Friday, February 03, 2023

Strawbs: Bursting At The Seams 1973 (Remastered 1998)


Strawbs (or The Strawbs) are an English rock band founded in 1964 as the Strawberry Hill Boys. The band started out as a bluegrass group. Led by Dave Cousins. Although the band started out as a

bluegrass group they eventually moved on to other styles such as folk, folk rock, (briefly) glam rock and progressive rock. Members included Sandy Denny (who later went on to join Fairport Convention), Rick Wakeman (who was discovered whilst in the Strawbs, joined Yes and has had a lengthy solo career), Richard Hudson and John Ford (who wrote "Part Of The Union" and then spun off as Hudson-Ford).

They are best known for their hit, "Part Of The Union", which reached number two in the UK charts in

February 1973, as well as for "Lay Down" a number 12 UK hit from the same LP. Their album Hero And Heroine (1974) was voted one of the Top 50 prog records of all time by Rolling Stone magazine.

Bursting at the Seams is the fifth studio album by English band Strawbs, released on 1 January 1973 by

A&M Records. It was the first album to be released after the departure of founder member Tony Hooper and the recruitment of Dave Lambert. It contains their two most successful singles and peaked at No. 2 in the UK Album Chart and No. 65 in Canada.

[The 1998 remastering of the Strawbs' best album (A&M 540-936-2 is the new catalog number) sports the finest sound of any of their CDs, which, by itself, would make this purchase worthwhile -- the

detailed notes and the presence of three bonus tracks -- the shorter, punchier single version of "Lay Down," "Will Ye Go," and "Backside" -- only add to the enticements offered. Additionally, the song order has been changed to the correct one (on the LP, "The River" had to follow "Down by the Sea" to end the first side, because of its heavy bass part), but the main virtue is the sound, which is extraordinary: every instrument sounds as though it's miked directly into your speakers.

The result is that Dave Lambert's heavy chording is so close that the record does come off closer in texture to a Who album at certain points than it does to the group's folk roots. But the kettle drums at the end of "Down by the Sea" also sound close, and you can practically hear the bowing on the strings.

The bonus tracks are a treat -- "Backside," a B-side "credited" to "Ciggy Barlust and the Whales from Venus" (which would have been Tits from Venus if not for the censors) that's a pretty fair burlesque of "Space Oddity," et al., and "Will Ye Go" is a version of "Wild Mountain Thyme" that is equal parts Cousins' voice, acoustic harmonium, and heavy power chords and bass. In all, in this version, Bursting at the Seams is the greatest Strawbs album of all, and the most overpowering.
By Bruce Eder]

Strawbs – Bursting At The Seams
Label: A&M Records – 540 936-2
Series: A&M Re Master Pieces
Format:    CD, Album, Reissue, Remastered
Country: Europe
Released: 1998
Genre: Rock
Style: Folk Rock, Classic Rock,Progressive Rock



01. Flying   4:51
Written-By – Dave Cousins
02. Lady Fuschia   4:00
Written-By – John Ford , Richard Hudson
03. Stormy Down   2:46
Written-By – Dave Cousins
04. The River   2:22
Written-By – Dave Cousins
05. Down By The Sea   6:19
Written-By – Dave Cousins
06. Part Of The Union   2:56
Written-By – John Ford, Richard Hudson
07. Tears And Pavan   6:38
Written-By – Cousins, Ford, Hudson
08. The Winter And The Summer   4:10
Written-By – Dave Lambert
09. Lay Down   4:33
Written-By – Dave Cousins
10. Thank You   2:15
Written-By – Blue Weaver, Dave Cousins


11. Will You Go   3:54
Written-By – Francis McPeake
12. Backside   3:49
Written-By – Blue Weaver, Dave Cousins, Dave Lambert, John Ford, Richard Hudson
13. Lay Down (Single Version)   3:33
Written-By – Dave Cousins



Dave Cousins – lead vocals, backing vocals, acoustic guitar, electric guitar, banjo
Dave Lambert – lead vocals, backing vocals, acoustic guitar, electric guitar
Blue Weaver – organ, piano, mellotron
John Ford – lead vocals, backing vocals, bass guitar
Richard Hudson – backing vocals, drums, sitar

MP3 @ 320 Size: 125 MB
Flac  Size: 366 MB



  1. I have 11 cds from the Strawbs + the 4 cd box a taste of Strawbs.

    1. Strawbs and Genesis where my favourite Prog bands in the 70s. I have all their works , but Genesis after the album Wind and Wuthering, stopped interesting me. Strawbs are great even now. Their last album is wonderful.

    2. Just like me Genesis wind & ...was the last, then it was over. Strawbs i have all the old stuff and 2 or 3 newer ones. You mean the last of the Strawbs settlement that should be so good ?
      I'll take a look, i don't know her.
      I myself was like the music with Genesis, Yes etc...i wasn't a big music lover. For me, in the first half of the 70s the Californian scene was almost the only thing that played a role. I only took care of it later.
      Yesterday i ordered the box set of Eric Burdon & the Animals from Cherry Red.
      I have the lps from the time since 1970 of course. But i would an exc. recording with booklet etc...for me it is one of the best from S. F.

  2. Hi Kostas.....Strawbs were my 3rd band ever to see live back in 1973 and have seen them a few times over the years and also as The Accoustic Strawbs in small venues.
    I still collect their wonderful music after all these years and they never fail to produce wonderful music.

    1. For my poor opinion "Ghosts" is the best album of Strawbs. Is the most complete in compositions and inspiration.

    2. Your opinion is definitely not poor dear sir and agree that " Ghosts " is a magical album....There is a bootleg out there if you can locate it called " The Complete Strawbs Live At Chiswick House which was the 30th Anniversary Concert recorded on 29th August 1998.........I do have it Kostas but only at 128 kbps if you should want it ?......Stu

    3. My friend Stu: 128kbps is the worst quality. It's like listening from the telephone.

    4. Sorry Kostas ...but still looking for a better version.

    5. Don't worry Stu, I have everything about Strawbs, even their Box.