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Hero and Heroine (Remastered)

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Album Review

The group's ballsiest album to date, Hero and Heroine is a surging, hard rocking follow-up to Bursting at the Seams, and premiered a new lineup, as Richard Hudson, John Ford, and Blue Weaver had left to form their own group. In their places, ex-Nashville Teens keyboardist John Hawken and the more muscular rhythm section of Rod Coombes and Charles Cronk make their debut, on what is the Strawbs' first fully electric album. Dave Cousins' songwriting (augmented by Dave Lambert, who also contributes some slashing electric lead guitar) is still as romantic as ever in various spots ("Shine On Silver Sun," "Deep Summer's Sleep"), but also boasts dark visions ("Round and Round") that, coupled with the new band's muscular playing, made the Strawbs one of the hardest rocking progressive bands in the world. They should have been able to blow acts like the Moody Blues off the stage, so what went wrong with this album and the tour? One suspects it was a little too serious and complex for kids who were just looking for a soundtrack to their drug experiences, and it rocked too hard for the "sensitive" English major types who got off on Cousins' lyrics — in a sense, the Strawbs were squeezed out of the middle in a very small-scale, subtle 1970s version of the old folk-versus-rock battles of the '60s. Hero and Heroine deserved better, being one of the best guitar-driven progressive rock albums of its period. [The album was reissued with two bonus tracks, "Still Small Voice" and an early version of "Lay a Little Light On Me."]


Formed: 1968

Genre: Rock

Years Active: '60s, '70s, '80s, '90s, '00s, '10s

One of the better British progressive bands of the early '70s, 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. Founded in 1967 as a bluegrass-based trio called the Strawberry Hill Boys by singer/guitarist Dave Cousins, the group at that time consisted of Cousins, guitarist/singer Tony Hooper, and mandolinist Arthur Phillips, who was replaced in 1968 by Ron...
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Hero and Heroine (Remastered), The Strawbs
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