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A Taste of Strawbs boxed set front cover

A Taste Of Strawbs is the long awaited boxed set from the Strawbs, released 13 November 2006.

It's been a mammoth project for Dave Cousins, even with some assistance from me. The vision behind it is to include many of the classic Strawbs songs that ought to be in a Strawbs boxed set, but virtually none of the versions that even devout fans will currently have in their collection. Accordingly it is sourced from the Strawbs' own archives and other sources - unreleased songs, demo versions, alternate mixes, live material. It's been an absolute joy to be involved in this process, and I'm truly delighted with the result.

Strictly speaking it's a 4CD boxed set, with an additional loose CD5 thrown in for early purchasers:

CD1: "Eyes Wide Open" (19661971): The Strawberry Hill Boys to Sandy Denny and the Strawbs. Then the Strawbs go electric as Rick Wakeman joins the band.

CD2: "Changing Places" (19721974): High flying singles and albums in the UK and North America.

CD3: "Inside Out" (19751988): Strawbs go their separate ways for a while, but Wakeman brings them back together. Success at the Cambridge Folk Festival spawns a network TV documentary and concert. Wakeman and Cousins appear together in concert.

CD4 "Further Down The Road" (19902006): 25th Anniversary tour - Don Airey on keyboards. The Chiswick House concert. Wakeman and Cousins record again. Strawbs Acoustic reinvent the band. Strawbs headline major festivals.

CD5 "Tastebuds" bonus disc: a selection of rare, live and demo recordings, outtakes and collaborations. Some copies were stickered "bonus 5th CD with first 1000 sold".

A Taste of Strawbs boxed set with sticker

track listing reviews

Track listing

Disc 1

The grey hawk - Strawberry Hill Boys live recording
The cruel wars (aka Higher Germanie)- Dave Cousins unreleased recording
You don't think about me - Strawberry Hill Boys demo
Not all the flowers grow - Dave Cousins demo
You keep going your way - Strawberry Hill Boys demo
Sail away to the sea - Sandy and the Strawbs
Nothing else will do - Sandy and the Strawbs
Oh how she changed - Remix 2005
Or am I dreaming - Remix 2005
All the little ladies - alternate mix with spoken word intro/outro
Ah me, ah my - alternate mix
The man who called himself Jesus - alternative mix
The battle - live
It's just love - unreleased Fire recording of Dave Lambert song
Another day - live
Forever - Dragonfly out-take
Where am I/I'll show you where to sleep - 1970 live track
Canondale - 1971 live track
RMW - 1971 live instrumental track
Sheep - 1971 live version

Disc 2

Tomorrow - 1972 live version
New world - 1972 live version
Here it comes - 1972 live version
See how they run - Cousins and Lambert 1972 home demo
Going home - alternative version with Dave Lambert vocal
The actor - alternative mix
Part of the union - The Brothers original version
The winter and the summer - Dave Lambert home demo
Whichever way the wind blows - previously unreleased version with Dave Cousins vocal
Suite: Shine on silver sun - 1973 extended version with Cousins, Lambert, and members of Ten Years After
Out in the cold/Round and round - Dave Cousins acoustic demos
The writing on the wall - Dave Cousins acoustic demo of unreleased song
The four queens
Ghosts theme - church bells- field recording
Lemon pie - Dave Cousins acoustic demo
Cherie je t'aime - French version of 'Grace Darling'
So shall our love die - Dave Cousins acoustic demo
Still small voice - Dave Cousins acoustic demo
How I need you now - live recording from Old Grey Whistle Test, with John Mealing

Disc 3

The merchant adventurer - Dave Cousins acoustic demo of unreleased song
Blue angel - out take from Deep Cuts sessions
Goodbye - alternate version from Burning For You
Deadly nightshade - Dave Cousins acoustic demo
Midnight - outtake from first Deadlines sessions
Sweet voices - outtake from first Deadlines sessions
Bring out your dead- Dave Cousins acoustic demo (aka The Young Pretender)
Another day without you - demo version
Touch the earth - Lambert and Cronk studio recordings
Armada - Juan Martin & Strawbs 1981 studio recording
A glimpse of heaven - Cousins and Willoughby, live at Sidmouth Folk Fest..
The hangman and the papist - Gastank
I'll carry on beside you - 1983 Cambridge Folk Fest
Heavy disguise - 1984 rehearsal recording
That's when the crying starts - 1984 live recording
Evergreen - Dave Cousins home demo
Song of a sad little girl - 1988 Wakeman and Cousins live recording

Disc 4

Ringing down the years - 1990 Strawbs live recording
Further down the road - Dave Cousins acoustic demo
Heartbreak hill - 1993 Silver Jubilee tour with Don Airey
Extravaganza on a theme of Strawbs - Don Airey solo from 1993 Silver Jubilee tour
File of facts - 1993 Dave Cousins and Don Airey recording
Hero and heroine - Chiswick recording with guest star Ric Sanders
The ten commandments - Dave Lambert & Brian Willoughby from 2001 tour
The king - Wakeman & Cousins Hummingbird outtake
Alice's song - 2003 live Acoustic Strawbs recording
McLean Street/ Who knows where the time goes - 2004 live recording
We'll meet again sometime - 2004 Acoustic Strawbs recording
Sunday morning - single mix
On a night like this - acoustic version
Dragonfly - live 2005 version
Canada - brand new Dave Cousins solo song
Here today, gone tomorrow - live 2006 version

Disc 5

The happiest boy in town Strawberry Hill Boys demo
Draught raga 1970 live sitar instrumental
Ways and means Two Weeks Last Summer outtake
Rip it off blues Dave Cousins demo
Stay awhile with me Dave Cousins version of Strawbs "Sampler" track
Oh so sleepy Deep Cuts out-take
Barcarole (instrumental) Burning For You outtake
Time and Life Dave Cousins home demo
Heartbreaker from Intergalactic Tour Band album
Andalucian Express Strawbs with Juan Martin
Lay down Live 1984 version
Over the hill Blue Weaver solo track
You never needed water originally on The Bridge
If Acoustic Strawbs, recorded by Jon Connolly
Cold steel Folk Scene live recording
The river/Down by the sea Thalgau, 2006, live (H&H band)

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