Grave New World is a studio album by English band Strawbs. It was the first album to be released after the departure of Rick Wakeman, under circumstances about which band leader Dave Cousins was very bitter. Cousins has admitted that the track "Tomorrow" was written about Wakeman. Happily their friendship survived and the two have since performed and recorded together, releasing an album Hummingbird in 2002.
Wakeman's departure to join prog-rockers Yes caused a lot of predictions of Strawbs demise. Cousins was into the I Ching at the time and he asked the book what he should do. The answer was used in the lyrics for the first track on the album, "Benedictus".
Blue Weaver, late of Amen Corner, was recruited and considered by most fans to be a more than adequate replacement for Wakeman.
The album depicts the story of one man's life. For instance, the track "Hey Little Man" represents an older man giving advice to his young son. The songs themselves show the continuation of the movement away from Strawbs' original folk leanings. Founding member Tony Hooper began to be increasingly uncomfortable with this and left after the recording sessions of this album.
The original vinyl album had lavish artwork and included a pamphlet showing the lyrics of each track together with details of instrumentation. The front cover is a reproduction of William Blake's Glad Day.
The album reached number 11 in the UK Album Charts.