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Barclay James  Harvest - Early Morning Onwards CD (album) cover


Barclay James Harvest


Crossover Prog

3.28 | 14 ratings

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Prog Reviewer
2 stars A compilation effort is often controvertial. The choice of the tracklist being always a matter of discussion. Most of the time, even the band doesn't fully decide which track will be compiled or not.

But frankly, this compilation does not make a lot of sense. These Harvest years will not be remembered as the most creative ones for BJH but since their contract with their label was put to an end, it was normal that Harvest tried to capitalize on BJH. Pure economics.

Even so, there were means of selecting sufficient very good tracks to make a great compilation even with BJH early recordings. It would only have required to construct this compilation around "Once Again" and add here and there one or two good songs from other albums.

But what happened here ?

Their best (by far) and epic track from their first release "Dark Now My Sky" (just over twelve minutes) is not featured here. Not even in an edited form. Instead, we'll get six tracks of which only "Talking Some Time On" is valuable mainly thanks to its psyche cachet.

The other five numbers will be released as bonus tracks on the remastered version of their debut. Most of them being single releases. The two I preferred, were "Night" and "Eden Unobtainable". None of them are listed here. Anyway, it is a useless and doubtful commercial approach. To release so many non-album tracks to make it more a "lost jewel" compil is rather questionable.

Their best album under the Harvest label is undoubtfully "Once Again". It will hold several of the all-time best numbers that the band has ever written. Can you believe that only "Mockinbird" is featured ! "She Said", "Galadriel" and even the poopy "Happy Old World" are simply forgotten !

From "Other Stories" the choice will at least correspond to a logical and comprehensible selection. "Song With No Meaning" and especially "After The Day" belong to the best of their early repertoire.

As I have described in my review for the individual album "Baby ...", there won't be a lot to be remembered on that one. To have chosen two singles track from these recording is not completely insane. Still, the edited version of "Summer Soldier" should have sit here.

I guess that with this description, you'll get the picture. This is not the best BJH compilation work on the market. Two stars.

Actually, the best one which will partially cover this period is their magnificent BJH Live 1974. Almost all of their great songs of their early days will be featured there. One noticeable exception : "Dark Now My Sky". This one will only be released live on the album "BBC In Concert" (1972).

ZowieZiggy | 2/5 |


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