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JUST A COLLECTION OF ANTIQUES AND CURIOS

Strawbs

Prog Folk


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Strawbs Just A Collection Of Antiques And Curios album cover
3.68 | 60 ratings | 13 reviews | 12% 5 stars

Excellent addition to any
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Live, released in 1970

Songs / Tracks Listing

Side 1
1. Martin Luther King's Dream (2:53)
2. The Antique Suite (12:13)
3. Temperament of Mind (5:00)
Side 2
4. Fingertips (6:13)
5. Song Of A Sad Little Girl (4:18
6. Where Is This Dream Of Your Youth (9:10)
Bonus tracks (A&M re-issue only)(540 932-2)
7. The Vision Of The Lady Of The Lake (live, hitherto unreleased)
8. We'll Meet Again Sometime (live, from B-side of withdrawn Witchwood single)
9. Forever (studio version, A-side of single, also included on "By Choice")

Total Time: 39:47

Lyrics

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Music tabs (tablatures)

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Line-up / Musicians

- Dave Cousins / vocals, acoustic & electric guitars, dulcimer
- Tony Hooper / vocals, acoustic guitars, tambourine
- Rick Wakeman / organ, piano, harpsichord, celeste
- Richard Hudson / congas drums, cymbals, tambourine, sitar, vocals
- John Ford / bass, vocals

Releases information

Lp-A&M-AMS 994-UK-1970 / CD-A&M-540 938-2-1998 (Remastered)

Thanks to ProgLucky for the addition
and to SouthSideoftheSky for the last updates
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STRAWBS Just A Collection Of Antiques And Curios ratings distribution


3.68
(60 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of progressive rock music(12%)
12%
Excellent addition to any prog rock music collection(58%)
58%
Good, but non-essential (28%)
28%
Collectors/fans only (2%)
2%
Poor. Only for completionists (0%)
0%

STRAWBS Just A Collection Of Antiques And Curios reviews


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Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by Sean Trane
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Prog Folk
4 stars Bringing in a whole new line-up after the uneven (but embryonic) Dragonfly, and most notably young academy student Wakeman, but also ex-Velvet Opera rhythm section Ford and Hudson, Strawbs took a dramatic turn towards rock but retained all of their previous folk heritage. With this album, they actually come just about as close as possible to one of the textbook case descriptions of what progressive folk is about. This album in itself was rather daring as Cousins took the immense gamble to present the new Strawbs line-up with an almost completely new tracks set (except for a few that will be released as bonus tracks some 35 years later), explaining why the public present (not familiar with the songs and changing musical scope) is only reacting politely to the band. Do not be fooled, the band's performance that night is probably one of their most noteworthy highlight. Dave Cousins's voice by now is coming to a (much nicer) Dylan-type of tone, and it is one of the very best feature of the group for albums to come.

This is rather a mixed-up affair and could be called schizophrenics as it seems the album cannot make up its mind between shorter tracks (folk-cultured) and more adventurous jam-band-style rock with much longer tracks and the classical oriented Wakeman track called Temperament Of The Mind (basically a solo showcase improv for his classical talent) where he became a crowd pleaser. Clearly the rhythm section hints at the second option and it just looks/sounds like Wakeman (whom had participated to one or two other tracks in the preceding Dragonfly album and especially on the lengthy closing Vision Of The Lady Of The Lake) seems much more comfortable with them two musicians, than with the two original members, Hooper and leader Cousins. Constantly oscillating between such two different styles does not ruin the continuity of an album. To my tastes it is clearly the rock influences that win in this set, as is clearly shown in the 9-min+ Where Is This Dream Of Your Youth where Wakeman takes the spotlight and pulls in one of his best solos of his career (Yes will not give him that long a spotlight until GFTO) even if it is live and improvised. But before that had happened the very interesting multi-movement 4-part suite Antique Suite, with the only the last part a bit flawed (too long and repeating its "punch line" to often. Another sign of Strawbs's multiple influences by now is the sitar present on Fingertip hinting at Indian music. Sad little girl is yet another charming typical Strawbs number of those days.

