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  • Strawbs (1975?)
  • Dragonfly (1975?)
  • Just A Collection Of Antiques And Curios
  • Japanese promo release (1972)
  • Japanese full release (1972)
  • Japanese reissue promo (1977)
  • Japanese reissue (1980)
  • From The Witchwood
  • Japanese release (1971)
  • Japanese vinyl reissue (1987)
  • Grave New World (1972)
  • Two Weeks Last Summer (1972)
  • Strawbs & Dave Cousins - Japanese sampler
  • Promo release ?
  • First release (1973)
  • Second release (1973?)
  • Bursting At The Seams
  • Japanese promo release (1973)
  • Japanese full release (1973)
  • Strawbs - Japanese promotional release (1973)
  • Hero And Heroine
  • Japanese promo release (1974?)
  • Japanese release (1974?)
  • Ghosts
  • Japanese promo release (1975)
  • Japanese full release (1975)
  • Nomadness
  • Japanese promo release (1975)
  • Japanese release (1975

  • Going by catalogue numbers, King started their releases with From TheWitchwood (AML 117), presumably on the back of early70s Wakeman fever. As noted on the insert with this silver label Japanese release (or otherwise known), further releases followed in an eccentric order:

  • AML 123 - Antiques & Curios (more Wakeman fever ?)
  • AML 141 - Grave New World (1972)
  • AML 180 - Bursting At The Seams (1973, not pictured on insert)
  • AML 191 - Strawbs & Dave Cousins (1973, not pictured on insert; compilation, 2 versions - see Strawbs & Dave Cousins page
  • AML 201 - Hero & Heroine (1974)
  • AML 232 - Ghosts (1974/5)
  • AML 234 - Strawbs (1975)
  • AML 235 - Strawbs Dragonfly (1975)
  • Wonder what AML 233 was ...

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    Japanese release (1975)

    Vinyl album: AML 234 (A&M/King Records, Japan, probably 1975).. Likely that Strawbs and Dragonfly were released in Japan more or less the same time as Ghosts in early 1975 (there's a sign off on the Japanese sleeve notes "75. 2", which is likely to be the date (Feb 75) for the sleeve notes.

    The gatefold sleeve is more or less the same as the 2nd UK release, even down to the Neasden lane address: the A&M logo on the front has been altered to show the AML 234 numbering. Inside there is a 2-sided insert, one side with track listing and sleeve notes in Japanese, the other pictures of most of the other A&M/King Records Strawbs-related releases.


    For larger versions, click on the images: for the insert images you may need to use the zoom feature on your browser to see them full size (2000 pixels high)



    Japanese release (1975)

    Vinyl album: AML 235 (A&M/King Records, Japan, 1975). This is pictured on the insert for the Japanese release of Strawbs.

    Detail from insert in Japanese reissue of Strawbs


    Japanese promo release (1972)

    Vinyl album: AML 123 (A&M/King Records, Japan, 1972). The copy I have is of this white label promo came in a 1977 reissue sleeve, complete with 1977 insert. King got started releasing Strawbs albums with From The Witchwood in 1971 or 1972, then went back to Antiques for more Wakeman-related material, bringing this out in 1972. There's a typo on Side 1 (no space between "the" and "Queen Elizabeth Hall"), which has been corrected for the release version.


    Japanese full release (1972)

    Vinyl album: AML 123 (A&M/King Records, Japan, 1972). I now have a copy of this release which pretty much matches the UK first release (moody photo on the back cover). The logo at top left of the front cover has been doctored to givethe Japanese catalogue number and theer's a green and white Obi (the back is blank). Inside is as per UK release (including the UK St George Street address at top right of the lyrics side) but with "King Records Ltd. (p) 1972" added at the bottom of that column.

    I now have a copy with the insert, an album sized 4-pager in black and white. Front cover has track listing in English and Japanese and Japanese sleeve notes, which carry over to the inside. Pp2 and 3 have the lyrics and an advert for the only other Strawbs album available from King at the time, From The Witchwood. The back page is just a big A&M logo.

    Logo, Obi and Labels

    Insert, front and back

    Insert, inner pages

    Japanese reissue promo (1977)

    Vinyl album: GXG 1029 (A&M/King Records, Japan, 1977). Usual white label version of this release.


