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Strawbs Burning for You album cover
2.62 | 68 ratings | 12 reviews | 4% 5 stars

Good, but non-essential

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Studio Album, released in 1977

Songs / Tracks Listing

1. Burning for Me (4:01)
2. Cut Like a Diamond (3:46)
3. I Feel Your Loving Coming On (2:57)
4. Barcarole (for the Death of Venice) (3:29)
5. Alexander the Great (3:59)
6. Keep On Trying (3:14)
7. Back in the Old Routine (3:18)
8. Heartbreaker (4:38)
9. Carry Me Home (3:28)
10. Goodbye (Is Not an Easy Word to Say) (3:49)

Total Time 36:39

Bonus track on CD releases:
11. Joey and Me (3:24)

Line-up / Musicians

- Dave Cousins / vocals, acoustic guitar
- Dave Lambert / vocals, lead & acoustic (5,7,8) guitars
- Chas Cronk / bass, acoustic guitar (7), backing vocals
- Rod Coombes / drums, backing vocals

- Robert Kirby / piano & synth (1-3), electric piano (4,6,9), Mellotron (4-6,8), clavinet (8), acoustic guitar (7), orchestrations (1-3,9)
- John Mealing / piano (7,9,10), synth (3-5,8), Mellotron (3), harpsichord (1,2), organ (4), tubular bells (3), orchestrations (10)

Releases information

Artwork: Patrick Woodruffe with Paul May (concept)

LP Oyster/Polydor - 2391 287 (1977, UK)
LP Oyster/Polydor - OY-1-1604 (1977, US)

CD Witchwood Media - WMCD 2035 (2007, UK) With 1 bonus track
CD Air Mail Archive - AIRAC-1705 (2013, Japan) Remastered by Yoshiro Kuzumaki with 1 bonus track

Thanks to ProgLucky for the addition
and to projeKct for the last updates
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STRAWBS Burning for You ratings distribution

(68 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of progressive rock music(4%)
Excellent addition to any prog rock music collection(13%)
Good, but non-essential (54%)
Collectors/fans only (25%)
Poor. Only for completionists (3%)

STRAWBS Burning for You reviews

Showing all collaborators reviews and last reviews preview | Show all reviews/ratings

Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by Marcelo
1 stars Far away from their best and most progressive album ("Hero And Heroine") and from their nice folky first stuffs, STRAWBS did a simple and almost elemental AOR stuff. I can only rescue the song "Alexander The Great", where the band shows that -potentially- could make a much better work. The short tracks (all they) in this album aren't bad and conform a nice option to any FM radio DJ, but if you are looking for a progressive cd, avoid it.
Review by Easy Livin
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator / Retired Admin
3 stars Burnt out?

By the time of "Burning for you", the Strawbs innovative period had passed, and any progressive leanings disappeared (at least in terms of their studio output). That is not to say this is not a good album, it is, but it's very much another collection of basic pop influenced songs.

Personally, I find the songs very enjoyable, especially the powerful opening track "Burning for me" which offers teasing hints that the album may go on to more complex pieces. Other highlights include the vocally well performed basic pop song "I feel your loving coming on", and the drunken sing-a-long "Carry me home".

There are a couple of harder rock tracks ("Cut like a diamond" and "Heartbreaker"), and some softer more reflective ones ("Barcarole", "Back in the old routine"), giving the album a credible diversity, but in all, it is far from challenging.

If you like the Strawbs pop rock songs such as "Lay down" you'll enjoy this album, but don't expect anything to match the likes of "Grave new world" or "Ghosts".

Review by Chris S
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
3 stars Good follow up to Deep Cuts but not as complete. There are a couple of weaker tracks like ' Carry me Home' and ' Goodbye' but otherwise there is more than a fair share of quality songs. The title tracks start as a slow moody song full of passion which is followed up by the catchy ' Cuts Like A Diamond'. ' I feel your Loving Coming on' a Dave Lambert tune is next and shows his distinctive vocals and songwriting style. The next song ' Barcarole' is IMO the best track on the album but ' Heartbreaker' a real rocker of a song proves hard to beat too on side 2.The Strawbs power was waning as shown on this Burning For You and the next album Deadlines but they were still good albums and recommended for any Strawbs enthusiast.
Review by Heptade
3 stars Like most of the Strawbs' post '75 releases, this album is a mixed bag of strong, weak and horrible songs. The band's signature folk and prog mix had become watered down by an American-style AOR flavour, resulting in a strange hybrid of the arcane and the commercial. When this album works, it soars- "Burning for Me" is a smouldering folk-influenced ballad with lush strings and moody guitar swells and is definitely a career highlight. "Cut Like a Diamond" may be Dave Cousins' most aggressive sounding rocker ever, with razor-sharp distorted guitar riffing and vocals that verge on sounding hysterically unhinged. "Alexander the Great" is a stab at Queen-esque glam, and to me is surprisingly successful, even if the lyrics are kind of dumb. The rest of the album merges on tuneful but middling ('Barcarole", "Heartbreaker") to saccharine and forgettable ("Keep on Trying", "Goodbye (Is Not an Easy Word to Say)"). The AOR material may have appealed to the band's US audience, but it does drag the quality of the album down a bit. Nonetheless, there are enough gems on this last gasp of an album to allow me to give a tentative recommendation to Strawbs enthusiasts who may not have bought it yet. 2.5 stars
Review by SouthSideoftheSky
3 stars Burning for me

