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LAY DOWN
A&M, 1972

Contents
UK releases
  • UK promo release
  • UK promo sleeve autographed
  • UK release
  • US/Canada releases
  • US promo releases
  • US full release
  • Canadian promo release
  • Canadian full release?
  • European and Scandinavian releases
  • Danish release
  • Dutch release
  • German release
  • Spanish release
  • Portuguese release
  • Asia Pacific releases
  • Australian release
  • New Zealand release
  • Japanese promo release
  • Japanese full release?
  • Thai release
  • Other releases
  • Israeli release
  • Peruvian release
  • South African release
  • For many (including me), this was the single that brought Strawbs to their attention, with several glam rock oriented appearances on Top Of The Pops, wearing make-up and miming outrageously. Based loosely on the 23rd Psalm, this is one of THE classic Strawbs tracks, one that is certain to be in any live set, no matter what else may take a holiday.

    Many of the releases featured a track called "Backside", purported to be recorded by Ciggy Barlust & The Whales From Venus (an obvious piss-take on Ziggy Stardust and the Spiders From Mars).

    Chart Timeline:

    13 Oct - Release of Lay Down
    4 Nov - Chart position: 34
    11 Nov - Chart position: 31
    16 Nov - First appearance on Top Of The Pops, alongside other acts including Slade (with "Gudbuy To Love"), the Osmonds (with "Crazy Horses") and the mawkish "Clair" by Gilbert O'Sullivan. Full details at Popscene.

    There's video from TOTP at:
    (black & white)
    (restored colour)

    18 Nov - Chart position 26
    23 Nov - further play of the single on TOTP - over the closing credits
    Other artists included Elton John ("Crocodile Rock"), veteran Neil Sedaka ("Oh Carol") and at number 1, Chuck Berry's dire "My Ding A Ling".
    25 Nov - Chart position 20
    30 Nov - yet another appearance on TOTP. Other featured artists included The Bee Gees ("Alive"), David Cassidy ("Rock Me Baby") and the first outing of the truly appalling "Long Haired Lover From Liverpool", by Little Jimmy Osmond, which Strawbs parodied as part of their live shows in the following year.
    2 Dec - Chart position: 13
    9 Dec - Chart position: 12 (highest position)
    16 Dec - Chart position: 14

    UK Releases

    UK promo release

    "Lay Down"/Ciggy Barlust & The Whales From Venus: "Backside"
    (AMS 7035, A&M, 1972)

    The promo version gives the release date as 13 Oct 1972 and promises that the song "will not appear on any future LP" ... well, strictly speaking, the version of "Lay Down" on the album is different .....



    Autographed UK promo sleeve

    Damaged, but nice to have, a fully autographed promo sleeve. Not certain whether the three autographs date back to 1973 or were gathered later on.


    UK release


    The scan above is the original single (variant 4, see below) I bought back in 1972, the first Strawbs record I possessed. It's a bit battered these days, and I have other playing copies. But this is what started off a lifelong musical obession after all......

    For label spotters, there are actually four different versions of the standard UK label (the explanation being no doubt that A&M were printing to keep pace with unexpected levels of sales as the single climbed the UK charts).

    Variant 1

    A-side "THE STRAWBS", B-side, music company "Copyright Control"

    Probably the earliest as it matches the promo copies, and probably the rarest as initially, before it started climbing the chrats, pressing numbers may well have been modest).


    Variant 2

    A-side "STRAWBS", B-side, music company "Copyright Control"

    Variant 3

    A-side "THE STRAWBS", B-side, music company "Louvigny/Marquee"

    Variant 4

    A-side "STRAWBS", B-side, music company "Louvigny/Marquee"

    US/Canada Releases

    US promo release

    "Lay Down [stereo]"/"Lay Down [mono]"
    (AM 1451, A&M promo, 1973)

    The first of the Stereo/Mono promos as far as I know, intended to faciliate radio play (in those days stereo radio was not available and a mono mix sounded better on the radio).



    US release (*)

    "Lay Down"/"The Winter And The Summer"
    (AM 1451, A&M, 1973)

    Listed on Discogs. Released in early Summer 1973 to coincide with Strawbs US tour, the US single pulled Lambert's "The Winter And The Summer" from the album to serve as a B-side instead of therather British and quirky "Backside".


