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Dick Greener
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Dick Greener

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Bursting At The Seams front cover


Release date: Feb 1973 (ads appeared in music papers dated 10 Feb 1973 saying album released "this week"). Had been scheduled for 26 Jan 1973 but was delayed by production difficulties.

With Dave Lambert replacing Tony Hooper and bringing a new rock-based dynamic to the band, the Strawbs scored an instant chart hit with "Lay Down", followed by their number 2 UK hit single, "Part Of The Union". The band courted pop success with several apearances on Top Of The Pops and flirted with the current glam-rock trend wearing make-up and flamboyant stage clothes. Letters to Melody Maker accused Strawbs of "selling out", vehemently denied by Dave Cousins.

The album, which carried on the musical journey towards rock, also reached number 2 in the UK album charts, including some all-time Strawbs classics such as "Down By The Sea", "The River", "Stormy Down" and "Tears And Pavan", as well as Dave Lambert's splendid "The Winter And The Summer" and Hud and John's "Lady Fuschia".

A 52 date tour of the UK in early 1973 saw them reaching a newer, younger audience. The stage show included some comedy material - Lambert's "Bovver Blues" and a camped up impersonation of Little Jimmy Osmond by Hud - which eventually grated on Cousins, who made his feelings known in uncompromising fashion, singing the bitter "A Song For Me" at the band's April London showcase at the Rainbow. Afterwards, they embarked upon a gruelling second US tour, and the album title proved prophetic with the group splitting asunder after things came to a head in Los Angeles.


Dave Cousins (vcls, gtrs, bnjo)
Richard Hudson (drms, vcls)
John Ford (bs, vcls)
Blue Weaver (kybds)
Dave Lambert (gtrs, vcls)

Track listing

  1. Flying (Cousins)
  2. Lady Fuschia (Hudson/Ford)
  3. Stormy Down (Cousins)
  4. Down By The Sea (*) (Cousins)
  5. The River (*) (Cousins)

  6. Part Of The Union (Ford/Hudson)
  7. Tears And Pavan (Cousins)/(Hudson/Ford/Cousins)
  8. The Winter And The Summer (Lambert)
  9. Lay Down (Cousins)
  10. Thank You (Weaver/Cousins)
  11. bonus tracks (1998 onwards A&M CD re-issues)

  12. Will You Go (B-side Part Of The Union, previously on UK Halcyon Days)
  13. Backside (B-side Lay Down, previously on UK Halcyon Days)
  14. Lay Down (single version, previously said to be included on UK Halcyon Days , but album version included in error)

(*) Running order

The running order listed is for the original vinyl release. It was originally intended that "The River" would flow into "Down By The Sea" - however DBTS was too boomy a track to fare well as the last track of a vinyl release and so the running order was reversed in the mastering process. The 1998 UK CD release and the 2002 Japanese facsimile release "corrected" the running order to reflect Strawbs' original intentions; however the 2018 Japanese CD release sticks to the original UK vinyl running order with "Down By The Sea" preceding "The River". The various bootlegs which appear have tended to be of the 1998/2002 "corrected" version.

Sleeve Notes

Produced by The Strawbs
Engineer Tom Allom

Sleeve design
Art Directed by Michael Dowd
Designed by John McConnell
Sleeve printed and made by MacNeill Press Ltd. London SE1
Photographs Tony Evans
Group Photo Fin Costello

Other information
A & M records address quoted as 1/2 St George Street, London W1R 9DG
A & M Records Limited Distributed by Pye Records (Sales) Ltd

The inner sleeve contains the following text :

"Bursting at the Seams sort of came together between October and December 1972 in Sound Techniques, The Manor and the lounge bar at Morgan Studios. Tom Allom engine driver fiddled with even more knobs than Blue on a good day. Hud loved John, and John loved Hud , but a third party seems to have come between them lately. Lampoon savagely assassinated the Fuehrer's guitar strings, who got on everyones' nerves from time to time as usual.

The chaps much appreciated The General, Major Roadworks, and Rob Roy who appeared from time to time bearing gifts of equipment from afar. Fagin and the Artful Dodger would like to make it known that their boys are always available for work.

Happy New Year January 1973


In the New Year revels we nearly forgot Bob Kirby, conductor of the number 30 at Air Studios, Martin and Uncle Sam and Sue who types this sort of thing.


UK Chart: 2
US Chart: #####

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