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Strawbs - Just A Collection Of Antiques And Curios CD (album) cover




Prog Folk

3.75 | 77 ratings

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Prog Reviewer
3 stars This album with a live presentation by the band at the Queen Elisabeth Hall had been their third official release introducing their new line-up with exceptional keyboardist Wakeman and new drummer Rick Hudson to the public. Apart from offering their earliest live performance this record has as well some historical relevance marking the start of the career of a shining superstar (supernova??, to cite my fellow reviewer, sorry Hugues, but I liked your comment!). I purchased the original vinyl some years ago, actually mainly for the reasons that I found the "antique" design of its cover art very attractive and the band is really an "old love" of mine. I'm sure I used to have the songs recorded on tape in my younger days but could only remember them faintly. So after listening to this album after all those years I couldn't say that I felt disappointed but on the other hand I couldn't claim as well that I've been highly fascinated, at least not over its full length. For me the more interesting half of this record is certainly the second side with highlights as "Fingertips" and "Where Is This Dream Of Your Youth?".

Side one appears to me a bit subdued meanwhile despite Wakeman's great solo show in "Temperament of Mind" which certainly had been impressing enough in those days to get onto the headlines of Melody Maker and finally opening the doorway for his fame as a keyboard wizard. Just imagine: a young unknown musician playing in a little known folk rock band reveals such highly skilled talents by presenting improvised classical renditions on piano! This must have been really a sensation back in 1970 but honestly, without intending to put down his undoubtedly high skills at all, I think there are plenty of (unknown) classical pianists all over the world playing at least as good as him. But anyway this piece is still the most interesting part of the first side of this record and moreover Wakeman did a very great job on organ especially in "Where is this dream of your youth?". In this track he did as well a short citation of Keith Emerson's Rondo which is the original version of his solo on "Yessongs" (might be an interesting fact for all Yes-fans!). So what about the rest of the songs here? "Martin Luther King's Dream" is actually quite a nice mostly acoustically played one though the organ seams to sound rather out of tune here if my perception is right. "The Antique Suite" is a very lengthy one with 12 min, much too long I would say for what it's offering. "Song Of A Sad Little Girl" is as well "only" more or less a nice folk song. I listened also to a mp3-version of the CD reissue but I've to say that the bonus tracks added didn't fascinate me that much that I'd like to get this as well.

As a summary I can say that this record is a very good live presentation by them and it had shown already quite well which direction the band would go after that but on the other hand I wouldn't consider it an essential addition to any collection. For sure a must-have one for fans of this band or admirors of Rick Wakeman, anyway ***1/2 really!!

hdfisch | 3/5 |


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