Top positive review
32 people found this helpful
The concensus choice for the best of the Strawbs albums
on 16 November 2002
"Hero and Heroine" is considered by most fans to be the best album produced by the Strawbs. Certainly this album is a concerted group effort: keyboard player John Hawken provides the evocative "Heroine's Theme" that begins the opening "Autumn" suite, bassist Chas. Cronk teams with Cousins on "Midnight Sun," and while guitarist Dave Lambert's "Just Love" is the track that least fits the overall theme of the album, his "Hero's Theme" serves as a nice closing counterpart to the moody opening. Of course the prime tracks are those composed by Cousins, exemplified by the dramatic title track that may well surpass ""Down by the Sea" as the group's best work (pay attention to not just Hawken's organ work but what he does on the harpsichord) and the equally frenetic "Round and Round." For those who like Cousins more intimate work, there is "Lay a Little Light on Me" and "The Winter Long" finale of the "Autumn" suite. Following the final transformation of the group during the production of "Bursting at the Seams," the "Hero and Heroine" album solidifies the musical identity that the Strawbs would explore further in their "Ghosts" album. Of all the "progressive" rock groups of the seventies, the Strawbs were distinct in their willingness to produce music you would think of as darker or more moody, as they more than proved on their next album, "Ghosts." This version has a pair of bonus tracks, "Still Small Voice" and an earlier version of "Lay A Little Little On Me." These are nothing special, but is it always nice to get a little extra with a CD than you had with the original record.