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HALCYON DAYS (UK RELEASE)

Strawbs

Prog Folk


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Strawbs Halcyon Days  (UK Release)  album cover
3.60 | 18 ratings | 4 reviews | 40% 5 stars

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Boxset/Compilation, released in 1997

Songs / Tracks Listing

Disc one:
1. Ghosts
2. On Growing Older
3. The Man who Called Himself Jesus
4. Stormy Down
5. I Turned My Face Into The Wind
6. Queen of Dreams
7. Witchwood
8. Keep the Devil Outside
9. The Hangman and the Papist
10. Benedictus
11. Golden Salamander
12. Tokyo Rosie
13. Hero and Heroine
14. Hudson Ford: Pick up the Pieces
15. Lay Down
16. Back Side
17. Out in the Cold
18. Round and Round
19. Oh, How She Changed

Disc two:
1. The Battle
2. Grace Darling
3. Dave Cousins: Blue Angel
4. Here it Comes
5. The Shepherd's Song
6. We'll Meet Again Sometime
7. Martin Luther King's Dream
8. Hudson Ford: Burn Baby Burn
9. Shine on Silver Sun
10. Why And Wherefore
11. Hudson Ford: Floating in the Wind
12. Absent Friend
13. Part of the Union
14. Will Ye Go?
15. The River and Down by the Sea
16. Tell Me What You See in Me

Lyrics

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Music tabs (tablatures)

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Releases information

2CD-A&M-540 662-2 (UK)

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and to Eetu Pellonpää for the last updates
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PrognosticPrognostic
Witchwood Media 2014
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GhostsGhosts
Extra tracks · Import · Remastered
Universal I.S. 1998
Audio CD$5.14
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Burning for YouBurning for You
Remastered · Import
Airmail Japan 2013
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Hero & HeroineHero & Heroine
Extra tracks · Import · Remastered
Universal I.S. 1998
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STRAWBS Halcyon Days (UK Release) ratings distribution


3.60
(18 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of progressive rock music(40%)
40%
Excellent addition to any prog rock music collection(53%)
53%
Good, but non-essential (0%)
0%
Collectors/fans only (7%)
7%
Poor. Only for completionists (0%)
0%

STRAWBS Halcyon Days (UK Release) reviews


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

Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by Easy Livin
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator / Retired Admin
4 stars Compiled with care

"Halcyon days" is a superb double CD collection of many of the Strawbs best tracks, plus quite a number of rare and less well know pieces.

While there is inevitably some overlap with the widely available "Choice collection" CD, there are plenty of tracks on both which are not duplicated.

The compilation opens with the title track from the "Ghosts" album. This is rather an adventurous choice, as the track is one of the darkest and least commercial Strawbs works. That said, it is an excellent long piece. Other less obvious selections include the "Blue Angel" suite from Dave Cousins only solo album, the at times almost improvisational "Queen of dreams" from "Grave new world", the wonderful "Shepherd's song" from "From the Witchwood" featuring some fine keyboards by Rick Wakeman, and an excellent bass laden reworking of "Tell me what you see in me".

Among the more predictable, but nonetheless worthy inclusions are the troubling "Hangman and the papist", the frantic "Hero and Heroine", and two other superb tracks from the album of that name "Round and round" and "Out in the cold". "The river" and "Down by the sea" appear in the order they are performed live, rather than the other way round, as on "Bursting at the seams". The way they appear here is far more effective, the climax to "The river" bursting superbly into the chiming guitar of "Down by the sea". While various singles such as "Part of the Union" and "Lay down" are included, they are kept well in check.

"Halcyon days" also features quite a number of non album b-sides. "Why" and "Wherefore" are joined together for the first time to from a single track, while "Will ye go" is a version of the traditional song "Wild mountain thyme" (as performed by the Byrds on their "Untitled" album). "Back side" is a throwaway tribute to David Bowie's Ziggy Stardust alter-ego. A trio of tracks by the Strawbs offshoot Hudson Ford are included. Both "Burn baby burn" and "Pick up the pieces" were credible, if unchallenging hit singles.

An excellent starting point for those unfamiliar with the Strawbs work.

