- Audio CD (24 Aug. 2009)
- Number of Discs: 1
- Format: CD
- Label: WITCHWOOD MEDIA
- ASIN: B002D6EWXA
- Other Editions: Audio CD | MP3 Download
- Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars See all reviews (9 customer reviews)
- Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 238,189 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)
Dancing To The Devils Beat CD
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Top Customer Reviews
Their bluegrass period didn't last once main man Dave Cousins started writing, and they quickly became mainstays of the UK folk-rock scene. However, once Rick Wakeman arrived on keyboards, alongside a new rhythm section consisting of Richard Hudson and John Ford, they added a progressive rock edge to their sound on albums like the live "Just A Collection Of Antiques And Curios" and the studio sets, "From The Witchwood" and "Grave New World". The prog edge largely vanished once Dave Lambert arrived, something that coincided with the pop success of singles 'Lay Down' and 'Part Of The Union' and album "Bursting At The Seams".
After their most successful lineup imploded, Cousins and Lambert put together a new Strawbs, which concentrated its attentions on the USA, and it's the nucleus of this version that is back together in 2009. The band went on hiatus in 1980 when Cousins departed for a career in radio, but there have been a few reunions over the years including headlining the 1983 Cambridge Folk Festival with the "Grave New World" lineup, a twenty fifth anniversary tour in 1993 and a thirtieth anniversary celebration.Read more ›
In "Dancing to the Devil's Beat" The Strawbs have produced another great progressive folk-rock album, reminiscent of "From the Witchwood", which harks back nearly forty years. It's perhaps strange then that the keyboard player on this album should be Oliver Wakeman, son of the very famous Rick, who of course played on that iconic album. There might be nothing quite as strong as the fabulous "Hangman and the Papist" on this album but Oliver's keyboards playing, and choice of keyboards, is perfectly suited to the music, often enhancing it significantly, in a similar way to his dad's playing many years ago.
The album begins with a couple of moody, rocky numbers that Oliver Wakeman really brings another dimension to, making them fizz with his keyboards, before the album takes on a folkier slant which lasts virtually to the end. It's superbly performed, with Dave Cousins at the top of his game.
The folky "The Man Who Would Never Leave Grimsby" has a slightly different feel in that it is written and sung by guitarist Dave Lambert - of course, having various songwriters and vocalists is nothing new to The Strawbs; it is indeed a feature of their music, and cements the comparison with the "From the Witchwood" era, which had Tony Hooper and Richard Hudson off-setting Cousins's writing and vocal.
Another song with a slightly different feel is "The Ballad of Jay and Rose Mary", which has a very late-night-jazz club feel about it.Read more ›
Absolutely recommended for anyone who dabbled with any era of the Strawbs eclectic back catalogue - and those who haven't may be surprised to find that there's plenty to enjoy here.
A few months later and I've been giving this album another chance, aided by the fact that I've now got a different hi-fi set-up. Now I understand why the album has received positive reviews from other listeners, and it goes to prove what a difference a better quality hi-fi can make. Suddenly what sounded like poor production now comes across as nothing of the sort. The sound is excellent with Dave Cousins' vocals nicely up-front and plenty of detail from the rest of the band.
With the clarity of the sound sorted, the songs come over much more convincingly and the instrumental playing seems ideally suited to them. I still don't think Oliver Wakeman is on anything like his Dad's level (listen to 'From The Witchwood' for evidence of Rick Wakeman at his absolute peak) but he certainly brings something new to the table.
'Revenge (Can Be So Sweet)' gets the album off to a strong start with a memorable chorus and a similar overall sound to parts of 2008's brilliant 'The Broken Hearted Bride' album.
'The Man Who Would Never Leave Grimsby' is particularly fine, with some fine vocals from Dave Lambert. The lyrical reference to the band is tastefully done and the tale keeps you listening, which has long been a quality of Lambert's writing.
Another song I like is 'Copenhagen', although as a tribute to Sandy Denny I still prefer 'Ringing Down The Years'. Nevertheless the intimate production brings Cousins right into the room, and, as always, his singing pulls you right into the song and defies you not to listen.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Have been a lover of the early strawbs. Slightly disappointed with this track.Published 9 months ago by timot.batch
Well the cover looks like some dog version of a 70's MFP Woolworths Pop Hits compilation. Oh but the music! Read morePublished 14 months ago by DEREK -TALON TARGET
I bought this for my husband for Christmas. He keeps on playing it, so I guess he likes it. He says it's different from what they have done before and he is pleased with the... Read morePublished on 31 Dec. 2011 by E. Kirk
Following the last album (Broken Hearted bride)which was OK but not great, hopes were not too high, but this new album puts the Strawbs firmly back on top form. Read morePublished on 21 Nov. 2010 by J. S. Dean