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Strawbs CD

4.5 out of 5 stars 15 customer reviews

Price: £6.26 & FREE Delivery in the UK on orders over £20. Details
Includes FREE MP3 version of this album.
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Total price: £18.24
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Product details

  • Audio CD (4 Aug. 2008)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Format: CD
  • Label: Commercial Marketing
  • ASIN: B001ASIRTW
  • Other Editions: Audio CD  |  MP3 Download
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (15 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 24,484 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)
  • Sample this album Artist - Artist (Sample)
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Customer Reviews

4.5 out of 5 stars
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Top Customer Reviews

By Marcia TOP 100 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on 22 Mar. 2009
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
At last this debut album by the strawbs is finally available on CD. This is one of my favourite strawbs albums. All of the songs are by Dave Cousins who is a genius of a songwriter. And there are some real gems here. There are songs that have an originality about them such as "The man who called himself jesus", and "pieces of 79 and 15". There is also the beauty of songs such as "All the little ladies" and "Oh how she changed". Also of note is the epic ballad The Battle and the sad tale of "Poor Jimmy Wilson". The song "Tell me what you see in me" has a mixture of middle eastern, and western arrangements. I also think that all of the songs have a lyric excellence about them and the arrangements give a colourful and interesting setting. There is a varied style of Folk, Rock, Psychadelic and early progressive rock. The album was produced in 1969 and reflects some of the musical trends of the time. By this time the strawbs had transformed from a band heavily influenced by skiffle and bluegrass through blues and jazz to american folk. This album can be thought of as a folk rock album. However unlike their later albums that lean more to Rock music, this one has a more contempary folk flavour. Although I should point out this is not an acoustic album. There are many over dubs and lush strings on the recording which would have been difficult to reproduce live. One thing about this album is that despite the american things that may have influenced the strawbs, it has a very strong contempory English folk feel about it. Its a shame its taken so long for this album to make it to CD. It should have been released in 1998 when most of the other A&M albums were re mastered and re issued but it wasnt.Read more ›
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Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
I bought this as an LP when it first came out, after listening to The Strawbs on John Peel in 1969 playing 'The Battle', a war protest song. (the John Peel session is included on this CD as well as 2 other sessions)
I loved 'The Battle' and a couple of other tracks (The Man Who Called Himself Jesus, and Where Is This Dream Of Your Youth) but was a little disappointed overall. The songs were a little too soft and gentle for a 16 year-old; not hard hitting enough, and when I'd played The Battle to death, I didn't play the LP very much at all. This was at the time of Led Zep 1 & 2, Blind Faith, Troutmask Replica, and more importantly Liege and Lief, and Wee Tam and The Big Huge(68). This LP became dated quickly.
I was re-playing a load of folk music from that time recently, and I really enjoyed listening to this again, but my LP was scratched and skipped somewhat, so I bought this CD.
To my mind this album is just as good as the more famous 'From The Witchwood' and 'Grave New World', so if you like them, this is worth a listen. It's a lot less overtly 'rocky' than those two, and is a bit more conventionally folky. My early favourites (above) are good strong hard-hitting documentary folk songs; there are some more pleasantly psychedelic songs with a number of strange instruments used (including a sitar), and some pretty acoustic folk songs. The Strawbs Gregorian chant-like harmonies hit all the right buttons.
After 40 odd years, the fashion-police have moved on, and it's okay to like good music like this. I play it a lot!
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Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
I don't really subscribe to the casual assessment that the Strawbs are a folk band who became a prog rock band, thanks to Rick Wakeman. This, their first 'proper' album is a mixture of styles ranging from world music, pop and psychedelia as well as folk. In fact, I'd say that the Strawbs fall somewhere inbetween the Moody Blues and Jethro Tull on this record.
Opening track, 'The Man Who Called Himself Jesus' opens with a male voice chatting that turns out to be none other than Richard 'Victor Meldrew' Wilson, obviously long before he was famous. The song itself is a catchy satire that was banned from the radio due to it's subject matter, despite being quite inoffensive really. Having said that, it was the 1960s.
'Tell Me what You See In Me' is a slice of sitar driven, Middle Eastern flavoured psychedelic pop that wouldn't sound out of place on the Moodies 'In Search of The Lost Chord' album. Wonderful track.
'Where Is The Dream Of Your Youth' is similar in that respect, but points more towards the proggier direction the band would later take.
Closing track 'The Battle' is an excellent dramatic tale of war, as depicted through a chess board and its epic feel ends the album superbly.
The rest of the tracks have a nice, quintessentially English folk appeal, stuffed to the gills with jangling acoustic guitars and vocal harmonies of which the Syd Barrett era Pink Floyd-esqe 'Poor Jimmy Wilson' is a highlight.
This is a terrific 'debut' from a band that you can tell had already been making music in one form or another for a number of years prior, notably with future Fairport Convention singer, Sandy Denny.
A lot of people will obviously focus on the Strawbs connection with Rick Wakeman, which would begin with the follow up to this album; 1970s' 'Dragonfly'. This is unfair, because as this album proves, there is so much more to this band than Wakeman, especially with Dave Cousins' songwriting alone, which is top, top quality.
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