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STRAWBS

Prog Folk • United Kingdom


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Strawbs biography
One of the better British progressive groups, The STRAWBS were a 60's folk and medieval band turned prog-rock with the help of Dave COUSINS (the heart and soul of this group) and Rick WAKEMAN "master of the keyboards". WAKEMAN is featured on the albums "Strawbs", "Dragonfly", "Just A Collection of...", and "From The Witchwood" before he joined YES. The line-up for the group changed markedly over the years. Their sound has been in a state of constant evolution combining English folk and progressive sounds to form their unique style. Critics seem to have a preference for the STRAWBS in the early Seventies when the group consisted of Tony & John HOOPER, John FORD, Richard HUDSON and keyboard virtuoso Rick WAKEMAN. The group ceased to exist at the end of the 1970s, and COUSINS embarked on some solo projects. STRAWBS would appeal to fans of bands like FAIRPORT CONVENTION, STEELEYE SPAN, PENTANGLE, etc.

They have recorded over 15 albums through the years, with various lineups around the core of Dave COUSINS who offered beautiful melodic compositions. Every STRAWBS album between "Witchwood" and "Nomadness" has something unique to offer. A perfect introduction to the sound of The STRAWBS is the compilation-CD "A Choice of Strawbs" (16 tracks). It features all their best material from their most creative and "symphonic" period (between '71 and '74). The music of The STRAWBS frequently ranges from folky (acoustic guitars) and classic (piano and harpsichord) to bombastic, symphonic rock (fiery electric guitar and glorious Mellotron in the vein of BARCLAY JAMES HARVEST and The MOODY BLUES). The vocals are powerful with a lot of expression. Another great introduction to The STRAWBS is their live CD entitled "In concert" with BBC recordings from '73 and '74, including compelling renditions of their best works. The lush Mellotron sound evokes every time goose bumps on my skin!

