I suspect a band, for a certain generation, who we will all recall but beyond naming a hit single or two, we may struggle to really identify.
Strawbs - Strawbs
CAT NO: AMLS 936
FORMAT: Vinyl LP gatefold album
GENRE: Folk Rock
Lovely, clear sound to the vinyl, just a minor couple of clicks on Side 1 Track 3 and 2 faint clicks on Side 2 Track 1. Great album, close to NM.
The cover, whilst only VG it has a lovely warm, used feel to it. It’s solid courtesy of the gatefold sleeve but the spine has been flattened and is scuffed.
- The man who called himself Jesus
- That which once was mine
- All the little ladies
- Pieces of 79 and 15
- Tell me what you see in me
- Oh how she changed
- Or am I dreaming?
- Where is this dream of your youth?
- Poor Jimmy Wilson
- Where am I? / I’ll show you where to sleep
- The battle
Before the Strawbs became a household name via a few hits, that I suspect they were pushed towards, to ensure the record company investment returned dividends, they originally came up with this folk inspired first LP. At this point they were a trio, but that provided no barrier in coming up with some outstanding tracks. I absolutely adored ‘Pieces of 79 and 15’ which is simply stunning.
This has influences from afar, ‘Tell me what you see in me’ has a hazy Indian backdrop to it, I suspect long before the tourists flocked to that fantastic country.
My memories of the band may be similar to yours if you weren’t that familiar with their recordings. But this is an iconic first LP which needs to be judged for what it is. A fledgling band hitting the commercial airwaves for the first time. Just listen to ‘Where is this dream from your youth’ and you will appreciate the talent on display. It’s a beautifully constructed song which hangs together as well as anything I’ve heard. Magical, except you want it to go on for another few minutes. Contrast it with ‘Poor Jimmy Wilson’ which sounds like a dysfunctional attempt to combine music and lyrics. But that is part of the intrigue, as within a few minutes you are given ‘The Battle’ which is a great story teller.
There are some very famous names credited on this LP, John Paul Jones and Tony Visconti to name but two, and the production by Gus Dudgeon is fabulous. Whilst Sandy Denny and Rick Wakeman were others who played at some point with the band, here, as a trio, they portrayed their origins and love for a rich folk inspired sound resulting in some cracking songs. It really captures the essence of the folk / mystical influences of the band at this stage. A far cry from TOTP a few years later.