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S. GODFREY "Stuart" (Risca, South Wales)
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Halcyon Days: The Very Best Of The Strawbs (2CD)
Halcyon Days: The Very Best Of The Strawbs (2CD)
Price: 8.50

29 of 29 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Difinitive Strawbs Collection, 12 Feb 2001
The Strawbs weren't just a fine band - they were several! The shifts from straight folk to folk-tinged rock and more or less back again are well documented on this excellent collection, the constant factor being (of course) Dave Cousin's instantly recognisable and charismatic vocals. Highlights abound: "Ghosts", "Witchwood", "Benedictus", "Hangman & the Papist", "Martin Luther King's Dream", the big hit "Lay Down": each has its own identity but each in its own way is typical Strawbmusic. Sadly, a collection such as this has to include the wretched "Part of the Union", which is no more representative of their material than "My Ding-a-Ling" is of Chuck Berry's, hence 4 stars instead of 5. Otherwise the tracks assembled here make a very satisfying whole and do credit to one of the most worthwhile bands to grow out of the British folk-rock movement.


Blind Faith: Deluxe Edition
Blind Faith: Deluxe Edition

16 of 17 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Diary of a Doomed Supergroup, 12 Feb 2001
Perhaps it is a bit heavy to describe them as "doomed", but realistically there was no way Blind Faith could ever have lived up to the expectations of Cream fans (not to mention Traffic and Family fans!). The songs from the original album, with the acknowledged exception of the rambling "Do What You Like", actually showcase a flexible and innovative unit which, given time and a little breathing space, could have gone on to even better things. "Had to Cry Today" features brilliant guitar interplay between Eric and Steve - this sort of thing was more or less expected at the time, but rarely was it achieved with such finesse. "Can't Find My Way Home" is just a timeless classic; along with "Presence of the Lord" this shows just what Blind Faith were capable of: beautiful, heartfelt songs with real feeling and power to spare. The previously unreleased stuff (mostly extended jams and alternate takes as the titles would suggest) are sufficeently interesting to warrant buying this version - but its unlikely you will want to play them as often as the prime cuts from the original album.


Tir Na Nog
Tir Na Nog
Price: 10.20

15 of 18 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Celtic Folk-Rock Gem, 8 Sep 2000
This review is from: Tir Na Nog (Audio CD)
Tir Na Nog presented an Irish Incredible-String-Band image as multi-instrumentalists weaving inticate tunes with themes from Celtic mythology and gentle visions of the sea and countryside...it was another time, of course, but it is good to have these lovely songs preserved on CD. "Time is Like a Promise", "Boat Song", and "Dante" are gorgeous; the melodies take you right back to a more leisurely era. Sonny and Leo are both fine singers and guitarists; the additional instrumentation (tablas, whistles, various stringed instruments) is not overdone but contributes to a very pleasant overall sound. Less adventurous than the String Band, less quirky than Dr Strangely Strange, but hugely enjoyable.


To Whom It May Concern: 1966-1970
To Whom It May Concern: 1966-1970
Offered by westworld-
Price: 11.98

32 of 32 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Early Al: Well-Crafted Songs, 8 Sep 2000
A contemporary of Roy Harper, Incredible String Band etc, Al Stewart typifies the sensitive singer/songwriter genre. He never produced better work than his first three albums (collected here in handy and low-priced CD format) although he bacame better known in the States after his "Year of the Cat" hit. "Bedsitter Images" is a charming debut, lovely tunes drenched in lush orchestral arrangements. It does suffer from "trying too hard" syndrome - you can sense Al desperately anxious to be taken seriously as an artist. "Love Chronicles" is altogether more relaxed (and much more successful), a fine folk-rock sound with support from members of Fairport Convention and a certain Jimmy Page on guitar. This was the album which brought Al fame, fortune and a degree of notoriety for using a "rude" word (entirely justified in the context of the song). It also showed Al's emerging talent as a narrative songwriter. "Zero She Flies" is just a great album; terrific songs like "Gethsemane Again" and "Manuscript", and the surprisingly funky "My Enemies Have Sweet Voices". There are also plenty of showcases for Al's nimble guitar playing. A lovely package, with an informative booklet and a rare early single (The Elf) as a bonus. Highly recommended.


Below The Salt
Below The Salt
Offered by Giant Entertainment
Price: 19.99

23 of 24 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Perfect Blend of Folk and Rock, 16 Mar 2000
This review is from: Below The Salt (Audio CD)
For me anyway, this is something close to perfection: in reaching into "rockier" realms after the departure of folk giant Martin Carthy and founder Ashley Hutchins, Steeleye hit upon a truly beautiful blend of all that is best in Folk and Rock in this wonderful album. Vingettes of traditional country life mix with religious mysticism and a sprinkling of sword and sorcery. Maddy's peerless vocals are well to the fore on most tracks, but the ensemble singing is also great and the musicianship throughout is superb. Highlights incude the irresistibly uplifting "Spotted Cow" and the breathtaking "Gaudette", but the whole album is simply beautiful. A timeless classic.


Parcel Of Rogues
Parcel Of Rogues

30 of 30 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Rock On With Steeleye, 16 Mar 2000
This review is from: Parcel Of Rogues (Audio CD)
One of Steeleye Span's most accessible and enjoyable albums, this rocks out promisingly with "One Misty Moisty Morning" complete with elegant wah-wah guitar from Bob Johnson. Other highlights include the crunching yet articulate "Alison Gross" and a scorching version of "Cam Ye o'er Frae France". "Weaver and the Factory Maid" is a vocal tour de force from Maddy, who has seldom been in better form. The album has its delicate hues as well, in "The Bold Poachers" and "Hares on the Mountain", but mostly this is a fine example of Folk Rock with the emphasis very much on Rock. Play it LOUD and enjoy!


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