Progressive Line have now released three hard to find Strawbs albums on CD (and Witchwood). Whilst the releases have impressive looking Australian addresses, tey do not appear to exist, and no-one has been able to track down the company which made them; the releases have not been sanctioned by the band or Universal. Particularly following their latest venture, a re-issue of Prince And Princess, it seems almost certain that these are not legitimate releases.
It seems extremely likely that Strawbs and Dragonfly have simply been digitally copied from the legitimate Si-Wan CD releases. The Dragonfly release uses the same pictures (see below) including the anachronistic circular montage taken from the back of Burning For You, and the Strawbs release uses the pictures provided by me to Si-Wan for the legitimate Korean re-issue.
Though I haven't seen it, the Witchwood bootleg sounds as though it was digitally copied from the UK re-issue, as it is supposed to have 1 bonus track on it. It seems that Nomadness has been created from a cassette copy of the album.
Pete Cusumano comments:
I picked up the Progressive Line CD edition of Nomadness and was not impressed. I'm positive now it's a bootleg and here is its worst audio abnormality: At 1:03 into "The Golden Salamander" the left channel suddenly loses the high end. This is a common symptom when a tape goes out of alignment with the playback head. At 3:26 into "A Mind Of My Own" the same thing happens again. Suspicious, I dug out my old A&M cassette of Nomadness and these two spots are opposite of each other on side one and side two the cassette! I remember on ebay awhile back someone was selling still sealed cassettes of Nomadness. My guess is someone at Progressive booted this from a cassette and didn't even listen while it was digitizing and missed the alignment problem. Twice!
LEGAL NOTE: If this is not the case, I'd be delighted to make that known if anyone from Progressive Line cares to contact .
Same as vinyl version. See Strawbs
Same as vinyl version. See Dragonfly
Believed to be same as CD re-issue version, i.e. with 1 bonus track (likely to have been digitally copied from it). See From The Witchwood
Same as vinyl version. See Nomadness
Not known, but persumably same as Highland version. See Prince And Princess
CD: PL 527 (Progressive Line). Standard jewel case CD, with inner (including lyrics) described below - NOT like the Si-Wan album facsimile styled release. No sleeve notes as written by me!
I'm indebted to Richard Poulin for detailed info about the PL version of Strawbs, which also uses the images used by Si-Wan for their release (which I provided !)
- The cover is exactly the same as the A&M original vinyl that I still have, except of course for the A&M label at the left top. On the back , the song listing in white letters on a gray background, as a button list, not as a continuous line as in the original LP. No picture. In small type at the bottom, it says: Progressive Line is a division of Dole Music Inc., 135 Macleay Street, Potts Point, Sydney, NSW 2011. Licensed by Today Music, Inc., 194 Bulwara road, Sydney, NS 2007. Made in Australia.
Inside the 8-page booklet, p. 2, you find the same info that was on the back cover of the vinyl:. The members of the Strawbs are listed first. Then one paragraph below, you find the same text: 'Production Gus Dudgeon ....down to NOSRATI and his ARAB FRIENDS. a found on the vinyl. There's a B&W photograph I don't remember seeing anywhere before (certainly absent from the vinyl version I have, but dating back to the same period for sure) where you see DC (head to breast, wearing striped shirt) at the front, leaning against a tree trunk, with Ron Chesterman, second row, also leaning against the same tree. Both are looking serious but not sad. And I guess, the pair of legs in the rear must belong to TH... [DG - This is an unpublished photo, one of three which I scanned and supplied to Si-Wan for use in putting their CD release together]
Then all the lyrics on pp. 2 to 6 The three B&W pictures found inside the centerfold cover of the vinyl are found among the lyrics pages.
- On p. 7, another B&W picture absent from the Strawbs vinyl [DG - see note above]. Same period, certainly the same photo session. Dave has this same striped shirt, and all three wear these shaggy fur or suede coats....
- The picture at the back of the vinyl centerfold (sort of pink and blue) is absent from the Progressive Line CD.
- The front side of the CD bears a B&W reproduction of the photograph seen on p. 7 of the PL booklet, with the words STRAWBS written with a font similar to that found on the cover of the vinyl and the CD.
They've missed out a couple of anachronistic photos included by Si-Wan: a shot of the Grave New World band with DC playing his Danelectro electric guitar and the very familiar early posed shot of the Shine On Silver Sun band, which appears on the front of the recently issued collection, Tears And Pavan.
CD: PL 503 (Progressive Line). Standard jewel case CD, with inner described below - NOT like the Si-Wan album facsimile styled release. No Dick Greener sleeve notes. The four photos from the Si-Wan release, all from the same period (probably the same photo shoot) as those mentioned above, are all reproduced, though not as full page shots (maybe their scanner was playing up!). The back of the booklet (as with Si-Wan) is a black and white version of the wholly inappropriate Burning For You circular montage.
CD: PL 516 (Progressive Line).Not seen, no details available.
CD: PL 517 (Progressive Line). Standard jewel case CD, with inner (not including lyrics - which bears out the cassette theory above). Poor quality cover reproduction. Very simple inner with some credits and a track listing and the "strawberry suitcase" image.