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Barclay James  Harvest - Gone To Earth CD (album) cover


Barclay James Harvest


Crossover Prog

3.38 | 201 ratings

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Prog Reviewer
3 stars This is the other of BJH's Polydor (post-Harvest) albums I've heard, the other being Time Honoured Ghosts. The very first times I read anything about BJH in the net, long before I found ProgArchives, I remember that this album was praised as their pinnacle. Well, not quite. I love Once Again (1971) the most; from that point on they got gradually worse, and their new phase with another company was delightfully different, somehow fresher and brighter, if not quite as good. And Gone To Earth could be the highlight of THAT era.

'Hymn' is an interesting case. An anthem-type of a song with critical thoughts about God and Jesus. 'Love Is Like a Violin' is something like a ballad with a more rocking chorus. The next song represents straight country rock'n'roll. 'Poor Man's Moody Blues' was a bitter reaction to the press attitude; they took 'Nights In White Satin' and wrote a very similar sounding song. Not very original, but it's a great song, or a re-work of its model.

The rest of the album has some more relatively straight r'n'r stuff with clean production and good arrangement. 'Leper's Song' has Graham Greene's novel A Burnt-Out Case as its inspiration. Wolstenholme wrote and sung the gorgeous 'Sea of Tranquility' that most of these reminds of the more progressive earlier BJH. 'Taking Me Higher' closes the original album with hymnal serenity. The remaster (2003) includes 5 bonuses, two of them single edits of the album songs, one B-side song and one previously unreleased ('Lied' could have been one of the album's less interesting songs), and nearly 12-minute live version of the perennial 'Medicine Man'. It has a different, edgier arrangement than the studio version, but it stays its welcome way too long. All in all, a strong 3-star rock album with an elegant production - or is it perhaps too clean here and there?

Matti | 3/5 |


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