Release date: 11 Jul 1970 (UK) (the day after the fateful QEH concert, which propelled the new line-up including Rick Wakeman to public attention!)
The sessions for Dragonfly also spawned the basis of the single "Forever" which, with overdubs added at Trident Studios in March 1970, and "Another Day" on the B-side, became the next Strawbs single on July 17, 1970 a few days after the concert (as announced on the reverse of the QEH concert programme).
"Forever" was quite a departure for the Strawbs - but in as different direction from that taken in the QEH concert. Karl Dallas, interviewing Cousins and Hooper shortly before the QEH concert suggested that, whilst he didn't think it likely to be a hit, fans of the Strawbs from the old Strawberry Hill Boy days were:
"going to get a shock on hearing [it]. With overdubs on overdubs, accompanying strings and heavenly choir (singing very discreetly however) it is about as far away from folk as Bob Dylan singing Blue Moon."
In Dallas's opinion, the way the song had been put together, was effectively a "diary of a band", reflecting particularly well the changes the Strawbs had been going through in the last 6 months. "The title really tells it all", commented Cousins, "It's a sort of Strawbs through the ages."
"It started with some 12-string guitar chords that demanded a lyric. We laid down a backing track several months ago. Clare, the girl who used to play cello with us, is on it. Then Rick, who joined us on keyboards just about the time that Clare left put some organ on to it. A&M heard it and liked it so they added a few strings, a few French horns and the girls. It needed an orchestra to finish it. Then we did the vocals and it still didn't sound big enough. So we went and sang it in the lavatory in Trident Studios to get the echo right, and emerged flushed with success. Joke.
So altogether we've been working on it since last October. It must have cost a fortune. But A&M seem to believe in it. They are giving it a Radio Luxembourg promotion for three weeks. It's quite an unusual song, quite different from anything we've done. It's much lighter."
With hindsight, the release of "Forever" as a single at that time was a strange decision indeed by A&M, given that by then the Strawbs had changed fundamentally into the band who wowed the Queen Elizabeth Hall concert, which would be released as a live album, Just A Collection Of Antiques And Curios later in the year. "Forever" harks back to the pop material the Strawbs first produced at A&M, rather than the emerging folk-rock group.
(AMS 791, A&M, July 1970)
UK Release date: 17 Jul 1970
Whilst the Italian release came with a fancy sleeve, the UK version had the standard company sleeve. The b-side of the UK release was "Another Day" from Dragonfly. There was a promo release (not date stamped).
UK promo release
(AM 45009, A&M, 1971)
The B-side of the Italian release was "Fingertips" from the QEH concert, and was not released until later in 1971.
Portuguese release ??
The Record Collector article (issue 177, 1994) mentions a Portuguese release with a picture sleeve. It's possible that this may have been mistaken for the Italian release above.