Certainly one of their classic album and one of those that typifies the boundaries between folk and rock always on the fringe of both styles, this album is one of their peaks especially in its remastered form wherte the three bonus tracks are absolute vbonus value to the entire set. Apart from the epic Vision (from the previous dragonfly album) , there is also a live song that prefigures their absolute best track (with much-changed lyrics >> here We'll Meet Again) The Hangman And The Papist from the Witchwood album. Still as a bonus is a haunting (studio version in this case) Forever with a superb cello starting out, but the track is getting a bit drowned out in string arrangements and if in this case, this track is a bit out of context, it does not hinder the album whatsoever, especially in its remastered and bonused version. Rare are the albums where bonus tracks will make me raise its overall rating, but in this case the fourth star is now well more than deserved. .

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Send comments to Sean Trane (BETA) | Report this review (#19695) | Review Permalink
Posted Monday, March 01, 2004

Review by Easy Livin
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator / Retired Admin
4 stars Relics?

A superb early live album from the Strawbs, allowing Rick Wakeman the most latitude to demonstrate his abilities he ever received during his brief time with the band.

"Martin Luther King's dream" is an excellent opener, faithful to King's preachings, while melodic and powerful. "The antiques suite" is four unrelated songs joined together in medley format. The whole is greater than the sum of the parts, and the songs blend neatly together to form a pleasant, if slightly basic piece. "Temperament of mind" sees Wakeman take centre stage with his piano, for a 5 minute solo spot, mixing classics and self compositions. For those in the UK old enough to remember, there's an amusing "Hamlet cigar advert" moment, when Wakeman alludes to having difficulty finding the right notes.

"Fingertips" finds Dave Cousins exploring what would become over the years his schoolboy like fascination with adult themes. "Where is this dream of your youth" once again allows Wakeman to benefit from a lengthy solo spot, this time on organ, there's more than a hint of what was to come with Yes here.

The bonus tracks on the remastered CD are excellent, especially the live version of "The vision of the lady of the lake", a disturbing tale of a young man and his encounters which first appeared on the "Dragonfly" album.

"Antiques and Curious" marked the Strawbs initial steps from folk rock to prog rock, and did so in a very assured and competent way. It does sound somewhat dated now, but is worth seeking out nonetheless. Unlike most live albums, a number of the tracks included here remain otherwise unavailable in a studio recorded format.

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Send comments to Easy Livin (BETA) | Report this review (#19696) | Review Permalink
Posted Saturday, May 15, 2004

Review by Chris S
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
3 stars Lovely collection of tunes from The Strawbs on this outing with Mr. Wakeman having a real fizz on the keyboards.They never did much in the live arena but on here some of the tracks are excellent. ' Martin luther King's Dream', ' Song of a sad little girl' and ' Where is the dream of your youth?' all excellent renditions.The Hudson/Ford combination worked well on this album too. The CD package is nicely presented as well especially if you can get the Japanese version.

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Send comments to Chris S (BETA) | Report this review (#19697) | Review Permalink
Posted Thursday, September 09, 2004

Review by NJprogfan
PROG REVIEWER
4 stars I'm surprised there's only 4 reviews of this album when you have a very young Rick Wakeman playing keyboards live, and play keyboards he does. If you are a fan of his work, this is a must-have album and for two reasons: "Temperament Of Mind" where he plays some very tasty piano, and "Where Is This Dream Of Your Youth?" where Mr. Wakeman blows up the place. I'm talking about a 7+ organ solo that will make your jaw drop. It's freakin' awesome! It's him and his Hammond organ going to town, boys and girls. Now, if you're not familiar with The Strawbs, during this period they were in their deep folky sound, acoustic guitars, thick bass and pretty songs. But what takes the songs over the top is Wakeman's keyboards coloring some excellent folk songs, (the song, "Song Of A Sad Little Girl" has an opening piano solo that will bring a tear to your eye). I'm a fan of their folk songs with Dave Cousins voice and songwriting some of my favorites in rock. He's up there writing-wise with Ian Anderson, if you ask me. So, if you're a fan of folk music live with a master keyboard player, this album is for you. A high quality 4 star affair!

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Send comments to NJprogfan (BETA) | Report this review (#38151) | Review Permalink
Posted Friday, July 01, 2005

Review by 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".