1971 - "From The Witchwood" was a release that represented the transitional phase and search for their definitive sound and style.
1972 - "Grave New World" was their first symphonic album, and remained their finest moments, with great songwriting, great arrangements and superb performance all-round. This is a GREAT ALBUM!
1973 - "Bursting at the Seams" was the break through album for the STRAWBS because it marked the last major transformation of the group.
1974 - "Hero & Heroine" showed that a classical sensibility can be combined with rock music and make for wonderful list...
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Live At the BBC Vol. 2Live At the BBC Vol. 2
Import
FONTANA UNIVERSAL 2010
Audio CD$9.64
$21.60 (used)
DeadlinesDeadlines
Witchwood Media 2012
Audio CD$11.22
$16.31 (used)
Choice Selection of StrawbsChoice Selection of Strawbs
Import
Polygram Int'l 1999
Audio CD$24.56
$3.95 (used)
From the WitchwoodFrom the Witchwood
Import · Remastered
Universal I.S. 1998
Audio CD$3.68
$4.25 (used)
Broken Hearted BrideBroken Hearted Bride
Witchwood Media 2008
Audio CD$9.74
$13.95 (used)
Grave New WorldGrave New World
Extra tracks · Import · Remastered
Universal I.S. 1998
Audio CD$5.57
$8.85 (used)
Live at the BBC 1Live at the BBC 1
Import
Ume Imports 2010
Audio CD$5.44
$9.97 (used)
Full Bloom (Acoustic)Full Bloom (Acoustic)
Import
Witchwood 2009
Audio CD$200.00
GhostsGhosts
Extra tracks · Import · Remastered
Universal I.S. 1998
Audio CD$5.46
$5.98 (used)
Right Now on Ebay (logo)
THE STRAWBS ( GRAVE NEW WORLD ) 1972 ISSUED PSYCH ROCK LP WITH LYRICS BOOKLET US $2.99 Buy It Now 1h 37m
Strawbs Burning For You Original SEALED LP 1977 US Press Oyster OY-1-1604 US $10.63 Buy It Now 2h 16m
STRAWBS - MAGAZINE CUTTINGS COLLECTION (REF T4) US $11.59 Buy It Now 2h 19m
STRAWBS - Bursting At The Seams - Ex Con LP Record US $19.88 Buy It Now 2h 22m
STRAWBS 7" PS Japan LAY DOWN promo r8863 US $16.00 Buy It Now 2h 54m
STRAWBS UK PROG PSYCH FOLK TAPESTRY AKARMA RE LP LIMITED ONLY 300 US $39.99 Buy It Now 4h 4m
STRAWBS back in the old routine/burning for me 2066 818 uk polydor 7" WS EX/ US $11.59 Buy It Now 4h 6m
RICK WAKEMAN-Into Orbit-Strawbs/YES/Keyboards/Synthesizer/PIANO/Beatles/STONES US $10.29 Buy It Now 6h 32m
STRAWBS (From The Witchwood) RECORDS ALBUMS/LP's ROCK US $12.00 Buy It Now 6h 34m
Strawbs - Dancing To The Devil's Beat 2009 [CD New] US $19.41 Buy It Now 7h
7"-Single THE MONKS I Can Do Anything You Like (1981) MINT- GERMANY PS / STRAWBS US $14.99 Buy It Now 7h 52m
STRAWBS - PART OF THE UNION 7" 73 VG US $1.64 Buy It Now 9h 24m
THE STRAWBS 7" PROMO 45 "LAY DOWN" Mono b/w Stereo 1973 Bursting At The Seams NM US $2.99 [0 bids]
10h 57m
STRAWBS: Or Am I Dreaming 45 (dj) Rock & Pop US $10.00 Buy It Now 11h 25m
STRAWBS ~ GHOSTS ~ A&M SP4506 US $11.99 Buy It Now 12h 20m
ARI-4172 STRAWBS, THE Deadlines OOP NEW 12" Vinyl Record Rock US $12.99 Buy It Now 12h 56m
OYS-1603 STRAWBS, THE Deep Cuts OOP NEW 12" Vinyl Record Rock US $12.99 Buy It Now 12h 56m
CD Album: The Strawbs : Dancing To The Devil's Beat US $16.48 [0 bids]
13h 3m
Strawbs Bursting At The Seams US $1.99 [0 bids]
13h 53m
Strawbs Grave New World 1971 Record, Classic Vinyl US $1.99 [0 bids]
14h 10m
WOBBLER Djam Karet NATHAN MAHL Muffins STRAWBS "ProgDay: Kinections" NEW CD PROG US $19.99 [0 bids]
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15h 10m
Strawbs Live At The Queen Elizabeth Hall A Collection Of Antiques UK Vinyl LP US $15.75 Buy It Now 16h 59m
STRAWBS In Concert CD BBC RADIO ONE 1 UK ORIGINAL  US $6.00 Buy It Now 18h 31m
Amen Corner - Round Amen Corner cd 1968 DERAM 1st Fair Weather Strawbs Bee Gees US $19.90 Buy It Now 21h 41m
Strawbs - Dancing To The Devils Beat CD WITCHWOOD US $30.48 Buy It Now 22h 21m
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STRAWBS 7" SINGLE - I ONLY WANT MY LOVE TO GROW IN YOU/THINKING OF YOU US $1.66 [0 bids]
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The Strawbs By Choice LP US $16.56 Buy It Now 1 day
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Strawbs - Hero and Heroine (A&M SP 3607) 1974 VG+/EX US $3.99 Buy It Now 1 day
Sandy Denny & The Strawbs - All Our Own Work (2010) - Used - Compact Disc US $11.46 Buy It Now 1 day
STRAWBS Grave New World JAPAN LP w/Obi+Insert AML-141 gate-fold P/S damaged US $29.99 [0 bids]
1 day
STRAWBS Just a Collection of Antiques& JAPAN LP w/Obi+Insert AMP-4030 R.Wakeman US $39.99 [0 bids]
1 day
Strawbs(Vinyl LP)Deep Cuts-Polydor-2391 234-UK-VG+/Ex US $18.99 Buy It Now 1 day
2 LP Lot Strawbs Hero & Heroine " Session II "S/T" LEE RITENOUR US $14.99 Buy It Now 1 day
MAXELL ROCK SAMPLER TRIUMPH THE STRAWBS ODYSSEY ALAN PARSONS SEALED US $10.00 Buy It Now 1 day
STRAWBS/Rick Wakeman +from the witchwood+RARE+1971+ US $8.98 [0 bids]
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THE STRAWBS Best Of Double LP A&M SP 96005 Canada NM US $11.05 Buy It Now 1 day
The STRAWBS Burning For You POLYDOR/OYSTER 1977 Canada Org. Inner with lyrics EX US $7.83 Buy It Now 1 day
The STRAWBS Bursting At the Seams A&M 4383 Canada 1973 EX US $7.83 Buy It Now 1 day
