Folk and English psychedelia fans will rejoice as the first A&M Strawbs album – rejected by that label in 1968 – finally sees the light of day.
Recorded between All Our Own Work (with Sandy Denny) and the band’s standalone Strawbs, Of A Time featured contributions from Gus Dudgeon, Tony Visconti and (in voice-over) Richard Wilson, TV’s future Victor Meldrew.
Anyone familiar with the band’s folkier work, or even their pop hits, will be surprised (albeit pleasantly) at Of A Time, which is a melancholy, melodic collection in the style of Pete Dello or even a less pompous Moody Blues. The orchestration and arrangements (expensive and worth it) don’t drown songs like All I Need Is You or The Man Who Called Himself Jesus. Dave Cousins shows himself as a brilliant and original songwriter and there are many bonus tracks.
Best title? How Everyone But Sam Was A Hypocrite.