Exposé Online banner

Strawbs — Deadlines
(Arista AB 4172, 1978, LP)

by Jeff Melton, Published 1997-10-01

Deadlines Cover art

Deadlines was the last album by the third incarnation of the Strawbs. It was their most progressive work since 1975's Ghosts, when prominent keyboard work (then from John Hawken, ex-Renaissance and Illusion) was more integral in the band. Led by mainstay vocalist and songwriter Dave Cousins, this disc starts out very aggressive and maintains a high level of intensity through out the nine songs. Rockers such as the opening cuts, “No Return” and “Joey and Me,” and even “The Last Resort,” have the inimitable stamp of Dave Lambert's edgy rhythm guitar and solo leads. The group at this time was still shifting toward more acceptable, but complex rock which was touching the fringes of progressive. Cousins and Lambert even trade lead vocals within several songs, which adds to a more group context for the tracks. There are only a couple of overtly throwaway pop tunes to skip over this time (unlike the previous three studio outings). Cousins' penchant for writing moody lovestruck songs with a sardonic twist are evident in “Sealed with a Traitor's Kiss” and “Deadly Nightshade.” Tony Fernandez was the new kid on the block at drums having joined the group for this project after a short stint playing on Rick Wakeman's White Rock. But it's “Time and Life” and “Words of Wisdom” that indicate the group stretching out with a subtle, embedded keyboard sound along with forceful vocals and lyrical content. Robert Kirby and John Mealing give ample support on the entire disk switching between organ, Polymoogs, Mellotron, and piano.


Filed under: New releases, Issue 13, 1978 releases

Related artist(s): Dave Cousins, Strawbs, Dave Lambert

Latest news

2020-03-24
Bill Rieflin RIP – The sad news reaches us today of Bill Rieflin's death. Rieflin was best known as a drummer in bands ranging from post-punk to industrial to indie-rock to progressive rock, including work with The Blackouts, Ministry, Nine Inch Nails, Swans, Land, and King Crimson. Rieflin had been battling cancer for several years, and succumbed to it on March 24. He was 59. » Read more

2020-03-17
Cruise to the Edge and Seaprog 2020 Festivals Postponed – The worldwide outbreak of the novel coronavirus has started to produce casualties in the music festival world, and music festivals are not immune. We've had word that both the Cruise to the Edge (originally slated for March 27 - April 1) and Seaprog (originally June 5-7) have been postponed to later dates, with those dates to be announced. » Read more

2020-03-06
McCoy Typer RIP – Word reaches us today of the passing of one of the most influential pianists in the history of jazz, McCoy Tyner. His tenure with John Coltrane in the early 60s includes some of the most treasured recordings of the era, including My Favorite Things and A Love Supreme. After leaving Coltrane's group, he had a long and successful solo career. He was 81. » Read more

2020-02-18
Jon Christensen RIP – Word reaches us today of the passing of Norwegian drummer Jon Christensen, a musician whose sensitive playing did much to help define the atmospheric sound of ECM jazz recordings. His work with Jan Garbarek, Bobo Stenson, Terje Rypdal, and many more was sensitive and varied, adapting to a wide variety of styles while maintaining a distinct identity of its own. Christensen was 76. » Read more

2020-01-21
Gong Announces UK Tour for 2020 – Having spent the last few years touring the world, including dates in Japan with psych legend Steve Hillage, multiple headline European tours and festivals, America’s Cruise to the Edge festival, a South America headline tour, and a headline performance at Tomorrow Festival in China, the band have won the hearts of both traditional and modern Gong fanbases. During this live journey, Gong has delved further into the truly psychedelic, exploratory, and mind-expanding side of the music. » Read more


Previously in Exposé...

Eleanor Hovda - Coastal Traces – Hovda is an important, yet little known composer who has been active on the contemporary music scene for over twenty years, mostly through live performances, scores for dance companies (of which...  (1999) » Read more



Listen & discover



Print issues