Cherry Red's Esoteric Recordings arm has continued its series of Strawbs reissues with a new expanded edition of the British rock band's 2008 album The Broken-Hearted Bride.
Strawbs' seventeenth studio album, The Broken-Hearted Bride featured the line-up that first was assembled in 1973: founding member David Cousins (vocals/guitar/keyboards), Dave Lambert (lead guitar/vocals), Chas Cronk (bass), John Hawken (keyboards), and Rod Coombes (drums). This group recorded the LPs Hero and Heroine and Ghosts before fracturing; the quartet sans Hawken continued to record through 1977's Burning for You. Cousins, Lambert, and Cronk pressed on with 1978's Deadlines (featuring Tony Fernandez in the drum seat), effectively bringing Mk. 1 of Strawbs to a close. Strawbs resumed releasing new material in 1987, and 2003's Blue Angel reunited members from the various line-ups over the years. The next year's Déjà Fou reinstated the classic Cousins/Lambert/Cronk/Hawken/Coombes roster heard on The Broken-Hearted Bride.
Set to a typically eclectic range of musical styles, the album's lyrics were, in many cases, pulled straight from the headlines. David Cousins was inspired by the Iraq War to write the thunderous "The Call to Action" and depicted a suicide bomber in the anthemic title track, leaving behind "The Broken-Hearted Bride." The ironic "Christmas Cheer (Everything's Going to Be Alright)" referenced climate change over a throbbing disco beat. He drew on his own life for "Deep in the Darkest Night," a tribute to his late brothers. Cousins as lyricist teamed up with composer Chas Cronk for the shimmering, semi-autobiographical ballad "Too Many Angels" and prog-fashioned "Through Aphrodite's Eyes." Dave Lambert penned a couple of impressionistic offerings (the dark "Shadowland" and jauntier "You Know As Well As I") and Chas Cronk contributed the romantic "Everybody Knows."
Esoteric's expanded edition features slightly modified artwork, and adds "We'll Meet Again Sometime" (a bonus cut on the original release) plus three more extras: demos of "Too Many Angels," "You Know As Well As I," and "Everybody Knows." A 20-page booklet has David Cousins' reflections on the making of the album as well as lyrics for each song. Paschal Byrne has remastered.
The remastered and expanded version of Strawbs' The Broken-Hearted Bride is out now from Cherry Red and Esoteric. You'll find the track listing and order links below.
- The Call to Action
- Christmas Cheer (Everything's Going to Be Alright)
- Too Many Angels
- The Broken-Hearted Bride
- Through Aphrodite's Eyes
- Deep In the Darkest Night
- You Know As Well As I
- Everybody Knows
- Action Replay
- We'll Meet Again Sometime (Retro Track)
- Too Many Angels (Demo)
- You Know As Well As I (Home Demo)
- Everybody Knows (Demo)