    Japanese reissue (1977)

    Vinyl album: GXG 1029 (A&M/King Records, Japan, 1977). Gatefold sleeve with Obi, logo at top right features the Japanese catalogue number, and at the bottom of the Obi there's a little circular logo "1877/1977 - 100 years of recorded sound", which along with the date on the bottom right of the sleeve notes, show that this was part of a general re-issue campaign in 1977 - other A&M titles which also got the reissue treatment can be seen on the back of the Obi: Humble Pie, Joe Cocker, Supertramp, Esperanto and (on A&M in the US) The Move and Procol Harum.

    The back of the cover is the moody portrait, with tiny print bottom right "Made in Japan". Inside, is pretty much as per the UK release, 2 colours white and faint orange text, including the UK St. George Street address top right, but at bottom right there is a line "Manufactured by King Record Co., Ltd." The spine is a distinctive blue. The quality of the sleeve is first rate, far outstripping UK or US releases, as is often the case.

    There's a 2 sided white insert - on one side track listing and the "sitting by the river" promo shot, with an unusual Strawbs logo. On the back there's a rather dark picture of Rick Wakeman, and some reversed out Japanese sleeve notes which appear to cover both Rick's career and that of the Strawbs. In the right hand column there appear to be notes about each track. Labels are of course silver.

    Front cover detail and front of Obi, back of Obi



    Japanese reissue (1980)

    Vinyl album: AMP-4030 (A&M/King Records, Japan, 1980). Single sleeve this time, with Obi - logo at top right features Japanese catalogue number. The back of the cover is the moody portrait again. There's a 2 sided white insert - on one side track listing and some sleeve notes by Michinari Yamada, on other side the lyrics and credits as per the UK inner, but with only white text and no colour.

    The back of the Obi features some rather later releases including the 1977 release from Nils Lofgren, "I Came To Dance". However, the sleeve notes in the insert appear to be dated January 1980 (see bottom left of insert). The labels are of course silver.

    Front cover detail and Obi




    Japanese release (1971?)

    Vinyl album: AML 117 (A&M/King Records, Japan, 1971?). Front cover is St Jerome with a grey border, title and artist text reversed out in white (not terribly readable). Japanese cat number at top right. Back has St Jerome again, on a sort of Renaissance roller blind, with track details below. The pic shows that there was a green Obi, but that hasn't suurvived with the copy I have. Labels are A&M/King brown.

    Inside is unusual - a 4pp booklet has been glued to the middle of the inner spread:

  • inside cover - "negative" pic from next page, track list (English & Japanese)
  • p1 booklet - picture, brief English/Japanese sleeve notes
  • pp2&3 booklet - innser spread isan article in Japanese with various UK music paper clippings, including the July 1970 Wakeman "Tomorrow's Superstar" Melody Maker front page
  • p4 booklet - retyped version of Side 1 lyrics (English and Japanese)
  • inside back cover - retyped version of Side 2 lyrics (English and Japanese)
  • Front & back covers

    Inside front cover, booklet p1

    Inside spread (booklet pp 2 & 3)

    Booklet p4, inside back cover


    Photo showing Obi

    Japanese "Pony Express" Japanese reissue (1987)

    Vinyl album: A&M/Pony Canyon (1987, cat no: C19Y4009). In 1987, the first Strawbs CDs emerged: Antiques, Witchwood and Grave New World - I saw them in the much-missed Tower Records store in Piccadilly one night, but didn't buy them there and then despite the cost: whenI went back a week later they had gone and it was a while till I got hold of them.

    This it seems is a parallel vinyl re-issue as the OBI quotes the CD label number, and raises the possibility that vinyl copies of the other two may or may also exist. Nice US style sleve with the broad orance header. The title is printed in strong black instead of deep red as per the UK sleeve. The back is the same as the Australian sleeve above with the track listiong in the tree trunk.

    Inside, the sleeve includes the US A&M address (blocked out in other foreign versions) and the lyrics are printed in black, not white as most other releases. There is a 2-sided inner with some track listing and sleeve notes in Japanese. The disc labels are black, a style used on later US and Canadian reissues.

    Front cover, Obi

    Inside lyrics page




    Japanese release (1972)

    Vinyl album: AML 141 (A&M (King Records), Japan, 1972) - The Japanese release is the full triple-fold cover, with the Japanese catalogue number added to the front cover at top right above the second "S" in Strawbs. The booklet is on slightly thicker, textured cream paper, but the printing is in black rather than the brown used for the Booklet. The first few pages have credits and a piece in Japanese on Strawbs. The lyrics appear in both English and Japanese.