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Send comments to Andrea Cortese (BETA) | Report this review (#82380) | Review Permalink
Posted Saturday, July 01, 2006

Review by hdfisch
PROG REVIEWER
3 stars This album with a live presentation by the band at the Queen Elisabeth Hall had been their third official release introducing their new line-up with exceptional keyboardist Wakeman and new drummer Rick Hudson to the public. Apart from offering their earliest live performance this record has as well some historical relevance marking the start of the career of a shining superstar (supernova??, to cite my fellow reviewer, sorry Hugues, but I liked your comment!). I purchased the original vinyl some years ago, actually mainly for the reasons that I found the "antique" design of its cover art very attractive and the band is really an "old love" of mine. I'm sure I used to have the songs recorded on tape in my younger days but could only remember them faintly. So after listening to this album after all those years I couldn't say that I felt disappointed but on the other hand I couldn't claim as well that I've been highly fascinated, at least not over its full length. For me the more interesting half of this record is certainly the second side with highlights as "Fingertips" and "Where Is This Dream Of Your Youth?".

Side one appears to me a bit subdued meanwhile despite Wakeman's great solo show in "Temperament of Mind" which certainly had been impressing enough in those days to get onto the headlines of Melody Maker and finally opening the doorway for his fame as a keyboard wizard. Just imagine: a young unknown musician playing in a little known folk rock band reveals such highly skilled talents by presenting improvised classical renditions on piano! This must have been really a sensation back in 1970 but honestly, without intending to put down his undoubtedly high skills at all, I think there are plenty of (unknown) classical pianists all over the world playing at least as good as him. But anyway this piece is still the most interesting part of the first side of this record and moreover Wakeman did a very great job on organ especially in "Where is this dream of your youth?". In this track he did as well a short citation of Keith Emerson's Rondo which is the original version of his solo on "Yessongs" (might be an interesting fact for all Yes-fans!). So what about the rest of the songs here? "Martin Luther King's Dream" is actually quite a nice mostly acoustically played one though the organ seams to sound rather out of tune here if my perception is right. "The Antique Suite" is a very lengthy one with 12 min, much too long I would say for what it's offering. "Song Of A Sad Little Girl" is as well "only" more or less a nice folk song. I listened also to a mp3-version of the CD reissue but I've to say that the bonus tracks added didn't fascinate me that much that I'd like to get this as well.

As a summary I can say that this record is a very good live presentation by them and it had shown already quite well which direction the band would go after that but on the other hand I wouldn't consider it an essential addition to any collection. For sure a must-have one for fans of this band or admirors of Rick Wakeman, anyway ***1/2 really!!

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Send comments to hdfisch (BETA) | Report this review (#101248) | Review Permalink
Posted Friday, December 01, 2006

Review by SouthSideoftheSky
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Symphonic Team
3 stars Strawbs is one of my all time favourite bands and in their early days they were a band that really "progressed". From the almost psychedelic, Donovan-like Folk pop of the debut album in 1969 to the almost symphonic Prog Folk masterpiece Hero And Heroine in 1974 was quite a journey. And the sound and approach changed basically with every album during this period.

This live album came out between their second studio album, Dragonfly, and their third one, From The Witchwood. As I said, this was a particularly turbulent time for the band. They were still very much in search of their identity and constantly developing their sound and writing new material at a high speed. For this live performance they chose an almost entirely new set of songs, and until this day most of these songs are not available on any studio album. This fact alone makes this album worth while. And for anyone interested in early Strawbs and the roots of Prog Folk it is essential listening. Much more so, I would say, than any of the two first albums. Indeed, Just A Collection Of Antiques And Curios could be said to be the first progressive Strawbs album.

Dragonfly had featured Rick Wakeman for the first time on a Strawbs album. But while Wakeman's contribution to that album was very limited and subte, here Rick is allowed much more space. This makes Just A Collection Of Antiques And Curios an essential album for followers of Wakeman as well. You can clearly hear very strong hints of what was to come later in Wakeman's career in his piano solo Temperament Of Mind. Piano, harpsichord and organ are the instruments played by Rick in this performance. The Moog Synthesiser had not yet entered his repertoire at this point in history.

Still, Just A Collection Of Antiques And Curios is just that - a collection of old songs with great historical significance and in many ways it is indeed something of a curiosity. It is clearly a transitional album, catching the band in the middle of a transitional phase. For hard core fans of Strawbs and/or Rick Wakeman this is highly recommended. But I would say that it is essential only as a historical document. For pure listening pleasure I would go for From The Witchwood and all the subsequent albums up till Ghosts before I would start to explore the dim and distant past of Strawbs early days. But when you do get to that point, Just A Collection Of Antiques And Curios is the right place to start.

