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Strawbs - Classic Rock Legends (DVD) CD (album) cover




Prog Folk

3.02 | 6 ratings

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Special Collaborator
Symphonic Team
4 stars This great live DVD is one of the best entries in the entire Classic Rock Legends DVD series! And The Strawbs really are classic rock legends! Many complaints can be lodged against this series, but the artwork by Roger Dean is beautiful (as usual).

The set list is great with numbers from most of the best Strawbs albums from From The Witchwood to Burning For You, with only a couple of newer tracks thrown in. I can understand that some fans would be disappointed with this selection because it concentrates more on the rock-era of Strawbs career and almost entirely ignores the folkier band they once were. For me, and I believe for prog fans in general, this is a good thing.

The show opens with Cut Like a Diamond, a rocking song from the Burning For You album. Next comes a new song that I hadn't heard before I saw this DVD for the first time. It is another rocker with a good introduction and it also includes a keyboard solo. Not Wakeman for sure, but very good. I like it, but I can't say how it compares to the studio version.

The third number, Ringing Down the Years, is another one I had never heard before. It is a tribute to Sandy Denny. I am not a very big fan of her work but Dave's spoken introduction brings me to tears every time. Really beautiful and moving song too, but hardly Prog.

The Hangman and the Papist comes next and what a great version, quite different from the original. Not better, but different. Grace Darling is yet another ballad type song and not really progressive, but a beautiful song nonetheless, with a good electric guitar solo. The lead guitarist is very good here. Indeed, the whole band is really good and energized.

The River/Down by the Sea is a classic and great here as usual. The two obligatory hit songs Lay Me Down and Part of the Union are played next. Part of the Union is quite awful, as most of us know by now. But everything is saved again by the closing number, the excellent Hero & Heroine, probably my favourite Strawbs song ever, taken from my favourite Strawbs album of the same name.

If you are a fan of this band and particularly like their rockier material, this DVD is essential viewing. For everyone else it is still an excellent addition to a Prog collection, even if only a couple of the songs can be said to be truly progressive.

SouthSideoftheSky | 4/5 |


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