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Friday, June 24, 2022

Strawbs: Grave New World 1972 (Remastered 1998)

 

One of the more unsung British progressive bands of the early 1970s, the Strawbs differed from their more successful compatriots, the Moody Blues, King Crimson, Pink Floyd, principally in that their sound originated in English folk music rather than rock. Their transformation from acoustic bluegrass outfit to progressive folk-rock innovators was an impressive feat, and they hit their stride with gems like 1972's Grave New World and its follow-up Bursting at the Seams.
                                                                            


As the '70s wore on, the Strawbs' career began to falter with ongoing lineup and label changes marring

their progress. They survived a breakup at the end of the decade and went on to enjoy a robust revival period in the mid-'80s that, while not quite up to the level of their peak years, helped carry them and their fans into the 21st century. The Strawbs of the 2000s were particularly prolific, delivering an array of studio albums including highlights like 2005's Painted Sky and 2009's The Broken Hearted Bride. Over the years, the group have managed to remain stylistically adventurous even on late-period outings like 2021's Settlement, released over 50 years after their debut.
                                                       

Grave New World is the fourth studio album by English band Strawbs, their fifth overall. It was the first album to be released after the departure of Rick Wakeman, who was replaced by Blue Weaver, late of Amen Corner.
Fulfillment! Singer/songwriter Dave Cousins finds a space somewhere between Bob Dylan and John

Bunyan, Hudson and Ford come up with some superb hooks, and the electric sound is powerful and majestic. The music is serious, perhaps too much so, bracing, and sincere. Reissued on CD in 1998 in remastered form, the band sounds really loud and close, so you can practically feel the room ambience of the studio.
                                                                        

Cousins' electric guitar in "The Flower and the Young Man" crunches right in your ear, and his acoustic fills the room in "On Growing Older," with new notes and two extra tracks. Of the latter, "Here It Comes" (recorded before this album) is bouncy and pleasant enough, even if it doesn't fit the mood of most of the original album, and the previously unissued "I'm Going Home" is one of the best hard rock sides the group ever recorded, a piece of '70s rock & roll in the manner of Badfinger's "Rock of Ages" and T. Rex's "Get It On," which it resembles.
                                                                 


Strawbs – Grave New World
Label: A&M Records – 540 934-2
Series: A&M Re Master Pieces
Format:    CD, Album, Reissue, Remastered 1998
Country: UK   
Released: 1972   
Genre: Rock
Style: Folk Rock, Prog Rock

TRACKS

                                                            


01. Benedictus   4:24
Engineer [Re-mixed] – Strawbs
Producer – Tony Visconti
Vocals – Trevor Lucas
Written-By – David Cousins
02. Hey, Little Man... Thursday's Child   1:06
Written-By – David Cousins
03. Queen Of Dreams   5:32
Written-By – David Cousins
04. Heavy Disguise   2:53
Written-By – John Ford
05. New World   4:11
Written-By – David Cousins
06. Hey, Little Man... Wednesday's Child   1:06
Written-By – David Cousins
07. The Flower And The Young Man   4:17
Written-By – David Cousins
08. Tomorrow   4:49
Written-By – Blue Weaver, David Cousins, John Ford, Richard Hudson, Tony Hooper
09. On Growing Older   1:56
Written-By – David Cousins
10. Ah Me, Ah My   1:24
Engineer [Re-mixed] – Strawbs
Producer – Gus Dudgeon
Written-By – Tony Hooper
11.  Is It Today, Lord?   3:07
Sitar, Tabla – Richard Hudson
Written-By – Richard Hudson
12. The Journey's End   1:46
Written-By – Blue Weaver, David Cousins

BONUS TRACKS

    
13. Here It Comes   2:42
Written-By – David Cousins
14. I'm Going Home   3:14
Written-By – David Cousins

CREDITS


Bass – John Ford  (tracks: 1, 5, 7, 8, 11)
Drums, backing vocals,  sitar, tablas – Richard Hudson (tracks: 1, 5, 7)
Guitar – Dave Cousins (tracks: 2, 5 to 8, 11), Tony Hooper (tracks: 1, 5, 7, 8)
Harmonium – Blue Weaver (tracks: 7, 11)
Mellotron – Blue Weaver (tracks: 1, 5, 7)
Organ – Blue Weaver (tracks: 1, 7, 8)
Painting [Front Cover] – William Blake
Piano – Blue Weaver (tracks: 1, 8, 12)
Producer – Blue Weaver (tracks: 2 to 9, 11 to 13), David Cousins(tracks: 2 to 9, 11 to 14), John Ford (tracks: 2 to 9, 11 to 13), Richard Hudson (tracks: 2 to 9, 11 to 13), Tony Hooper (tracks: 2 to 9, 11 to 13)
Reissue Producer – Dave Cousins, Mike Gill
Remastered By – Roger Wake
Vocals – Dave Cousins (tracks: 1, 2, 5 to 8, 11, 12), John Ford  (tracks: 1, 4, 7, 11), Richard Hudson (tracks: 1, 7, 11), Tony Hooper (tracks: 1, 5, 7, 10, 11)

NEW WORLD  LYRICS

                                                                   



There's blood in the dust
Where the city's heart beats
The children play games
That they take from the streets
How can you teach when you've so much to learn
May you turn
In your grave
New world.


                



There is hate in your eyes
I have seen it before
Planning destruction
Behind the locked door
Were you the coward who fired the last shot
May you rot
In your grave
New world.


                



There is death in the air
With the lights growing dim
As those who survive
Sing a desperate hymn
Pray that God grants you one final request

 

       



May you rest
In your grave
New world.

2 comments:

  1. Como bien dices, uno de los grandes desconocidos. Grupo que me lleva acompañando desde principio de los 70

    ReplyDelete