On the continuing theme of ‘Tears’, I wonder about Eric Clapton’s Tears In Heaven and the tragedy of the death of his son. After recently seeing the film about Amy Winehouse, I think about her song, Tears Dry On Their Own and the tragedy of her terribly sad and pointless death. In lighter moments I think of Tears For Fears and their tragic early haircuts. But I also know how hard it is writing about successful artists especially when the drama or mishaps become more newsworthy than their music or when these occurrences overshadow their music altogether. What kind of person is attracted to the spectacle over the talent? Was the Winehouse circus really more interesting than her wonderful voice? I’m not sure what tragedies or dramas have hit The Strawbs over the years or whether they were publicised and would they have been more successful had their been an arrest or two due to drugs, violence or general infamy? What of The Libertines as inconsequential wallflowers?
In relation to the truly obscure and unsung The Strawbs might be considered to have been successful but they are quite forgotten outside their core fan base. Still, one might choose to prioritise a band like this as they deserve more attention than they generally get. Unfortunately this might not be the place to attract enough notice for the meaningful spread of awareness
The world has just two simple categories, those that love The Strawbs and those that will never hear them. So in case you are part of the latter, here’s your chance to join the former with two examples to whet your appetites, Tears And Pavan from Bursting At The Seams (1973) and Queen Of Dreams from Grave New World (1972). I only intended to post Tears And Pavan but Queen of Dreams randomly came up on You Tube and it was too good to leave floundering in the impossible mess of hyperspace.
Strawbs, The Strawbs, Pretenders, The Pretenders, they are complex indefinite article victims, despite there being no “The” on the album sleeves, the persistence of the grammar has both bands unable to shake off their prefix. But perhaps both bands have more pressing and similar difficulties despite their introduction to us from different eras. That is the idea that their best work is behind them, if that is so it’s up to them to either prove us wrong with outstanding new material or happily trawl their back catalogue to an audience that experienced them in the ‘open portal years’ (see last post). I wish I could love a Pretenders album like I love the first one, I wish I could love a Strawbs album like I love their early records.
Although I could write a lot about their history, their involvement with Sandy Denny or former member Rick Wakeman leaving to join Yes prior to the albums featured here. I could mention their two hits from Bursting At The Seams, Lay Down (No.12 UK) and Part Of The Union (No.2 UK). The subsequent leaving the band of Roger Hudson and John Ford and the consequent hits with Pick Up The Pieces (No.8 UK) and Burn Baby Burn (No.15 UK) and the unlikely formation of The Monks. Then there’s the distinctive voice of Dave Cousins. But if you love the music you hear today, you can follow the link below and investigate them further. Tonight I have decided to let the music do the talking, Let me know what you think.
Mind duly blown by Queen of Dreams. Dig the backwards stuff…