    Japanese cover front

    Japanese labels


    Japanese release (1972)

    Vinyl album: AML 164 (A&M/King Records, Japan). Brown labels.


    Released (1973)

    There are two versions of this Japanese-only release; the first one came out very much featuring Strawbs and Dave Cousins, possibly on the back of Strawbs' success with "Lay Down" and "Part Of The Union", but was quickly superseded by a lavish presentation, which although the title remained the same, was clearly intended to capitalise on Rick Wakeman's growing popularity in Japan rather than that of the Strawbs Strawbs.

    Promo release?

    All the copies I have seen of this have standard King Records/A&M brown labels. Were there any white label promo copies produced?

    First release

    AML 191 (A&M Japan, 1973) The first release has fawn coloured outer sleeve with early photo of DC on the front (previously seen on the inner sleeve of Strawbs). Rear cover states "album design by Front Publicity Inc." Labels are standard brown A&M/King Records.

    Front and back cover

    SDC first front SDC first back


    SDC side 1 SDC side 2

    Second release

    AML 191 (A&M Japan, 1973 re-issue) White embossed outer sleeve, grey printing on rear , none on the front. Enclosed however is a lavish 16 page colour booklet. One of the copies I have also includes an album sized wraparound for the white cover, repeating the front and back of the booklet. Labels are exactly the same as the earlier release (in fact copies of the earlier release may well have been resleeved for the later one).

    "Brass rubbing" of front cover embossing, back cover (part) and Obi scans

    As you'll appreciate, white embossing on a plain white cover is impossible to scan: so here's a sort of "brass rubbing" to give you an idea of the design. The title lettering is the same as the back, above a pair of decorated columns/hourglass design. The A&M logo at the bottom has the catalog number. The back cover tells us that art direction was by G Kunisada, and album design by Oshi Pin Studios. The Obi is the same on both sides, except that on mine there is a Y2000 price sticker on the front.

    SDC booklet SDC second back SDC second Obi

    Booklet front cover (p1) and back cover (p16)

    Both covers, though they retain the "Strawbs and Dave Cousins" logo, nicely coloured in, make it clear that Rick is the focus of their attention.

    SDC booklet SDC booklet

    Booklet pp 2 and 3

    Page 2 has credits - whilst the Witchwood tracks have individual credits for each track, those that come from Antiques & Curios all have full band credits for all instruments - a bit inaccurate for Rick's piano solo "Tenperament Of Mind", you might think {grin}.

    Pages 3-7 appear to be some sort of interview, with participants K, M and I. Not aclue what it's about or who is beeing interviewed.

    SDC booklet SDC booklet

    Booklet pp 4 and 5

    SDC booklet SDC booklet

    Booklet pp 6 and 7

    SDC booklet SDC booklet

    Booklet pp 8 and 9

    Page 8 has a nice pic of Rick and a 1 page article. Page 9 features pictures of keyboard instruments: Mellotron 400D, the Hammond B3 organ, the Mini-Moog and the Synthesiser IIC.

    SDC booklet SDC booklet

    Booklet pp 10 and 11

    Page 10 has the lyrics for the songs, copied from Antiques and Witchwood, transcribed for "Blue Angel". (The latter has a few errors and mis-hearings - as I know myself, Two Weeks is not an easy album to transcribe accurately, but I particularly enjoy "Love is vow the Police search, that he alone is safe" instead of "The wisdom of the fool is such, that he alone is sane").

    Pages 11-13 seem to be a timeline article, focused on Rick.

    SDC booklet SDC booklet

    Booklet pp 12 and 13

    The right hand side of page 13 is a hand drawn family tree showing Rick's activities.

    SDC booklet SDC booklet

    Booklet pp 14 and 15

    Pages 14 and 15 showcases various keyboard players, including Rick.

    SDC booklet SDC booklet


    Japanese promo release (1973)

    Vinyl album: AML180, A&M/King Records, 1973) . Same as below but with white label.


    Full release (1973)

    Vinyl album: AML180, A&M/King Records, 1973) . Same sleeve as UK (with changes to cat nos and distribution credit at bottom of back of sleeve). Green & white obi, which folds over itself at the back. Inner sleeve same as UK Inner sleeve same as UK (except that Japanese catalogue number substituted). Labels brown A&M (2 variants known). But best of all - bespoke insert with Japanese notes and lyrics.