THE STRAWBS Collection of Antiques & Curios 1970 A&M SP 4288 NM US $9.21 Buy It Now 1 day
THE STRAWBS Hero & Heroine A&M SP 3607 Canada 1973 NM - EX US $7.83 Buy It Now 1 day
Strawbs From The Witchwood Japan Promo Label Vinyl LP OBI 1987 Rick Wakeman Yes US $89.99 Buy It Now 1 day
Strawbs/Jonathan Kelly 1972 City Hall, Hull Concert Ticket US $9.95 Buy It Now 1 day
STRAWBS: Hero And Heroine LP (inner sleeve) Rock & Pop US $12.00 Buy It Now 1 day
STRAWBS**THE BEST OF (RM)**CD US $5.95 Buy It Now 1 day
THE STRAWBS - RARE SIGNED 40TH ANNIVERSARY CONCERT FLYER US $9.93 Buy It Now 1 day
Strawbs - Ghosts - Vinyl LP - VG++ US $11.00 Buy It Now 1 day
STRAWBS DEEP CUTS STRAWBS ROCK 1978 OYSTER LABEL LP US $3.99 [0 bids]
1 day
STRAWBS By Choice Vinyl LP A&M AMLH68259 US $21.54 Buy It Now 1 day
Strawbs - Hero and Heroine 7" Single 1974 US $13.26 Buy It Now 1 day
PROMO WHITE LABEL / STRAWBS BURNING FOR YOU / JAPAN OBI US $59.99 Buy It Now 1 day
Lot of 5 STRAWBS Near Mint condition vinyl LPs US $15.00 [2 bids]
1 day
Jimmy Ruffin - Sunrise 1980 White Label Promo NM LP soul Bee Gees The Strawbs US $8.99 Buy It Now 1 day
Strawbs LP Ghosts A&M US $12.99 Buy It Now 1 day
STRAWBS Hero And Heroine FACTORY SEALED LP A&M SP-3607 (1974) ORIGINAL US $9.99 [0 bids]
1 day
Unknown Artist P.Smith;Strawbs;Costello CD US $7.99 Buy It Now 1 day
Strawbs 'Very Best Of: Halcyon Days ' RARE 1998 US 35-Track 2-CD Set OOP US $20.49 [0 bids]
1 day
STRAWBS Early Strawbs SP 9014 Vinyl 2 LP N/Mint US $19.53 Buy It Now 1 day
70s VINYL BLOWOUT, LOT #30 CLASSIC ROCK 12 LPs, G+ TO EX, COCKER E JOHN STRAWBS US $14.99 Buy It Now 1 day
Preserves Uncanned by The Strawbs (CD, Dec-1992, 2 Discs, Windsong) US $7.99 [0 bids]
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1 day
STRAWBS - Bursting At The Seams VG++ / VG LP Record 1972 A&M SP-4383 US $7.99 Buy It Now 1 day
STRAWBS Ghosts NM A&M White Label Promo LP US $24.95 Buy It Now 1 day
Concert Classics, Vol. 6: Alive In America by The Strawbs/new cd US $6.25 Buy It Now 1 day
STRAWBS "I ONLY WANT MY LOVE TO GROW IN YOU" EX COND.IN Or.SL. US $2.64 Buy It Now 1 day
Strawbs-Recollection Live 1970 UK folk psych Japanese mini lp US $33.99 Buy It Now 1 day
Strawbs RECOLLECTION Live 1970 Wakeman Witchwood Media MINT US $13.00 [0 bids]
2 days
The Strawbs From The Witchwood WLP Promo DJ LP 1971 RARE PSYCH ACID US $15.37 Buy It Now 2 days
The Strawbs - Deep Cuts LP - Oyster Polydor Records OY-1-1603 US $3.99 [0 bids]
2 days
HUDSON FORD Sold on love 7" PROMO FOLK POP STRAWBS US $5.79 Buy It Now 2 days
Strawbs "Deep Cuts" LP. Oyster, 1976. 2391-234. US $4.96 [0 bids]
2 days
Strawbs - Ghosts - Rough cover but nice VG promo LP US $4.00 Buy It Now 2 days
Original 1973 LP Strawbs LP record - Hero and Heroine - AMLH 63607 US $2.49 [0 bids]
2 days
Strawbs/Ciggy Barlust & The Whales From Venus(7" Vinyl)Lay Down-VG-/VG US $8.27 Buy It Now 2 days
Strawbs-Of a Time UK folk psych Japanese mini lp US $33.99 Buy It Now 2 days
Strawbs-Deadlines UK prog folk Japanese mini lp US $33.99 Buy It Now 2 days
Strawbs-Strawberry Music Sampler UK folk psych Japanese mini lp US $33.99 Buy It Now 2 days
STRAWBS 1973 Rare Bursting at the seams Tour UK Concert Programme US $24.87 Buy It Now 2 days
The Strawbs - Collection (2002) US $6.63 [0 bids]
2 days
STRAWBS HERO AND HEROINE LP ALBUM PROG CLASSIC AUTUMN US $5.99 [0 bids]
US $9.99 Buy It Now
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Strawbs - Keep on Trying / Simple Visions 7" 2066 846 US $3.32 Buy It Now 2 days
LP RICK WAKEMAN SIX WIVES OF HENRY VIII 1974 A&M QUAD NM PROG ROCK YES STRAWBS US $39.99 Buy It Now 2 days
Strawbs-Burning for You genuine Japanese mini lp US $24.99 Buy It Now 2 days
STRAWBS: Or Am I Dreaming 45 Rock & Pop US $10.00 Buy It Now 2 days
STRAWBS: Part Of The Union / Mono 45 (close to M-) Rock & Pop US $12.00 Buy It Now 2 days
Peter Hammill-Ophelia/Van Der Graaf Generator/Strawbs/PFM/Gentle Giant/Eloy/ELP US $25.99 Buy It Now 2 days
Strawbs - Deep Cuts [CD New] US $49.52 Buy It Now 2 days
STRAWBS- I ONLY WANT MY LOVE TO GROWN IN YOU VINYL 7" 45RPM US $1.64 Buy It Now 2 days
STRAWBS : HERO AND HEROINE 7" Vinyl 45 1974 A&M Ex. US $4.96 Buy It Now 2 days
Strawbs "Part Of The Union" Smash Hit Oz 7"" US $7.48 Buy It Now 2 days
STRAWBS usa dj 7" 45 LEMON PIE~WHERE DO YOU GO on A&M 1687, 1975 US $4.50 Buy It Now 2 days
RICK WAKEMAN The Six Wives Of Henry VIII LP Yes Strawbs US $10.00 Buy It Now 2 days
STRAWBS usa dj 7" 45 LITTLE SLEEPY from NOSTRADAMUS, 1975 edit US $4.50 Buy It Now 2 days
STRAWBS early usa dj 7" 45 BENEDICTUS~HEAVY DISGUISE on A&M off Grave New World US $8.00 Buy It Now 2 days
Live at the BBC, Vol. 2 by The Strawbs (CD, Nov-2010, 2 Discs, Polydor) US $13.99 [0 bids]
US $18.49 Buy It Now
2 days
STRAWBS GHOSTS A&M RECORDS SP-4506 US $4.99 [0 bids]
2 days
STRAWBS DEEP CUTS POLYDOR RECORDS OY-1-1603 US $4.99 [0 bids]
2 days
STRAWBS HERO AND HEROINE A&M RECORDS SP-3607 US $4.99 [0 bids]
2 days
Live at the BBC, Vol. 1: In Session by The Strawbs (CD, Nov-2010, Universal) US $10.99 [0 bids]
US $14.99 Buy It Now
2 days
STRAWBS DEADLINES RECORD ALBUM 1978 ARISTA NO RETURN TIME AND LIFE JOEY AND ME US $7.95 Buy It Now 2 days

