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Strawbs - Don't Say Goodbye CD (album) cover




Prog Folk

2.99 | 30 ratings

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Symphonic Team
3 stars Starting over

1987's Don't Say Goodbye was Strawbs' comeback album after almost ten years of silence from the band. Their last studio release had been 1978's Deadlines, which was among the least impressive of Strawbs' 70's efforts. Yet another album called Heartbreak Hill had been recorded in the same year, intended as the follow-up album to Deadlines. But, due to problems with the record company and management (and eventually the demise of the band itself), the latter album was not released at the time. Not until 1995 did the original Heartbreak Hill recordings see the light of day on an official release. In the meantime the reformed band released the present album (and four years later Ringing Down The Years). I mention this primarily because three of the songs from the then unreleased Heartbreak Hill sessions (Let It Rain, We Can Make It Together, and Something For Nothing) were re-recorded for the present album. Though good, these songs were not the best from Heartbreak Hill. Personally, I would much rather have had a remake of the title track from that unreleased album or Starting Over, both of which were more progressive than anything on the present album. Starting Over would have been an obvious choice for another reason too, starting over was just what they did here!

This album starts out with Strawbs' response to Jehtro Tull's Steel Monkey; a hard rocking song set to programmed keyboards. Fortunately, this is the only song of the album that has that sound, so don't let it scare you away. Dave Cousins could still at this point write good songs and sing them very well. The guitar solos are good, with a great sound. The drums and keyboards are decent, and better than on most 80's albums by other bands. On some songs you clearly hear that this was made in the 80's. But overall this is still the same Strawbs we all know and love. The album is varied, offering both emotional ballads and some hard rocking songs. The guitar on some songs is surprisingly heavy for a Strawbs album. Big Brother is another Part Of The Union type sing-a-long, but better. Evergreen is a piano ballad not sung by Cousins. The vocal is somehow Caravan-ish!

Don't Say Goodbye is up to par with the band's output from the second half of the 70's, but it was hardly the return to form that Prog fans were waiting for and it is a far cry from the band's best albums

SouthSideoftheSky | 3/5 |


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