Samstag, Juni 27, 2015 / Eingestellt von peter /

Strawbs - Hero & Heroine.1974_ After the enormous commercial success of Bursting at the Seams, the musical differences in the band between Cousins and Hudson and Ford became irreconcilable, resulting in fragmentation. Blue Weaver left to become a Bee Gee and Hudson and Ford formed their own, more commercial outfit. Lambert and Cousins recruited a new rhythm section in ex-Stealers Wheel drummer Rod Coombes and respected session bassist Chas Cronk, completing the line up with ex-Renaissance keyboards wizard John Hawken. At first, Cousins had difficulty getting him to play other keyboards than piano, but eventually he warmed to the mellotron, Hammond and moog. This album is characterised by some wonderful, mellotron drenched songs and glorious synth. It’s a sad album, with a theme of love and abandonment. It also marks the final abandonment of their folk influences and emergence as a full blown progressive band. “Hero and Heroine” is a complete album, which flows perfectly from start to finish.
Autumn, a three part track, kicks off the album with the instrumental Heroine’s Theme, a slow, synth/ bass/drum intro, followed by swathes of sweeping mellotron behind a guitar line. It softens into Deep Summers Sleep, with a Cousins lyric lamenting the end of summer, then changes abruptly to a Lambert-fronted epic with a glorious chorus, melodic guitar solo and the curtain of mellotron. Delicious.
Hero and Heroine features Cousins at his most dramatic, with crashing mellotron and epic guitar over a lyric about desertion. It flows into Midnight Sun, a gentle, beautiful song about hopelessness. Out in the Cold is an erotic song about passionate love and loss. Round and Round, with its insistent synthesiser riff, is about suicide and features Cousans and Lambert on top form. Lay a Little Light on Me is about seeking a way out of depression and lamenting the failure of religion to provide answers. Hero’s theme concludes the album with a repetitive, rousing, motif and chorus.
The musicianship is consistently good, the rhythm section blending effortlessly into the background yet underpinning the songs perfectly whilst the three lead instrumentalists work their magic.
Ich kann mich noch sehr gut an 1976 erinnern. Die Platte lief bei mir damals Tag und Nacht...rauf und runter. Neben Yes waren die Strawbs für mich eine der außergewöhnliche Truppen. Selbst für die Prog verwöhnten 70iger Jahre.

- Dave Cousins / vocals, acoustic & electric guitars
- Dave Lambert / vocals, acoustic & electric guitars
- John Hawken / piano, electric piano, organ, Mellotron, Synthesizer
- Chas Cronk / bass Synthesizer, vocals
- Rod Coombes / drums, Percussion, Vocals
Track List:
01. Autumn: Heroine’s Theme, Deep Summer’s Sleep, The Winter Long (8:26)
02. Sad Young Man (4:07)
03. Just Love (3:40)
04. Shine On Silver Sun (2:46)
05. Hero And Heroine (3:20)
06. Midnight Sun (3:12)
07. Out In The Cold (3:17)
08. Round And Round (4:44)
09. Lay A Little Light On Me (3:27)
10. Hero’s Theme (2:27)
11. Still Small Voice (Bonus)
12. Lay A Little Light On Me (Bonus early version)

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