More places to buy STRAWBS music online Buy STRAWBS & Prog Rock Digital Music online:
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STRAWBS shows & tickets


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STRAWBS discography


Ordered by release date | Showing ratings (top albums) | Help Progarchives.com to complete the discography and add albums

STRAWBS top albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

3.01 | 55 ratings
Strawbs
1969
3.03 | 63 ratings
Dragonfly
1970
4.00 | 168 ratings
From The Witchwood
1971
4.15 | 227 ratings
Grave New World
1972
3.55 | 113 ratings
Bursting At The Seams
1973
4.13 | 214 ratings
Hero And Heroine
1974
3.95 | 129 ratings
Ghosts
1975
2.49 | 55 ratings
Nomadness
1975
2.76 | 48 ratings
Deep Cuts
1976
2.52 | 40 ratings
Burning For You
1977
2.86 | 34 ratings
Deadlines
1978
2.97 | 21 ratings
Don't Say Goodbye
1987
2.80 | 16 ratings
Ringing Down The Years
1991
2.55 | 23 ratings
Heartbreak Hill
1995
3.50 | 14 ratings
Baroque & Roll (as Acoustic Strawbs)
2001
2.75 | 21 ratings
Blue Angel
2003
3.11 | 20 ratings
Deja Fou
2004
3.43 | 34 ratings
The Broken Hearted Bride
2008
3.26 | 25 ratings
Dancing To The Devil's Beat
2009
3.91 | 16 ratings
Hero & Heroine In Ascencia
2011

STRAWBS Live Albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

3.68 | 60 ratings
Just A Collection Of Antiques And Curios
1970
2.29 | 9 ratings
The Strawbs' Greatest Hits Live
1993
3.67 | 13 ratings
BBC in concert
1995
2.44 | 8 ratings
Concert Classics
1999
3.38 | 4 ratings
The Complete Strawbs (Chiswick '98 Live)
2000
2.05 | 2 ratings
Full Bloom, Acoustic Strawbs Live
2004
3.57 | 6 ratings
Live At Nearfest
2005
3.67 | 20 ratings
Painted Sky
2005
3.66 | 4 ratings
Recollection
2006
3.05 | 3 ratings
NY '75
2007
4.00 | 1 ratings
40th Anniversary Celebration: Vol 1: Strawberry Fayre
2010

