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Deep Cuts
The Strawbs

Oyster Oy-1-1603
Released: October 1976
Chart Peak: #144
Weeks Charted: 5

The Strawbs exhibit so many unfashionable traits that only their timeless tastefulness has saved their last few releases. The flowery melodrama of David Cousins' lyrics doesn't compare favorably with the feverish phrases of today's hard-nosed street poets, nor does the power of his oratorical, affected singing seem as sophisticated as it did just a few years ago. For every cleverly seductive rocker, Cousins comes up with a simpering, string-heavy ballad that amplifies the already irritating feyness of his vocals. Yet Deep Cuts is ultimately quite enjoyable -- the band knows the charms of classy folk-rock and plays with inspired competence.

The Strawbs - Deep Cuts
Original album advertising art.
Click image for larger view.
Producers Rupert Holmes and Jeffrey Lesser reveal their respect for the group's style in their surprisingly light-handed production. David Lambert's guitar phrases have never been so succinct as on "My Friend Peter" and "Hard, Hard Winter," which almost compensates for his exclusion as a songwriter. Though soft rock is by no means a booming genre, the Strawbs continue to possess enough integrity to remain its most eloquent exponents.

- Teri Morris, Rolling Stone, 11/18/76.

Further reading on
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The Strawbs Lyrics

The Strawbs Videos

Bonus Reviews!

If we ever get out of this depressing era of lousy rock music still trying to live off its reputation from the Sixties, we may be able to take comfort in the fact that the era at least produced some remarkable album-cover photographs and paintings. I hope, for their sakes, that the painters and photographers have retained the rights of possession to their works; they might be valuable someday.

The album cover for Deep Cuts is a case in point. It would be a disservice to the painting to describe it, so I suggest you go to your record store and see it for yourself. You need not buy the album unless you intend to be a pop-art collector, for the ersatz music inside is limp and conceited. The songs, as usual these days, depend on the rock mystique and The Musician as Hero,since they cannot stand by themselves. Greeting-card versifiers have written better lyrics, and tone-deaf whistlers in the shower have come up with better melodies. The vocals are smug and glottal.

- Joel Vance, Stereo Review, 1/77.

Group has been around for some years now going through various labels and personnel changes. But under leader Dave Cousins, it still carries on the finest traditions of lighter English pop/rock. Interesting melody lines, literate lyrics, and right-on instrumental breaks are all abundant here. Best cuts: "I Only Want My Love To Grow In You," "Turn Me Round," "The Soldier's Tale," "Simple Visions."

- Billboard, 1976.

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