    Canadian promo release

    "Lay Down"/"The Winter And The Summer"
    (AM 1451, A&M promo, 1973)

    Released in early Summer 1973 to coincide with Strawbs US/Canada tour, the Canadian single also had Lambert's "The Winter And The Summer" as a B-side.



    Canadian full release? (*)

    "Lay Down"/"The Winter And The Summer"
    (AM 1451, A&M promo, 1973)

    Did this make it as a full release? Anyone have one?

    European and Scandinavian Releases

    Danish release

    "Lay Down"/Ciggy Barlust & The Whales From Venus: "Backside"
    (T-7265, Sonet, 1972)
    Lay Down Sonet cover
    Lay Down Sonet Lay Down Sonet

    Dutch release

    "Lay Down"/Ciggy Barlust & The Whales From Venus: "Backside"
    (12396 AT, A&M, no date)

    A tasteful dark green sleeve. Release date almost certainly 1972. The back of the picture sleeve is identical except for some very small text at bottom right identifying the record company Ariola Eurodisc Benelux.



    German release

    "Lay Down"/Ciggy Barlust & The Whales From Venus: "Backside"
    (12396 AT, A&M, 1972)

    A slightly garish design with the angular lettering of the song title at odds with the "GNW" Strawbs logo. Nice lettering for the fictitious Mr Barlust & Friends.



    Spanish release

    "Tiendete (Lay Down)"/"Manana (Tomorrow)"
    (HS 897, A&M/Hispavox, 1973)

    The strange goldfish bowl photo which the Japanese recycled for their "Part Of The Union" release. Cousins is pointing, Hud is cross-legged and Blue is clearly visible. You have to hunt to for John who's in the picture frame at centre-bottom of the pic, and the crouching figure to his right is probably Tony Hooper, though it may be Dave Lambert (my money's on Hooper).

    Obviously the spoof Bowie track wasn't appropriate for the Spanish market, who went for "Tomorrow" instead. Despite the translation of title, the lyrics as sung are in English.



    Portuguese release

    "Lay Down"/Ciggy Barlust & The Whales From Venus: "Backside"
    (006 94136, 1972, A&M)

    Picture sleeve using the same photo as the Danish release.



    Asia Pacific Releases

    Australian release (*)

    "Lay Down"/"The Flower And The Young Man"
    (AMK-4927, A&M/Festival, Australia, 1973)

    Listed online in Australian Festival Records releases listing at Global Dogs Australian label discography site.

    New Zealand release

    "Lay Down"/"The Flower And The Young Man"
    (AMK 4927, A&M/Festival, New Zealand, 1973)

    No fancy sleeve for this New Zealand release, which provides "Flower And The Young Man" off Grave New World with its only 45 rpm outing.



    Japanese promo release

    "Lay Down"/"The Winter And The Summer"
    (AM 186, A&M, 1973)

    Fancy clothes from the "tweed" photoshoot dominate the cover of this Japanese release. I have a white label promo, so I'm not certain whether this made it out on general release in Japan. Only two verses for "Lay Down" are transcribed .... not clear why.



    Japanese release? (*)

    "Lay Down"/"The Winter And The Summer"
    (AM 186, A&M, 1973)

    Did this make it past a promo? Anyone got one?

    Thai release (*)

    "Lay Down plus"

    Another cheapie Thai bootleg, with Strawbs partnered with Slade, Rod Stewart and Black Sabbath.


    Other Releases

    Israeli release

    "Lay Down"/Ciggy Barlust & The Whales From Venus: "Backside"
    (AMS 7035, A&M, 1972)

    A strange and anachronistic choice of photo, featuring the Cousins/Hooper/Wakeman/Ford/Hudson Antiques And Curios line-up (Israel did this for "Part Of The Union" too!)



    Peruvian release (*)

    "Lay Down"/Ciggy Barlust & The Whales From Venus: "Backside"
    (AMS 7035/11767, A&M/Industriales Electricas Y Musicales Peruanas, 1972)

    Listed online. Note the description "SOUL" under the catalog number.


    South African release (*)

    Listed as having been auctioned online at ebid.za. No further details. Anyone got one of these?


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