STRAWBS Videos (DVD, Blu-ray, VHS etc)

3.11 | 6 ratings
Classic Rock Legends (DVD)
1998
4.04 | 9 ratings
Strawbs Live In Tokyo '75 / Grave New World The Movie
2003
4.08 | 4 ratings
Acoustic Live In Toronto At Hugh's Room
2004
3.00 | 3 ratings
Lay Down With The Strawbs (DVD)
2008

STRAWBS Boxset & Compilations (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

2.66 | 23 ratings
All Our Own Work
1973
2.44 | 7 ratings
Strawbs by Choice
1974
2.51 | 5 ratings
Early Strawbs
1974
3.78 | 10 ratings
Classic Strawbs
1977
3.78 | 13 ratings
The Best of Strawbs
1978
2.66 | 8 ratings
Preserved Uncanned
1990
3.49 | 18 ratings
A Choice Selection of Strawbs
1992
3.60 | 18 ratings
Halcyon Days (UK Release)
1997
3.97 | 13 ratings
Halcyon Days (US Release)
1998
3.00 | 1 ratings
30 Years in Rock, Classic Rock Legends
2001
2.81 | 6 ratings
The Collection
2002
4.40 | 3 ratings
Tears And Pavan (An Introduction To Strawbs)
2002
3.13 | 4 ratings
20th Century Masters - Millenium Collection
2003
4.23 | 12 ratings
A Taste of Strawbs
2006
4.52 | 5 ratings
Acoustic Gold
2011

STRAWBS Official Singles, EPs, Fan Club & Promo (CD, EP/LP, MC, Digital Media Download)

2.40 | 6 ratings
Strawberry Sampler number 1
1969

STRAWBS Reviews


Showing last 10 reviews only
 The Broken Hearted Bride by STRAWBS album cover Studio Album, 2008
3.43 | 34 ratings

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The Broken Hearted Bride
Strawbs Prog Folk

Review by SteveG

2 stars Pleasant at times but pretentious. The Broken Hearted Bride from 2008 finds the Strawbs attempting to make a more electric and more prog sounding album then their previous release from 2004 titled Deja Fou. However, forcing an album to sound prog is not the same as creating music that is prog. Indeed, both bass player Chas Cronk and vocalist/guitarist Dave Cousins contribute keyboards to this album as well as long time keys man John Hawken which often results in a pea soup mix of 80's style electronic keys, sampling, programming and percussion. Particularly on the slow tempo songs Too Many Angels, Through Aphrodite's Eyes and Everybody Knows. The album's second song Christmas Cheer with it's insecent disco (yes disco!) beat and abrasive chorus may be the worst song ever written by Cousins and the title track, despite Cousins' clever lyrics about a suicide bomber leaving his wife standing at the alter, is an AOR styled rocker with an annoying guitar riff that Bon Jovi would have envied. The following song Shadowland is another boring AOR tune this time written by guitarist Dave Lambert. Even Lambert's guitar is given a grandiose Gilmour/Rothery like tone on many of the songs which is unfitting for him. The shrill high EQ'ed sound production does not help matters and does Cousins raspy voice no favors. To be fair, the opening song Call to Action and its reprise Action Replay are two excellent prog tunes with terrific Middle Eastern melodies and rythyms, but the pea soup songs along with Shadowland are merely pleasant listens that hardly make this album essential. Luckily, the Stawbs would have one more good album up their sleeve for 2009.

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 Dancing To The Devil's Beat by STRAWBS album cover Studio Album, 2009
3.26 | 25 ratings

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Dancing To The Devil's Beat
Strawbs Prog Folk

