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Thread: Hero and Heroine by the Strawbs. Does it still hold up?

  1. #51
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    Quote Originally Posted by Scrotum Scissor View Post
    This is one of Cousins' finest short tunes, IMHO. It displays the apparent ease with which he could deliver a layered set of inner images and feelings. I love the hand percussions and 'tron flutes here; great, sparse arrangement which fits the song just perfectly, and the way it nearly seamlessly segues into "Round & Round" remains one of those exhilarating moments of 70s 'prog rock' magic.
    I agree! And Round and Round is great thing also.

  2. #52
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    Still my favorite Strawbs album.......

  3. #53
    Member chalkpie's Avatar
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    Wow - kind of surprised by all the love for H&H and Ghosts - I'm not knocking it - just sort of surprised. I assumed the Witchwood/Grave/2 Weeks/Bursting period was always the fan favorite.

    Any love for Strawbs/Dragonfly/Antiques stuff?

  4. #54
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    ^I really like the first album. Dragonfly I find a little bland. Haven't played Curios in years. My favourite is Grave New World.

  5. #55
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    Yeah, early albums are good, the debut, and Dragonfly I quite like. From The Witchwood, Grave New World, Bursting At The Seams - mostly good stuff on these. There are some boring whim here and there, like Part of the Union, or Lay Down, I lay me down..But there are masterpieces as well, like Tears and Pavan, or Grave New World, the song.

  6. #56
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    Love Antiques and Curios. I have the LP and the expanded import CD. The first two are good, but I got those after I had most of the others, so the real folkiness, not progified folk, was kind of a let down for me. I do appreciate them, though, as being very fine folk music albums. But yet, I love the acoustic Strawbs and have seen them several times.
    Lou

    Awarded the Krusty Brand Seal of Approval. It's not just good, it's good enough.

  7. #57
    Throwing my two cents in here. Let it first be said that I do think Hero & Heroine is a pretty unique and fantastic album. I love the sound, both production-wise and instrumentally, especially Hawkens' fantastically pompy keyboard sound.

    That said, when I first heard H&H, I was only familiar with their earlier records, having started with Witchwood and worked upwards with Grave New World and Bursting at the Seams. When I heard H&H, after having gotten the impression that it was their magnum opus, I was very disappointed. I thought it sounded kitschy and schmaltzy. I liked the title track, but the rest sounded, imo, like Clayderman trying to do Yes. I put the record away and didn't listen to it for years. A long time later I got in on CD and started reappraising it, and actually ended up loving it. The opening, with the Autumn "suite" is sonically amazing, and still sounds quite modern, almost like something Air could have done. So my perspective has changed.

    But I still think that it is definitely NOT their best album or some kind of magnum opus. I think Strawbs' best and most consistently strong albums are Grave New World and Bursting at the Seams. The level of songwriting quality is higher and more even than on H&H. I think the balance between Cousins' balladry and the gutsier, catchier material from Hudson and Ford, not to mention Lambert's contribution when he came in, was absolutely perfect for the band. There was a slight dip in the quality of the material after the line-up change post-Bursting.

    I also think they made a couple of relatively strong albums after H&H, especially Burning for You, which has some amazingly strong material, and Deadlines, which is a very consistent album. So that's my take. H&H has some incredible highs, like the title track and Autumn, but there is plenty of humdrum material on it too.

  8. #58
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    I like Bursting At the Seams. It has 2 of their best ever songs, "Down By the Sea" and "Tears and Pavan". I find most of the rest of the album, songs like Flying, Lady Fuschia, and Part of the Union, just simple pop songs. Not really to my taste.

  9. #59
    Quote Originally Posted by Scrotum Scissor View Post
    Ghosts is my fave Strawbs creation next to Grave New World.
    My two favorites as well!

  10. #60
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    IMO, I would say yes. H & H is still my favorite Strawbs album, followed closely by Ghosts and Bursting At the Seams. I saw the H&H tour back in May 1974 at the Academy of Music in NYC. It was my 7th concert. Still ranks very high. I do revisit occasionally.

  11. #61
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    Having heard most of it yesterday on the Moodies Cruise I'd have to say it holds up really well, and the new keys' player did the songs justice, too.

  12. #62
    I'm just ending a review of Strawbs' "GNW" for Acid Dragon saying it's a classic together with "H&H", "Bursting" and "Ghosts". "GNW" is my favourite.

  13. #63
    all the Strawbs albums hold up. Shame so few know about them.

  14. #64
    Member Jerjo's Avatar
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    H&H, Bursting at the Seams, and Grave New World for me. I even have set up a playlist featuring those three on my PC.
    I don't like country music, but I don't mean to denigrate those who do. And for the people who like country music, denigrate means 'put down.'- Bob Newhart

  15. #65
    I believe you hold the answer inside you. There is no external answer to compare with whatever you hold dear. I remember the foolishness of youth, the posing, the pleasure taken in the obscure for obscurity's sake. Worst of all I remember the damnable stupid dislike of something that was patently superior and excellent just to be with the in crowd, to be cool. In the time of our greying beards and tearful eyes we must surely say what is true to us lest it become too late to ever tell it.

  16. #66
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    Their most prog album and their most powerful album imo. The beautiful flow of Autumn. The last part could have been and probably has been a wedding song at some weddings. The power of Hero and Heroine and Round and Round gives me the music orgasmic chills. That first line off of Round and Round is one of my favorite lyrical lines. Just Love is definitely the weakest track imo but the album is probably my favorite Strawbs album. Ghosts is excellent. I love the Life Auction which has that kind of eerie feel to it. Benedictus off Grave New World is a great song among many on a terrific album. Heavy Disguise love that John ford influence. Down By The Sea off of Bursting At The Seams is incredibly powerful with the orchestra at the end. Another one of my favorite Strawbs tracks is The Hangman and The Papist off of From The Witchwood. Terrific powerful acoustic number. Cousins rules. Was lucky enough to see them on Cruise To The Edge the one before the recent cruise. The band is still terrific and will be seeing them in Manhattan soon. Strawbs were one of the best who like Tull successfully intertwined a folkish sound with prog. One of my favorite bands of all time.

  17. #67
    Member Dok's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by stevedian View Post
    One of my favorite bands of all time.
    Mine as well. Just finished reading Dave's autobiography and really enjoyed it, even the radio years. He left out the 80's comeback recordings though. I guess some folks feel it's just as well but I was very happy to get a new Strawbs album, 'Don't Say Goodbye' in '87 after not knowing what ever happened to the band. Those were the preinternet days obviously. Here is a short passage from the book I found amusing. It's set in '74 after touring H&H.

    “On those tours Strawbs co-headlined many shows with King Crimson. It was to me the best musical experience of my life, which leads to a curious byline. When I got home I had a phone call from Robert Fripp, who had the idea that he and I should do some folk clubs as a duo. I drove round to his house in Putney, where he made me a cup of chamomile tea. Robert got out his Spanish guitar and footstool, while I put my guitar into a C modal tuning and went into 'Ways And Means'. Robert played around to it a couple of times, but eventually put his guitar down: “I think you're self-sufficient,” he said.
    What a shame!”

  18. #68
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    Quote Originally Posted by stevedian View Post
    Their most prog album and their most powerful album imo. The beautiful flow of Autumn. The last part could have been and probably has been a wedding song at some weddings.
    It was mine, and I just got to thank Dave Lambert for singing it on the MBC!

  19. #69
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    Quote Originally Posted by BarryLI View Post
    It was mine, and I just got to thank Dave Lambert for singing it on the MBC!
    Yes and that performance is already available as a video on You Tube.

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