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Strawbs - A Choice Selection of Strawbs CD (album) cover




Prog Folk

3.52 | 20 ratings

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Prog Reviewer
3 stars Yes, Peter and Easy Livin are right when they say this compilation serves as a good introduction to the STRAWBS. This was the first CD I heard (borrowed from library - I guess it was in 1998) and I was immediately interested to hear more. Soon after I bought "Halcyon Days" 2-CD compilation with a long band history, and as I continued with their catalogue this already had fully served its purpose. So let's look back at it and its contents. For the band information it was pretty useless, if I remember right. The tracks are in uncronological order but they concentrate on the best years (1971 - 1974), albums From The Witchwood, Grave New World, Bursting At The Seams and Hero & Heroine.

One of the earliest choices is 'Song of a Sad Little Girl' from the 1970 live album featuring Rick Wakeman on piano. A good example of a less obvious but very fine choice. Mostly this attempts to be "The Best of" -sort of compilation and all the best known songs are included: hits like 'Benedictus', 'Part of the Union' (by the song-writing rhythm section of Hudson & Ford who left after Bursting At The Seams), 'Round and Round', 'Lay Down', etc. Happily Strawbs was never a single-oriented band and so "The Best" can be interpreted with artistic criteria too. And there's hardly a fan who would argue that prog songs such as 'Autum', Hero & Heroine' or 'New World' are some of the very best ones. Those are songs that lift this band among the finest acts in British prog. The rest have a decent balance between easy happy tunes ('Lemon Pie', 'A Glimpse of Heaven') and more serious tracks (the dramatic 'The Hangman and the Papist' about the religious conflict in Northern Ireland, the old music influenced 'Tears and Pavan' or 'Down by the Sea'). Not a perfect compilation but quite close, being a single CD set. Mainly for newcomers, because for more serious Strawbs listeners it will become fairly useless. No rarities or anything like that.

Matti | 3/5 |


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