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Send comments to Easy Livin (BETA) | Report this review (#19763) | Review Permalink
Posted Tuesday, March 30, 2004

Review by Chris S
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
4 stars Right on Bob! Yes this is an excellent double CD totally different to the USA version of the same name.Listen out for the Hudson song ' Burn Baby Burn'. It even has that earth magic song ' Witchwood'. Overall a classic setlist and provided you get the UK copy you will be more than pleased.

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Send comments to Chris S (BETA) | Report this review (#19764) | Review Permalink
Posted Saturday, September 11, 2004

Review by Matti
COLLABORATOR Neo-Prog Team
4 stars I first heard STRAWBS from a compilation (not this one) I borrowed from a library, and enjoyed it so much that I bought this double-CD compilation. Later I have borrowed most of the original albums and I'm still very satisfied to own this set. It's so luxorious and done with such a good care. There's actually nothing to complain; the selection is well balanced between the most classic albums and includes next to nothing from poorer post-Ghosts stuff. Naturally I'd picked some other tracks here and there, but that's inevitable with a broad compilation.

The palette is wide from sharp prog like 'Ghosts' or 'Hero & Heroine' to simple songs like amusing 'Man Who Called Himself Jesus' or to bluesy 'Absent Friend'. An interesting ingredient are three Hudson/Ford singles which have quite a different, sunny character than (usually Cousins-penned) STRAWBS output. Some minor rarities are also added, but nothing which would taste like mere curiosities. One can proudly recommend this to a new listener as well as to anyone who doesn't already own most of the original albums. Maybe the leaflet could have a comprehensive track listing and some more discographic information... The essay on the history of the band is nevertheless well written. Dave Cousins, it claims, has clearly influenced FISH in vocal style. The line-up has seen many changes, Cousins being the heart of the band. Rick Wakeman played in Strawbs before joining Yes. STRAWBS would deserve bigger fame as a genuine and slightly chameleon-like folk prog band. P.S. I love the cover picture with a king fisher!

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Send comments to Matti (BETA) | Report this review (#127093) | Review Permalink
Posted Friday, June 29, 2007

Review by SouthSideoftheSky
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Symphonic Team
2 stars Picking up the pieces

This is the kind of compilation album that tries to please both the beginner and the hard core fan and collector in a single stroke. This is, of course, an impossible task and it ends up pleasing neither fully. Those beginners who are looking for a superficial introduction to the band will not want to hear rare and subpar tracks originally appearing as single b-sides or in side-projects, and those fans and collectors who already own the band's regular studio albums will not want to pay all over again for the same material just in order to gain access to said rarities. It is indeed admirable that the record company cared to include any rare tracks at all, but I think that it would have been better had they released a compilation consisting solely of rare tracks (non-album a-sides, b-sides, and the like), deliberately aimed at the fans. Several compilations aimed at beginners already existed at the time, and has continued to proliferate since.

Please don't let my low rating scare you away from a great band, my perspective is that of someone who already owns the bulk of the material on other releases. As such, my rating is based primarily on the few rare tracks that were not already included on the band's regular studio output. If you are a Prog fan, and you don't know Strawbs, I would recommend starting with the excellent Hero And Heroine and Ghosts albums, and then proceeding in backwards chronological order, picking up Bursting At The Seams, Grave New World, and From The Witchwood. Many great tracks from these albums are indeed included on the present compilation, but - at least from a Prog perspective - they are best heard in their original settings. Here, they rub shoulders with material that are not up to par. The selections from the band's two first albums, for example, are weaker both in quality and sound.

The rarer selections include three tracks from a Hudson Ford side-project, none of which are essential, and only one of which - Floating In The Wind - is good. One excellent non- Strawbs track is Blue Angel from Dave Cousins' first solo album from 1972, but many fans are likely to have that album in their collections anyway. If not, they would be better off buying that one. Besides, this track was later re-recorded by the band for the album of the same name. Here It Comes is a non-album a-side that was later included as a bonus track on the Grave New World CD. Backside (aka Ciggy Barlust) is indeed a b-side, and it is a kind of tribute (?) to Ziggy Stardust by David Bowie. Finally, there is a traditional number in Will Ye Go? that is not available elsewhere as far as I know. It is pleasant, but hardly remarkable.

Only recommended to those fans who don't mind paying twice for stuff they already have in order to gain access to a few rare, but unessential, tracks

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Send comments to SouthSideoftheSky (BETA) | Report this review (#702460) | Review Permalink
Posted Sunday, April 01, 2012

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