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Dancing to the Devil's Beat

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Album Review

Few bands from the classic rock era that had some commercial success, yet never attained true stardom, have maintained such a steady release schedule in the 21st century as the Strawbs have. About 40 years on from the release of their debut, Dancing to the Devil's Beat finds them still at it, with a lineup in which all but one of the members served with the group back in its heyday. It would be quite unusual for a band with such a long career to be making major stylistic departures at this point, and the record has the kind of bittersweet, somber, narrative songs for which the Strawbs are known, as well as their characteristic mixture of folk and progressive rock. Both wistful regret and muted anger at the vagaries of war and conflict are voiced in the lyrics. The musical settings within the Strawbs format do vary over the course of the disc, taking in delicate acoustic folky arrangements and a bit of lightly swinging jazz (on "The Ballad of Jay and Rose Mary") in addition to the more rock-oriented tracks. Finishing the CD is a new version of "Oh How She Changed," which they first released on their first album 40 years prior to this disc.

Customer Reviews

More Strawbs under 'The Strawbs' and 'Acoustic Strawbs'

iTunes oddly have separated Strawbs into 4 groups:
- 'Strawbs' (Prog-Rock/Art Rock)
- 'The Strawbs' (Rock)
- 'The Strawbs' (Prog-Rock/Art Rock)
- 'Acoustic Strawbs'

Therefore, if you'd like to find all available Strawbs albums at iTunes, please search under all 4 categories. iTunes have been informed of their errors and have not responded. Thus this helpful note. :-Derek

One of Strawbs best

I have been listening to Strawbs since the Just a Collection of Antiques and Curios (1070) album and I have to agree that this album is one of the band's best ever. It is rare that a band can, after 40 years, put together an album that rivals their greatest (In my view From the Witchwood, Ghosts, and Hero and Heroine). My favorites on this album are Copenhagen and Pro Patria Suite. You will not be disappointed if you buy this album!

Genius of the Strawbs

The arrangements, production, lyrics, musicianship and vocals are superb. This is the finest work the band has produced since DON'T SAY GOODBYE. The band obviously put in the effort required to make this a total work of art. I have always enjoyed this band and its unique blend of folk and progressive styles and this set truly deserves a 5 star rating. Do not hesitate to experience this latest creation from Dave Cousins and company. Oliver Wakeman does a fine job with the keys as well.

Dancing to the Devil's Beat, Strawbs
View in iTunes

Customer Ratings