Review by SteveG

4 stars Going out with a bang. 2009's Dancing To The Devils Beat will probably be the last album of original material recorded by the electric version of the Strawbs and it's a fitting finale to their prog and hard rock legacy. The album kicks off with the prog-ish Revenge (Can Be So Sweet) that's a direct carry over melodically and sonically from their last album The Broken Hearted Bride. The Eastern melody with fey electronic percussion is kicked awake with sharp cracking drums and buzzing eclectic guitar. The band are not searching for a sound like they did on The Broken Hearted Bride but have arrived with a fully formed and decisive vision that carries over immediately on to the following hard rock song Beneath The Angry Sky. Both songs are topically about war and waste with drummer Rod Combes and guest keyboardist Oliver Wakeman (son of Rick) fully engaged in their construction, feel and outcome. Wakeman adds sympathetic keyboard work that enhances the songs without grandstanding and Coombes is back to his hard rocking self while the band revert to their old school multi layered sounds of choir and pleated harmonies to drive the songs home. Indeed, Beneath The Angry Sky even starts off with some banjo picking from Dave Cousins that adds color to the song without feeling folk-ish. The group brake up the war and waste mayhem for the touching acoustic based song Copenhagen, an obvious tribute to the late great Sandy Danny. Then it's on to the prog suite song Pro Patria Suite, a typical three part Cousins song cycle with brilliant and poignant lyrics that's again enhanced by choir, keyboard orchestrations by Wakeman and touching cornets playing at the end by two guest musicians. The war and waste sentiments end with a salute to fallen soldiers on the following song Where Silent Shadows Fall, another epic sounding peice that could easily conclude the band's classic album Grave New World. Dave Lambert is up next with the touching The Man Who Never Leave Grimsby remarking on the faith of a young fan of the group from poor country of Kenya. The song is not particularly progressive as are the three remainders, but all are convincingly passionate without sounding like retreads. The Ballad Of Jay And Rose Mary is actually a rare bluesy Film Noir themed song from Cousins that's a bit corny but still enjoyable before the group end the album with the rocking manic title track and then conclude with a dramatic electric remake of Oh, How She Changed. My only complaint of this work is the brash modern sound of the album's recording production which is grating at times but it is the digital age after all. However, the sound is still more rounded and less shrill than that found on The Broken Hearted Bride. Farewell electric Strawbs and thanks for a great parting shot.

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 Grave New World by STRAWBS album cover Studio Album, 1972
4.15 | 227 ratings

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Grave New World
Strawbs Prog Folk

Review by apps79
Special Collaborator Neo Prog Team

4 stars ''From the witchwood'' was the last contribution of Rick Wakeman to the sound of Strawbs, as he decided to leave the band in 1971 and join Yes in a move stated by himself as ''beneficial for both sides at this point'', even if Dave Cousins thought about the opposite.Who would imagine though that Wakeman would be so prophetic.He moved to on to create some prog monuments with Yes, but also Strawbs found a great replacement in the face of Blue Weaver, former organist of the Psych/Pop act Amen Corner.Strawbs released shortly afterwards one of their best works ever, the concept album ''Grave new world'', on A&M Records, telling the story of a man from his baby years till' his last day.

By the time the Folk and progressive influences of the band appear to be about equal and ''Grave new world'' sounds like GENESIS in reverse order, not a group with major symphonic arrangements and folky hints, but a Folk Rock band with an evident symphonic tendency.Acoustic guitars, British Folk tunes, fading psychedelic touches and clean singing still have a major role in Strawbs sound.But Mr.Weaver seems to be the missing piece for a trully great album by the Strawbs.With an armour of Mellotron, organ, piano and clavioline, his contribution to the album is phenomenal.Strawbs' sound starts to incorporatre a strong orchestral content, supported by Cousins' poetic voice, and the acoustic textures are complemented by huge, symphonic Mellotron waves and soft organ themes.Plus the electric melodies played on the guitars are beautiful and memorable.The album is divided in 12 short pieces with an obvious thematical connection and the songwriting is absolutely great with dramatic moments, sensitive passages and grandiose soundscapes in one of the most versatile and flexible albums created by a Folk-tinged British band.Vocal melodies are excellent, the musical depth is more than sufficient and most of the compositions are amazing with the keyboards in evidence and the concept flowing in a tremendous way.

A highlight of Strawbs' discography and the year 1972.Right description would be as paradox as ''keyboard-led Prog Folk'', but that's the true.Very original and pleasant album, no less than highly recommended.

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 Acoustic Gold by STRAWBS album cover Boxset/Compilation, 2011
4.52 | 5 ratings

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Acoustic Gold
Strawbs Prog Folk

Review by SteveG

5 stars Acoustic Bliss. This is the last album I listened to of newer Strawbs's material and I'm really taken with the acoustic bug. This compilation is filled with some of the best material from the out of print Baroque And Roll and Painted Sky albums as well as some stellar unreleased material. The songs were remastered by long time bassist Chas Cronk giving the guitars a wonderful bell like sound as well as added detail to both the instruments and vocals. All fourteen tracks are outstanding with Autumn and Ghosts being the high lights, naturally. I'm aware that many reviewers feel cold toward the less prog all acoustic phase of the band but I know from an interview that Dave Cousins' would love to be remembered as a great folk songwriter and albums like this may ultimately help him to achieve that goal

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 Grave New World by STRAWBS album cover Studio Album, 1972
4.15 | 227 ratings

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Grave New World
Strawbs Prog Folk

Review by BatBacon

5 stars Strawbs is a fantastic band and this is probably their best album. Compare it to Queen´s "Night at the opera" and you will find that? well, it doesn't sound like Queen at all, but the album´s are arranged with pretty much the same kind of craziness. Its a real adventure to listen through Grave New World, cause just like "Night at the Opera", it got so many different kind of songs and every one of them offers something new to listener, may it be a political folk song, an epic mellotron-smelling aggression song, a loony barbershop-ish song or metallic roaring guitars. With Grave New World Strawbs created a real rollercoaster of an album, but still it all fits together so fantastically well.

