The Early Years (Mark Two)

Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - Jo-Ann Greene
String Driven Thing was initially formed in Glasgow in 1967 by Chris Adams, his wife Pauline Adams, and old mate Jonathan Mannion. The following year, after a number of label suitors let them down, the band's debut album emerged, on the newly launched, and soon permanently grounded, Concord label. With promotion behind it, the self-titled album swiftly sank from sight, but SDT continued gigging, demo-ing, and expanding their lineup over the next few years, until 1972 when they finally inked a new deal, this time with Charisma. Their subsequent career has been disinterred in recent years, but the unearthing of SDT's previous recordings has preceded at a snail's pace until ...
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Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - Jo-Ann Greene
String Driven Thing was initially formed in Glasgow in 1967 by Chris Adams, his wife Pauline Adams, and old mate Jonathan Mannion. The following year, after a number of label suitors let them down, the band's debut album emerged, on the newly launched, and soon permanently grounded, Concord label. With promotion behind it, the self-titled album swiftly sank from sight, but SDT continued gigging, demo-ing, and expanding their lineup over the next few years, until 1972 when they finally inked a new deal, this time with Charisma. Their subsequent career has been disinterred in recent years, but the unearthing of SDT's previous recordings has preceded at a snail's pace until now. Across 26 tracks, Early Years Mark Two delves deep into the band's more distant past, and through their own tape collection, to bring fans this seminal set. The compilation kicks off with selections from the String Driven Thing album, following that up with demos recorded even earlier in 1967. From there on out, the album is an archival delight, trawling through demos recorded both in the studio and in the rehearsal room. Strawbs' fans are in for a thrill with the inclusion of a quartet Dave Cousins oversaw in 1969. Intriguingly, the last for the four, "Lie Back and Let It Happen," is immediately followed by a drastically different version of the song recorded the next year, and featuring the band's newest member, guitar picker Colin Wilson, who turns the number into a swampy R&B-laced masterpiece. Amazingly, the quality of the home demos are equal to, and at times surpass, their studio counterparts, as songs like 1972's exquisitely moody "Argyle Street" and the introspective, almost ethereal "Winter Is Coming" illustrate. The album ends with two numbers recorded live in 2001, which not surprisingly sound rather out of place, although nowhere near as out of time as one would expect. This insistence on bringing things bang up-to-date is an industry-wide miscalculation, but it in no way mutes the power of this fabulous collection.
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Product Details

  • Release Date: 1/25/2008
  • Label: Ozit Records Uk
  • EAN: 5033531002927
  • Catalog Number: 29

Album Credits

Performance Credits
String Driven Thing Primary Artist
Colin Wilson Bass Guitar
Grahame Smith Violin
Technical Credits
Pauline Adams Liner Notes
Martinique Walker Author
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