Progarchives, the progressive rock ultimate discography
Barclay James  Harvest - Turn Of The Tide CD (album) cover


Barclay James Harvest


Crossover Prog

2.58 | 106 ratings

From, the ultimate progressive rock music website

Special Collaborator
Honorary Collaborator / In Memoriam

I don't know of any band or artist with a long musical career who always has delivered on a constant basis great albums after great albums. Everybody gets tired at one point and sometimes even the greatest musicians experienced a creative slump, or worse they lost it completely. (No names, here!). BARCLAY JAMES HARVEST won't be the exception. Starting with TURN OF THE TIDE ,then with their next 2 studio albums , BJH too will reach the lowest point of their artistic career.

However, this lack of inspiration won't prevent BJH to reach relative stardom as this album TURN OF THE TIDE would be their best selling album to date. Everything has been planned to make this album a success. The 80s synths are all over the place, the sound is well polished and a lot of songs are definitely radio-friendly oriented. If you are looking for prog influences, try somewhere else. This is BARCLAY JAMES HARVEST for the easy listening/soft rock crowd!!

The main culprit is once again LES HOLROYD who has no shame coming up with plain synth-pop songs just waiting for a spot in the juke box. They are cheesy, completely predictable, all plastic, nothing organic! Welcome to WAITING ON THE BORDERLINE. BACK TO THE WALL or other I AM LIKE A TRAIN (!!!!). Enjoy 80s Holroyd! Definitely not your JONATHAN or SHE SAID Holroyd of the past!

ECHOES AND SHADOWS is his best contribution to this album as it is a nice ballad reminiscent of the good old times. LIFE IS LIVING which sounds like coming from a SIMON & GARFUNKEL album would be the ''hit'' of the album with some kind of easy chorus the whole crowd can sing along with the band in concert. Not complicated, but not bad.But it made good money for the band.

JOHN LEES on his side, fears a little bit better than his partner, but only by a slight margin.At least, his songs sound like a band effort, not like computerized processed synth food from HOLROYD. Listening to LEES songs, at least i feel i am hearing BJH. It doesn't mean that his 5 contributions are masterpieces either, but some are good like HOW DO YOU FEEL NOW,a typical LEES ballad ,great voice, great melody, BJH to keep it short.His 8mns IN MEMORY OF THE MARTYRS is another typical strong political message from John with a nice musical build-up in the same style of HYMN. The best track of the album and so far the most ''sophisticated'' song (i won't say prog)

Sadly, there are other turkeys like DOCTOR, DOCTOR or HYGHWAY FOR FOOLS that drowned the album; Not that it is bad, these tracks are rather insipid, colorless. DEATH OF A CITY is not too bad for a LEES rocker, for once!

Definitely not the album to start with BARCLAY JAMES HARVEST if you are new to the band; go with everything from the 70s first like EVERYONE IS EVERYBODY ELSE, TIME HONOURED GHOSTS or LIVE TAPES.

TURN OF THE TIDE is for the fans only, the ones like me who bought all their output, stiill purchased this one waiting for better days. And we had to wait for a while!


febus | 2/5 |


As a registered member (register here if not), you can post rating/reviews (& edit later), comments reviews and submit new albums.

You are not logged, please complete authentication before continuing (use forum credentials).

Forum user
Forum password


Social review comments () BETA

Review related links

Copyright Prog Archives, All rights reserved. | Legal Notice | Privacy Policy | Advertise | RSS + syndications

Other sites in the MAC network: — jazz music reviews and archives | — metal music reviews and archives

Donate monthly and keep PA fast-loading and ad-free forever.