To my ears, Burning For You is the best Strawbs album from the weak second half of the 70's period (Nomadness to Deadlines). The opening track Burning For Me is indeed one of my all time favourite Strawbs songs and one of the most hauntingly beautiful songs I have ever heard! Overall, this is a rather mellow album with a couple of harder rocking songs thrown in for good measure. This is, of course, by no means ground-breaking music, and it is certainly not as exceptionally good as Hero And Heroine or Ghosts. But this is very well made music and even if there are a couple of throwaways in there, this runs like a good album.

Dave Cousins is one fantastic song writer, and if you listen closely you will find quality compositions! Not very progressive this time around and neither are they particularly folky, but still good music.


Review by ZowieZiggy
2 stars I guess that it was difficult for Strawbs to release a poorer album than their two predecessors (Nomadness and Deep Cuts).

And a good surprise is awaiting under the form of an excellent opening song. Very much Moody Blues oriented (but on the good side) and really emotional. It has been quite a time that the band hasn't been so inspired.

But problems started as soon as the next track. Cut Like A Diamond is another attempt to rock which fails dramatically. IMO, this is just not their style (as BJH for instance who also tried desperately to produce such tracks without a lot of credibility IMHHO).

This album is more on the mellowish side, less AOR which in a way is not too bad. Just that these ballad are too sloppy (I Feel Your Loving Coming On or Barcarole).

There are some extremely weak songs as well on this album like the cabaret style Back In The Old Routine.

On the plus side, the excellent ballad Carry Me Home features such a great chorus line and a real emotional pattern. It follows an OK rocker (Heartbreaker). A fine balance of genre. These songs aren't jewels, but they are superior to most of the other ones available and therefore shine a little bit more.

The closing and well named Goodbye is also a pleasant song, with orchestrations a la ELO / Moodies, the melody is catchy and at least it leaves the listener on a positive note.

Still, you shouldn't expect too much from this work. Two stars.

Review by kenethlevine
3 stars By the time of "Burning for You", it was clear that Strawbs were not going back to anything resembling their now-distant progressive past of early 1975. It was partly for that reason, and partly for the presence of several excellent and convincing songs and more prominent keyboards, that this 1977 release was their best post A&M album of the 1970s.

Side 1 of the old vinyl was a powerhouse relative to any sequence of songs present on "Nomadness" or "Deep Cuts", and the songs actually sound like they were lovingly sequenced. The quasi title cut bears strong references to the classic period, with brooding and melodramatic Cousins vocals and melody, and, surprisingly, an eerily beautiful extended outro in which Rod Coombes drums with sensitive abandon. It is frequently included in the group's live set today. The followup, "Cut Like a Diamond", is probably Cousins' most convincing rocker, the strings providing counterpoint to his deranged voice and lyrics. Tubular bells enhance the sweet Lambert ballad "I Feel Your Loving Coming On", and "Barcarole" is a mellotron drenched beauty about Venice, with multilayered vocals and minimalist lyrics. While "Alexander the Great" is not my cup of vodka, it was notable for being a legitimate swipe back at music critics.

Other highlights include the ultimate Lambert rocker, "Heartbreaker", which became an FM hit in Canada, and is a stalwart in the electric band's repertoire, while most of the remainder is competent and sometimes catchy as well. An exception is the limp closer "Goodbye", in which the strings accentuate the already irritating sense of exhaustion and burnout.

Strawbs came to peace with the radio-friendly art rock style on "Burning for You", even if the results hardly set the world on fire.

Review by ClemofNazareth
2 stars 'Burning for You' may be the most disjointed of any Strawbs album, consisting as it does of a wide variety of musical styles but no real central theme or even discernible direction.