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Send comments to SouthSideoftheSky (BETA) | Report this review (#199011) | Review Permalink
Posted Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Review by kenethlevine
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Prog-Folk Team
3 stars The early history of Strawbs boasts many "firsts" : first UK group signed to A&M records, first UK folk rock album (even if it wasn't released until several years later), first Bluegrass band in UK, first band for legends Sandy Denny and Rick Wakeman, etc. Add to it one other anomaly: their first album to be released in the US was a live recording, and featured material that was almost entirely hitherto unavailable.

Apart from the breakthrough credentials of "Antiques and Curios", the music itself is very much in the pioneering spirit, with its juxtaposition of seemingly incompatible bedfellows like dulcimer, sitar, organ, and sexually explicit lyrics ("Fingertips"); politically charged anthems ("Martin Luther King's Dream"); a landmark title suite in 4 pastoral movements, a 6+ minute middle eastern styled virtuosic organ display ("Where is this Dream of Your Youth"); a 5+ minute lesson in classical piano ("Temperament of Mind"), and an immortal song of tenderness ("Sad Little Girl"). Yet this isn't quite cohesive or impressively collated enough to qualify for much more than the utmost historical significance, which I assure you it does. Instead you find a few worthwhile blueprints for future directions as well as forays never to be repeated in any form, almost like the group was trying to establish an identity and they had simply no idea. To quote a recent lyric from Cousins, "It started out with nothing planned".

Also included are three bonus tracks, two of which fill out the live performance and therefore present as more than mere afterthoughts. Unfortunately, in the case of "The Vision of the Lady of the Lake", the smoothing out effects of the studio are sorely needed, as Cousins simply does not have the vocal range to pull it off. Stick with the studio version from "Dragonfly". "We'll Meet Again Sometime" is one of now a half dozen available versions, which is hard to remember given that for decades the only available, and still best, rendition was that on Mr Cousins solo effort "Two Weeks Last Summer". This one might merit runner up for its wise deployment of Tony Hooper's voice. The final bonus is the sparkling cello and string laden love song, "Forever", with immediate impact and a melody you will be singing along from the first. It might be slighly out of place here, having been both temporally and stylistically suited for the "Dragonfly" album. But then "Antiques" is already a disjointed affair in many ways.

While delivering a trunkload of valuable relics, "Antiques and Curios" chooses to dump them in your living room when what is required is cleanup and a professional's sense of decor. 3.5 stars, rounded down.

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Send comments to kenethlevine (BETA) | Report this review (#200736) | Review Permalink
Posted Monday, January 26, 2009

Latest members reviews

3 stars Just visiting the local antique dealer.......... In an antique shop, you can find everything from old Victorian night pots and old Edwardian record players. You can also find old chairs from De Gaulle's France and Chinese porcelains from Stoke On Trent, England. In short, an antique shop is ... (read more)

Report this review (#299674) | Posted by toroddfuglesteg | Sunday, September 19, 2010 | Review Permanlink

5 stars THE ONLY WEAK MOMENT OF MY SOUL. YET I AM WEAK. OR AT LEAST I THINK SO. A great live. Stop. The pure essence of English Folk in Rock field. Stop. One of the best Rick Wakeman performances (except in solo career). Stop. And I wrote my review. Stop. Hmm... And this is a correct review? ... (read more)

Report this review (#243015) | Posted by 1967/ 1976 | Monday, October 05, 2009 | Review Permanlink

5 stars 9.7/10 Incredible I am astounded that no one before me that has written a review could give this a 5-star rating. Oh by god I love this album, the moods and emotions portrayed on here are just...speachless. Again we get to experience a full album of Tony and Dave harmonizing in sheer perfe ... (read more)

Report this review (#148382) | Posted by The Lost Chord | Wednesday, October 31, 2007 | Review Permanlink

4 stars This album is a good collection of folk song + the best keyboard solo i've eard in my life !!!! I prefer "From the Witchwood" than this album, the son are better and it flows better. Don't get me wrong, there are good songs too on this one, like "The Antique Suite" and "Song Of A Sad Little G ... (read more)

Report this review (#79909) | Posted by Fido73 | Wednesday, May 31, 2006 | Review Permanlink

4 stars The third work released in 1971 "Just A Collection Of Antiques And Curios". It is a lucid performance with a firm ensemble. It is a live recording in the queen Elizabeth hall. Rick Wakeman joined formally. The acoustic tone carries out the whole. The keyboard of Rick Wakeman is performed on th ... (read more)

Report this review (#60450) | Posted by braindamage | Friday, December 16, 2005 | Review Permanlink

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