    Obi front, back and back with foldover pulled away




    LP: DY 4804-6 (A&M Japan, 1973). Attractive light blue cover, with family tree in Japanese on the rear cover. Both copies I have of this are promo labels in A&M/King Records style, so uncertain whether this had a full release.

    Front and back cover

    The front cover has a promo pic of the BATS Strawbs line-up in front of one of those very useful crunched up silver foil backgrounds. The back cover is a hand-drawn "family tree":

  • The bottom half of the first column seems to deal with Paul Brett's Sage and King Earl Boogie Band, so probably relates to Dave Lambert - the upper part may cover Fire
  • The third column covers Strawbs - a reference in English to mandolin probably relates to early member Arthur Phillips
  • The top part of the fourth column appears to be Fairport - there's a spur before Strawbs in the third column, which takes Sandy to Fairport. Liege And Lief is not mentioned, but it's probably the box above "(4) Full House" with some lines over to the right indicating Sandy's departure. There's also a loose link to Led Zeppelin, on which Sandy sang
  • The bottom half of the fourth column is Yes, with Wakeman appearing to exit after Antiques, not From The Witchwood and there's a spur off there to Six Wives
  • Strawbs Japanese front cover Strawbs Japanese back cover

    Inner left and right

    Inside left, there's a track listing and track notes in Japanese. Inside left, firstly an article, secondly, band member biogs, with dates of birth. At the bottom, thumbnails of other Strawbs albums, some released on King Records (with cat numbers, but in Japanese), other (Dragonfly and Strawbs) not so.

    Strawbs Japanese inner left Strawbs Japanese inner right


    Strawbs Jap side 1 Strawbs Jap side 2


    Japanese promo release (1974?)

    Vinyl album: AML 201 (A&M/King, 1974?). Highly likely that a white label promo was made available, as with all the other King Records releases. Anyonegot one?

    Japanese release (1974?)

    Vinyl album: AML 201 (A&M/King, 1974?). Sleeve based on US release (but without A&M logo on front). Back had King Records details added. The lyrics inner sleve is based on US also, with King Records details added. Green and white Obi, with prior Strawbs releases advertised on rear.

    But as ever, the joy of Japanese releases is the extra material they provide. There's a 4pp LP sized booklet, in black and white, which features the dove and hand design from the inner sleeve as a background to each page. Page 1 has the track listing in English and Japanese, and sleeve notes which seem to be in the form of an interview with "Dav" (Cousins I think) and Rod (Coombes). For an English speaker it's interesting to pick out the English words: "pigeon", "dove", "Jesus Christ movement", "Spiritual satisfaction", "opium poppy", and on page 2 "Tina". There's a whole phrase from Dav: "A lot of waters flows under the bridge". Page 2 continues the sleeve notes, which start considerinng the album track by track. The pages 3 & 4 provide the lyrics in Japanese. Nice item!


    Obi front and back, labels


    Japanese promo release (1975)

    Vinyl album: AML 232 (A&M/King Records, Japan, 1975). Another nice presentation from King Records. Album cover pretty identical to US version, including US address on back, but King Records number added to front and back. There's an Obi with the back showing Strawbs albums released to date. The insert is 4pp album sized, printed in Ghosts cream and brown. The inner spread has the English lyrics, the front has Japanese sleeve notes and English/Japanese track listing, the back has lyrics translated into Japanese.

    Obi and insert


    Japanese full release (1975)

    Vinyl album: AML 232 (A&M/King Records, Japan, 1975). Anyone got one?


    Japanese promo release (1975)

    Vinyl album: GP 269 (A&M/King, Japan, 1975). Single sleeve - outer cover is almost identical to the US release, save for the Japanese catalogue number at the bottom right of the front. White promo labels. Two inserts with this release: a 2-sided Japanese insert, with sleeve notes on one side and some lyrics on the other. The other is a 4pp LP sized insert - the outer features the English lyrics from the UK release (with Japanese catalogue number). The inside has some sleeve notes, more lyrics and pictures of other Japanese releases. The intention seems to be to insert the first inside the second, effectively a 6-page insert, which is how I've reproduced it here!

    Inserts p1 (outer front)

    Same as UK lyrics first side

    Inserts pp 2 & 3 (inside outer left and other insert front)

    Inserts pp 4 & 5 (inside outer right and other insert back)

    Inserts p6 (outer back)

    Same as UK lyrics second side, with Japanese catalogue number, "manufactured in Japan" added


    Japanese release (1975)

    Vinyl album: GP 269 (A&M/King, Japan, 1975).

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