The album is blessed with one of the finest opening tracks I know, the organ loaded "Benedictus", and ends with the calm piano song "The Journeys End". Like seeing the sun rise in the morning and settle in the evening, it gives the album a great frame! In between waits lots of great tracks, not a single album filler! I will mention some of them. For fans of the odd side of Beatles and George Harrison you have "Is it today my lord?" with some smooth sitar playing and a slightly spiritual mood. For people waiting for the unexpected and crazy you have the barber shop-ish "Ah me, ah my" and fans of more heavy rock will get their fix when listening to the angry "Tomorrow!" with howling guitar and Deep Purple-ish organ playing. "Hey, little man?" is divided in two songs and are great, relaxing tracks about stop caring about problems for an hour or two. And to take a pause of stress and misery is pretty fitting on a crazy album like this, especially the second one of the two parts which comes after the epic and mind blowing "New World". Dave Cousin sings his heart out on this mellotron heavy gigant of a song, adding a lot of drama and frustration to the text. It really is one of those songs which grabs hold of the listener and doesn't release until the end of the song.

It hard to say if there is a best track of the album, which I often like to see as a proof of a really good album. But I think the greatest one of them would be "The flower and the young man", a really touching song with great song melody and wonderful arrangements. Is more sad than most songs on the album, yet more colorful.

All in all, Grave New World is a majestic and powerful record, full of adventure and beauty! Its not hard at all to get into, but it offers most things a prog fan could ask for!

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 Heartbreak Hill by STRAWBS album cover Studio Album, 1995
2.55 | 23 ratings

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Heartbreak Hill
Strawbs Prog Folk

Review by SteveG

3 stars The Strawbs literally climbing a heart breaking hill. Most readers will be familiar with the circumstances surrounding this album. Recorded with multiple players in 1978 and never released until 1995, this is not one of the best loved Strawbs' albums from the 70's but it is hands and feet above Nomadness, Deep Cuts and the pathetic Deadlines albums. Andy Richards was the only keyboard player unique and talented enough to ever replace John Hawken in the group (remembering that ivory keys wunderkind Wakeman did not reveal his prog genius until he joined Yes) and the album features two of the group's best (if virtually unknown) prog songs. The title track features an almost Renaissance like bass, drums and keyboard section while the song Starting Over goes from a Genesis like bombastic intro to mellow dreamy passages and back. Good stuff. Aside from two decent rock songs (Something For Nothing, Desert Song), the other tracks are typical 70's AOR fare, but if you liked the Bursting At The Seams album then you might enjoy Heartbreak Hill.

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 Hero & Heroine In Ascencia by STRAWBS album cover Studio Album, 2011
3.91 | 16 ratings

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Hero & Heroine In Ascencia
Strawbs Prog Folk

Review by SteveG

4 stars Hero and Heroine (Redux). I've been listing to a lot of newer Strawbs material lately and this is, by far, the strangest of their strange but engaging make overs. The fact that this album was redone 30 plus years later is enough to add another dimension to this classic work let alone the fact that the signature keyboard player was replaced and a more technical and less rock oriented drummer was recruited to round out the new line up. Have said that little, you can already surmise the change in sound even with the arrangements being left more or less intact. The sound production is much thinner than the original which also adds to the album's new ambiance The simple fact is that this album works because the material is so strong that it can stand up to a make over. Essentially, this album a testament to Dave Cousins ability as songwriter, if nothing else. Essential ? Perhaps for Strawbs' fans only, but it is an incredibly good album.

