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Strawbs Preserved Uncanned album cover
2.72 | 10 ratings | 6 reviews | 10% 5 stars

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Boxset/Compilation, released in 1990

Songs / Tracks Listing

Side 1
1. Coal Creek March - 2:15
2. Sail Away to the Sea - 3:50
3. That Which Once Was Mine - 2:00
4. How Everyone But Sam Was a Hypocrite - 3:02
5. October to May - 3:09
6. On My Way - 3:04
7. All I Need Is You - 2:54
8. Josephine for Better or for Worse - 3:20
9. We'll Meet Again Sometime - 3:05
Side 2
10. Spanish Is the Loving Tongue - 3:35
11. Handsome Molly - 2:17
12. Hard Times - 1:28
13. How I Need You - 3:29
14. The Man Who Called Himself Jesus - 3:43
15. Pieces of 79 & 15 - 3:07
16. Following the Rainbow - 3:55
17. Always on My Mind - 2:00
18. Martin Luther King's Dream - 2:04
19. Untitled - 1:31
Side 3
20. All the Little Ladies (Cousins/Hooper) - 2:20
21. Just the Same in Every Way - 2:49
22. Strawberry Picking - 1:36
23. A Good Woman's Love - 2:36
24. The Battle - 6:09
25. Jenny O'Brien - 2:58
26. Sweetling - 2:27
27. Flint Hill Special - 1:18
28. The Blantyre Explosion - 2:57
29. Tell Me What You See in Me - 3:37
Side 4
30. Or Am I Dreaming - 2:12
31. I'll Show You Where to Sleep - 2:59
32. And You Need Me - 3:12
33. You Keep Going Your Way - 2:53
34. Where Is the Dream of Your Youth - 2:36
35. Why? - 1:56
36. Lawrence Brown - 3:54
37. Wild Strawberries - 1:44
38. Song to Alex - 2:15

Line-up / Musicians

- Dave Cousins / vocals, guitars, banjo
- Tony Hooper / vocals, guitars
- Ron Chesterman / bass

Releases information

K7 Dirty Linen-DL101-US-1990 / CD Road Goes On Forever-RGF DCD 003-1991

Thanks to ProgLucky for the addition
and to Eetu Pellonpää for the last updates
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STRAWBS Preserved Uncanned ratings distribution

(10 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of progressive rock music(10%)
Excellent addition to any prog rock music collection(20%)
Good, but non-essential (50%)
Collectors/fans only (20%)
Poor. Only for completionists (0%)

STRAWBS Preserved Uncanned reviews

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

Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by Chris S
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
2 stars If you are an avid Strawbs fan then get this as it has some great tracks with the late Sandy Denny.Sandy Denny and Dave Cousins really got the whole thing going in the mid to late 60's. There are some very early songs here some that made it onto the first Strawbs studio and it is as one would expect very folk based.
Review by soundsweird
3 stars This is one of those "borderline" purchases for me. I bought it used for $12, which is a good deal for a 2-CD set. On the other hand, it's basically a bunch of demos and some unreleased tracks from their early folk days. The sound quality is okay, but the damned thing takes up a lot of room in that large format 2-CD box. You see, "size" has become a legitimate determining factor for me, since I'm running out of space for new CD's. This thing takes up as much space as 3 jewel cases, and it's pretty good. Anyway, if you just can't get enough of their early stuff, go for it.
Review by kenethlevine
3 stars Contrary to what you may have read/heard, Sandy Denny does not appear on this album, which consists of studio demos from The Strawberry Hill Boys prior to becoming the Strawbs and welcoming Sandy into the fold. In spite of that, or perhaps because of it, this is the historic Strawbs document to own, as it shows their breadth of interests even at a tender age. Among these, are bluegrass, and indeed they are often credited as Britain's first bluegrass band, 1960s pop, Ray Davies styled storytelling and Bob Dylan styled shaggy dog songs.

While the group at one time performed a lot of traditional tunes, here the vast majority are written by Cousins, but some exceptions are highlights, like the sad tale of the "Blantyre Explosion", the banjo rich "Handsome Molly", which explores the intersection of bluegrass and rock and roll, and "Spanish is a Loving Tongue". Interestingly, these are all sung by Tony Hooper. Cousins' can no more interpret another's material than granny could cook someone else's recipe.

Other highlights are the fascinating narratives such as "Jenny O'Brien", in which Cousins uncharacteristically sings from the feminine perspective of a poor young lady being stood up by her boy as she waits and waits for him to show up. "Lawrence Brown" is oddly humourous given the tragic events that befall him and his family, but they reveal a highly developed skill in Mr Cousins, and you may find yourself laughing out loud.

Many of the tracks were to surface once or more on later Strawbs output, but the versions here remaining interesting and sometimes eclipse all subsequent renditions. In particular, "October to May" works better here in full band gear than the a cappella version on Cousins' 1972 solo album, and "How I need you" surpasses the later misguided bluesy version on "Nomadness". Even "Martin Luther King's Dream" seems more punchy than the "Antiques and Curios" product, thanks to session drums.

Finally, several instrumentals show Cousins' sheer talent on banjo which is rarely displayed during later days, even if he does dust it off from time to time.

"Preserves Uncanned" provides a tasty compote for fans who want more and rawer early Strawbs material than the big labels saw fit to release, and is recommended as a starting point over the pasteurized Sandy Denny dominated concoctions.

Latest members reviews

3 stars While rummaging through my album collection looking for a misplaced record, I stumbled upon this antique and curio from the Strawbs. It's a collection of outtakes and demos from the band's formative years up to the recording of the group's first album with A&M records in 1969. A number of songs ... (read more)

Report this review (#2955674) | Posted by SteveG | Friday, September 29, 2023 | Review Permanlink

2 stars Heavy folk based songs, very short and very basic, of their early days. Anything special in this compilation except the good voice of Sandy Denny in some tracks. Just a document of their early sound. Just for collectors. ... (read more)

Report this review (#84211) | Posted by Melos | Wednesday, July 19, 2006 | Review Permanlink

3 stars This is where it started. 38 demos and privately recorded tunes covering the birth of the Strawbs. If you own their entire catalogue (like I do), this is essential. From "Coal creek march" to "Song to Alex" this double CD covers the early years of folk-rock and blue-grass that would slowly seg ... (read more)

Report this review (#62992) | Posted by brainway | Tuesday, January 3, 2006 | Review Permanlink

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