This would be the last record on the Oyster label for the band, although they would reenter the studio just three months later to record for Arista as it continued to stock its stable with a host of pop, soft-rock and reconstituted early seventies progressive and folk rockers. Pop producer Jeffrey Lesser performed that job on this record as he had their last, and Dave Cousins continued to collaborate with bassist Chas Cronk on most of the tracks.

But opening the album is possibly the best progressive tune the band had recorded since at least 1974, a rare Cousins/John Mealing composition titled "Burning for Me" that features harpsichord, string arrangements and Robert Kirby on piano as well quietly lush synthesized strings and Dave Lambert with some drawn-out, rocking guitar licks. The lyrics tell the tale of a seafaring wanderer longing for the beacon of the lighthouse, which is probably symbolic but still provides the album with its only true Strawbs-sounding song.

"Cut Like a Diamond" gets mentioned often as one of the few songs from the album that the band would play fairly often in later years, but for my money this is just another Cousins/ Cronk commercial attempt that happens to have better than usual lyrics ("Bitter wife you have cut me like a knife; I could never take a life that could never take its own.").

And "I Feel Your Loving Coming On", the third track on the album is Dave Lambert-penned and has the distinction of combining a slightly folksy opening with schmaltzy pop lyrics and one the simplest and most unoriginal arrangements I've ever heard on a Strawbs album. The only saving grace really comes from the decent backing vocals and synthesized orchestral arrangements but that's not really enough. His other contribution "Heartbreaker" on the back side of the album is a plain-old rock song with the sort of somewhat awkward vocals that come from a musician who has come up with a catchy guitar riff and is trying to craft an entire song around it. Not his best effort.

Cousins shows off his international awareness with "Barcarole (For the Death of Venice)", a vaguely historical piece about past political regimes in that city-state that is mostly acoustic/vocal but is also the first of four songs on the album that include a touch of Mellotron. "Alexander the Great" is another, this one more rocking and electric and lyrics that tell a bitter tale of a popular old dance hall-era singer trying to make a farewell appearance but driven to the edge by brutal critics. No keyboards of synths here, just wailing guitar, drums and bleating Mellotron to accompany Cousins' spitting vocals. An energetic tune to be sure, but not at all in the Strawbs vein musically and not really much of a creative stretch for them either.

"Keep on Trying" and "Back in the Old Routine" appear to be attempts to resurrect the maudlin sentiments of the bands' biggest hit "Part of the Union", though this time the effort seems a bit gratuitous and both tracks come off as disconnected and a little condescending.

Cronk tries his hand at a slow-rocker with love-song lyrics on "Carry Me Home" which might sound like a potential minor hit with someone like Billy Squier or the Nelson brothers but is entirely out of character on this or any other Strawbs album. And Cousins tries to bring the whole thing together with his closing angst anthem "Goodbye (Is Not an Easy Word to Say)" that comes off a bit better thanks to the string arrangements and Lambert's mellow guitar solo, but in the end this isn't enough to leave a satisfied taste in the listener's mouth when all is said and done.

Obviously this isn't among my favorite Strawbs albums and frankly I can't say as I'd recommend it to anyone except maybe a really hardcore fan, and of course hardcore fans of any band usually have every record in their collection anyway so that seems pointless here. Two stars are all I can muster for this one.


Review by VianaProghead
3 stars Review Nš 570

"Burning For You" is the eleventh studio album of Strawbs and was released in 1977. As with the two previous studio albums "Nomadness" and "Deep Cuts", all tracks are short and timed with less than five minutes, their folk/rock roots and their progressiveness has gone, the line up is the same and also continue the absence of a full time keyboardist.

So, the line up on the album is Dave Cousins (vocals and acoustic guitars), Dave Lambert (vocals, acoustic and electric guitars), Chas Cronk (backing vocals, bass guitar and acoustic guitar) and Rod Coombes (drums). The album has also the performance of two of the guest musicians who participated already on their previous studio album "Deep Cuts", Robert Kirby (piano, electric piano, synthesizer, Mellotron, clavinet, acoustic guitar and orchestral arrangements) and John Mealing (piano, harpsichord, synthesizer,Mellotron, organ, tubular bells and orchestral arrangements).