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 Deja Fou by STRAWBS album cover Studio Album, 2004
3.11 | 20 ratings

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Deja Fou
Strawbs Prog Folk

Review by SteveG

4 stars Deja faux? I have a hard time trying to figure out why this so called reunion album by the Ghosts era Strawbs is so enganging. It's has none of the bombastic prog of Hero and Heroine (or it's thick production) or the sweeping melodies of the songs found on Ghosts. Most of the songs are acoustic based with hauntingly beautiful string arrangements by David Kirby enhanced with touching piano by the great John Hawkin, especially on the songs If, Sunday Morning and Face Down In The Well which has chilling counter vocals from Chas Cronk alongside the melancholy lead from Dave Cousins as well as an erie violin reminiscent of the theme from the movie Schindler's List. Even the Dave Lambert penned song Cold Steel rocks hard despite the fact that the only electric instrument played on the track is the bass played by Chas Cronk with drummer Rod Coombes doing his best Bonhan immitation. It's not a far reach to suggest, as others have, that Cousins and company were so infuenced by their acoustic work that acoustic folk themes dominate this album. And why not? After all, the Strawbs were always folk-rock band at heart with 1967's unheralded Sandy and the Strawbs album All Of Our Own Work being, IMHO, the equal to anything produced by the Mamas and the Papas, the Byrds and even Fairport Convention at that early folk-rock era. Perhaps that is the reason why this unassuming album works so well on so many levels. What this album may lack in ultra slick production value is more than compensated by the qualtity of it's material. Four stars to the old chaps.

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 Baroque & Roll (as Acoustic Strawbs) by STRAWBS album cover Studio Album, 2001
3.50 | 14 ratings

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Baroque & Roll (as Acoustic Strawbs)
Strawbs Prog Folk

Review by SteveG

4 stars On second thought... I, like many, was disappointed when I first heard this album. What? No new material? No bass or drums? No keyboards? This is a new recording by one of the greatest prog groups ever. Are you kidding? Well, after a few years of second listens (after hearing Painted Sky without all the preconceived baggage) all I can say is that this album is an under appreciated jewel. The low key and, no doubt, low cost production adds a warm homemade vibe to this recording and Dave Cousins is still in relatively good voice at this stage. The guitar interplay between Dave Lambert and Brian Willobougby is stellar despite a couple of awkward moments. Indeed, there is even a croaked vocal by Cousins and an obvious flubbed lyric from Lambert that were no doubt deliberately left uncorrected. An inside joke, perhaps, that makes the album all the more endearing to me. It's also fascinating to hear all three guitarists recreate all the keyboards and orchestrations of the songs almost to the point that they are not even missed. If you liked Deja Fou and Painted Sky, but found this album lacking the first time around, please give it a second chance to appreciate it for what is and not what we thought it was supposed to be.

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 From The Witchwood by STRAWBS album cover Studio Album, 1971
4.00 | 168 ratings

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From The Witchwood
Strawbs Prog Folk

Review by sukmytoe

4 stars A band that I love a great deal. This is a good work full of moods and lyrical as well as musical landscapes. There's just something about "Strawbs" music that resonates with me very strongly. I'm not always a Rick Wakeman fan but I enjoy his contribution here very much. After this album with the band he left to join Yes and I would have loved to have heard the direction future Strawbs albums would have taken had he remained with them instead.

"A Glimpse of Heaven" - Brilliant, almost pastoral folk track that rests very easy with me when my mind seeks peace. The lyrics paint a beautiful picture supported by the music so very well. I love the use of the banjo in this one.

"Witchwood" - Gaelic feel. Dulcimer and Banjo here are very nicely and tastefully used enhancing the sound. Again the lyrics and the music are used to paint a work of art. Peaceful and entrancing.

"Thirty Days" - Reminds strongly of "the Beatles". A more bouncy piece than the previous two tracks with a lot of Sitar involvement.

"Flight" - Nice vocal harmonising on this one. Again I'm reminded of the Beatles a little although less strongly than on the previous track.

"The Hangman and the Papist" - Very nice Wakeman involvement on this one. Dramatic and powerful. The dramatic military style drumming on this adds strongly to the flavour. One of the album highlights.

"Sheep" - This is a very unsettling track for me - almost a musical horror story until the music softens with the young boy section . Very powerful lyrically and musically. Nice organ work here from Wakeman.

"Canon Dale" - Very middle-eastern in style with use of the Sitar to enhance that mood.

"The Shepherds Song" - Gentle and very pretty erotic track. Prominent Mellotron on this one as well as Moog later on.

"In among the Roses" - Fragile and very pretty. Almost a dirge.

"I'll carry on beside You" - Rousing track. Electric guitar stands out on this one.

If you're looking for energy don't look this way. This is a gentle album for the main part full of pastoral, delicate sound. It is intelligent, almost fragile, music a lot of the time. I personally enjoy the use of instruments herein that are not typically used a lot in music these days. Sheep is a track that has always disturbed me a little - it did back when it was released and it does today. For anyone interested in Rick Wakeman and his development and progress as a musician this is a must have album. For me it is a strong album where many of the tracks are pure works of art but unfortunately a few are just ok. A four rating from my side.

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