Progarchives, the progressive rock ultimate discography
Strawbs - Deadlines CD (album) cover




Prog Folk

2.90 | 63 ratings

From, the ultimate progressive rock music website

Easy Livin
Special Collaborator
Honorary Collaborator / Retired Admin
3 stars Here's one we recorded earlier (then lost!)

Released well after the Halcyon days of the Strawbs, "Deadlines" is nevertheless a decent album. While lacking the pioneering prog folk of "From the witchwood" or "Hero and heroine", the album still contains some fine compositions by Mr. Strawbs AKA Dave Cousins and his chosen band-mates. The line up is essentially that of the previous "Burning for you" album recorded less than 6 months previously, with just the drumming stool being subject to change. "Deadlines" proved to be the last Strawbs release (but not their last recordings) of the 1970's, and the band's only album for Arista records. According to the Strawbs official website, much of the album had to be re-recorded after a "freak accident" involving the master tapes.

Unusually, the album opens with a lead vocal by Dave Lambert instead of Cousins, "No return" being an upbeat but basic rock song. John Mealing contributes some decent keyboards work, sounding a bit like Rick Wakeman in the process. The song effectively sets the mood for the album, the band having pretty much settled into more commercial, less challenging territories.

There is of course a mixture of up-tempo songs and softer ballads, "Sealed with a traitor's kiss" being the first example of the latter. Here Cousins offers an impassioned and remorseful vocal telling the tale of a painful separation.

I swore that I would die for you, and sealed it with a traitor's kiss

"I don't want to talk about it" is a mid-paced anthemic song which you'll find yourself singing for a long time after hearing it. "The last resort" resorts to the loud rock style of the opener, featuring some good lead guitar work by Lambert.

"Time and life" is the most powerful song on the album, the chiming guitar and echoed vocals offering a reminder of the "Grave new world" days. The dramatics of "Deadly nightshade" are vaguely reminiscent of a slowed down "Hero and heroine" the menacingly effective vocal and crashing guitars helping to further distinguish the track.

The closing "Words of wisdom" is the longest and most creative track on the album. It tells the tale of a Mexican man of wisdom to an ethereal mellotron drenched melody, numerous sounds drifting around in a progscape.

In all, "Deadlines" falls outside any list of essential Strawbs albums. Fans of the band will however find material of a good quality here, both in terms of composition and performance. The Hipgnosis sleeve illustrations play on the album title, but is unattractive and inappropriate for a Strawbs album.

Easy Livin | 3/5 |


As a registered member (register here if not), you can post rating/reviews (& edit later), comments reviews and submit new albums.

You are not logged, please complete authentication before continuing (use forum credentials).

Forum user
Forum password

Share this STRAWBS review

Social review comments () BETA

Review related links

Copyright Prog Archives, All rights reserved. | Legal Notice | Privacy Policy | Advertise | RSS + syndications

Other sites in the MAC network: — jazz music reviews and archives | — metal music reviews and archives

Donate monthly and keep PA fast-loading and ad-free forever.