"Burning For You" has ten tracks. The first track "Burning For Me" written by Dave Cousins and John Mealing is, without any kind of doubt and by far, the best song on the album. This is a great opening track and the only highlight on the album. It's a very emotional song, very well constructed, very calm and very enjoyable to listen to. Sincerely, I think there had been already some time the group hadn't been so musically inspired, indeed. The second track "Cut Like A Diamond" written by Dave Cousins and Chas Cronk although isn't as good as the opening track, it still is a great song. And it's also, in my humble opinion, the second best song on the album. It's a very catchy harder rock song, very well constructed and very well arranged. This is, probably, the most aggressive song ever composed by the band with great distorted guitar sound and fantastic aggressive vocals. The third track "I Feel Your Loving Coming On" written by Dave Lambert is a good and pleasant song to hear, well composed and performed. It's a mellow ballad, very pop, very simple and with very conventional musical orchestral arrangements, but with great backing vocals. This is a very decent song. The fourth track "Barcarole (For The Dead Of Venice)" written by Dave Cousins and Chas Cronk is almost an acoustic song with nice and calm vocals. It's also one of the few songs on the album that includes a touch of Mellotron. Like the previous song, this is also, in my humble opinion, a very pleasant and decent song to hear. The fifth track "Alexander The Great" written by Dave Cousins and Dave Lambert is, for me, the first really weak song on the album. I don't have the same opinion of some of you who consider it a good song. It's true this is a rocking electric song with an energetic tune, but sincerely, I think it doesn't represent a good musical and creative moment of them, but above all, it hasn't anything to do with the usual musical vein of the band. The sixth track "Keep On Trying" written by Dave Cousins and Chas Cronk is, in my humble opinion, a vulgar and uninspired song with a very oriented pop tune. It represents another weak point on the album, disconnected, and with nothing interesting to add to this album. The seventh track "Back In The Old Routine" written by Dave Cousins, Chas Cronk and Dave Lambert is another weak song on the album that represents, unfortunately, more of the same. It's a song composed and performed in the cabaret style, and it's also like the previous song, a vulgar an uninspired song, really. This is probably the worst song on the album. The eighth track "Heartbreaker" written by Dave Lambert isn't, fortunately, a bad song. It's like their first song "Cut Like A Diamond", a harder rock song and despite isn't as good as that song is, it still is a very decent and interesting song. This is also a very well constructed and very well arranged song, and it's also one of the most aggressive songs ever composed by the band. The ninth track "Carry Me Home" written by Chas Cronk, represents, unfortunately, another weak point on the album. This is a very vulgar pop ballad, once more with nothing positive to offer to the album, and it's also completely out of the musical style of the band. The tenth track "Goodbye (Is Not An Easy Word To Say)" written by Dave Cousins doesn't represents, unfortunately, a very good way to end this album. It was usual and traditional Strawbs finish their albums with great songs. From what I can remember this is, probably, the weakest end of a Strawbs' album. Although it isn't a bad song, isn't enough to satisfy. It represents, without any doubt, a very weak way to say goodbye to the album.

Conclusion: I decided to rate "Burning For You" with the same 3 stars of "Nomadness" and "Deep Cuts". For me, "Nomadness" is an album that deserves 3 or 3,5 stars and "Deep Cuts" is an album that deserves only 3 stars. "Burning For You" is, in my humble opinion, the weakest Strawbs album from the three. So, as a question of personal coherence and because of that reason it only deserves 2,5 or 3 stars. So, my first impression was to rate it with only 2 stars. However, I think it has some good and interesting musical moments. It has an excellent song "Burning For Me", a great song "Cut Like A Diamond" and it has also some other good songs, such as, "I Feel Your Loving Coming On", "Barcarolle (For The Dead Of Venice)" and "Heartbreaker". However, this isn't definitely a good introduction to the band. To can be introduced to the best and great music of Strawbs, you must check their albums from 1970 to 1975.

Prog is my Ferrari. Jem Godfrey (Frost*)

Latest members reviews

2 stars This is not really a prog folk album. The sound here is more radio-friendly rock alternating between soft and harder songs, mostly soft and mellow. The closest to this sound that comes to mind for me is Moody Blues. Good harmonies, good lyrics, but just lackluster compared to their other effor ... (read more)

Report this review (#299068) | Posted by mohaveman | Monday, September 13, 2010 | Review Permanlink

3 stars By 1977 it was more than obvious that the times were really taking their toll on the art rock dinosaurs of the early seventies forcing them into delicate artistic dilemas. Some, like Genesis took the easier commercial escape route and was arguably the most successful of the art rock bands to mak ... (read more)

Report this review (#187764) | Posted by Vibrationbaby | Monday, November 3, 2008 | Review Permanlink

2 stars I used to listen to this a lot back in the early 80ies, but it was never my fave album from the Strawbs. They seemed to strive for AOR-radio-material rather than evolving in a prog direction. Not so strange perhaps, prog was anathema to finding public favour in 1977. This was the year of punk. ... (read more)

Report this review (#19731) | Posted by brainway | Sunday, February 6, 2005 | Review Permanlink

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