which unfortunately has not been released on CD. But for those still living in the stone age of vinyl it is well worth the hunt through second hand shops. Classic Strawbs is arguably the finest anthology from any 1970`s progressive rock band complete with magnificent cover art of a giant Strawberry mystically alighting in the center of the ruins at Stonehenge as well as a collection of band photos inside the gatefold.

Appropriately opening with the ominous moog led intro to Autumn, this instrumental sets the mood for pretty much the whole colection of reflective and dreamy compositions, both lyrically and instrumentally, for which the Strawbs have always been known for since their inception in the late 1960`s. The tracks are so well selected that one not acquainted with the band`s acoustic rythmn guitar based folky style ( which acquired a bit more of a harder edge on the Grave New World album with inclusion of heavier keyboards particularily the use of the mellotron ) could even mistake this for a concept album, a tribute to the band`s consistency during these golden years. Unbeknownst to many younger prog fans Rick Wakeman was an early member of The Strawbs and an alternative version of Where is the Dream of Your Youth can be heard at the conclusion of side two which features some of his early Hammond solos.

After listening to everything from Krautrock to Gentle Giant in the early seventies this was the first album from The Strawbs that I purchased out of sheer curiosity. I still throw it on my ancient Micro -Seiki turntable when I need that immediate Strawbs fix as it contains simply the best of the band from the early seventies without one mediocre track. A timeless classic.

Report this review (#114333)
Posted Tuesday, March 6, 2007 | Review Permalink
Prog-Folk Team
4 stars If you are a vinyl aficionado and don't own any Strawbs recordings, "Classic Strawbs" comes highly recommended if you can find it. With a Canada only distribution and a lack of CD re-release, it already has all the cachet you need. Luckily, the content is even more worthwhile, as A&M focused on the proggier style that broke Strawbs as a popular album oriented band in Canada. It also spans the peak 1970-1975 period, even including the Dylan-on-acid multiverse epic "The Vision of the Lady of the Lake" and the astonishing raga influenced "Where is this Dream of Your Youth" from an early live album in which Rick Wakeman firmly established his reputation.

The folk-tinged symphonic epics and suites for which Strawbs were most respected are all here: "Autumn", "Ghosts", "The Life Auction", "Down by the Sea", "Queen of Dreams", and "Tears and Pavan", while venerable shorter numbers like "Sheep", "Benedictus", "New World", and "Hero and Heroine" also make the cut. While the final A&M album "Nomadness" proved a death knell of sorts for the group, the brilliant "Hanging in the Gallery" proved that Dave Cousins' songwriting instincts and insights remained intact.

The group's UK hit singles, the majestic "Lay Down" and the needling "Part of the Union" were far superior to most of what ascended the charts in the early 1970s, and were quite well received as album tracks in Canada, but they weren't what this compilation was about, and were appropriately omitted. I can't quite give "Classic Strawbs" 5 stars because it is, after all, a compilation, and, as lovingly curated as it was, it can't approximate the cohesiveness of the peak period albums from which it is primarily sourced. But, for a reasonable price and caressed by a loving stylus, it's worthy of the prog rock time capsule. 4.5 stars.

Report this review (#2170353)
Posted Sunday, March 31, 2019 | Review Permalink

STRAWBS Classic Strawbs ratings only

chronological order | showing rating only

Post a review of STRAWBS Classic Strawbs

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.