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Barclay James  Harvest - A Concert For The People (Berlin) CD (album) cover


Barclay James Harvest


Crossover Prog

3.15 | 61 ratings

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Honorary Collaborator / In Memoriam

I am surprised by the quite low rating this album A CONCERT OF THE PEOPLE-BERLIN is getting on PA. Is it the fact that it was issued during the 80s? maybe because the 3 BJH studio albums from this era were the worst they would release in their storied career? Maybe because WOOLY was not present? Or is it maybe it was just a single LP and not a double LP like ''LIVE'' and ''LIVE TAPES''l I don't know for sure, but for me this is a great recording.

Everybody knows about the significance of this concert where 250 000 berliners gathered at the Reichstag in Berlin to show support for the people of the other side of the city, still separated by the famous wall back then in 1982. BARCLAY JAMES HARVEST was at the peak of their popularity in Europe, especially in all german speaking countries. Their recent album TURN ON THE TIDE had not much to offer to an old BJH fan but became their best-selling one as BJH has reached the soft-rock/Aor crowd with some dull synth-pop hits.

There is a lot to like on this release. Beside the historical aspect, this was a great concert; the track list is well balanced between oldies and the new tracks as only the better ones have been chosen for this event. One can always complaint about why this particular song was not included and why that 'stinky' one was performed. I don't know of any compilation, best-of or live albums that can satisfy every fan as each one has their own idea of the ideal best-of.

Also the band was on top form this evening; they play with passion, they sing their heart out especially JOHN LEES . The music is tight, definitely more powerful than what we can hear from the studio recordings .Some old classics like MOCKINGBIRD or HYMN have a edgier side than the originals and sound revigorated, full od dynamism and when LEES brings a lot emotions in his vocals like he does on this album, you have a winner.

Listen also to SIP OF WINE, this live version blows away the ''XII'' version, stronger vocals and definitely better musical creative interpretation. IN THE MEMORY OF THE MARTYRS the best track from the rather dull TURN OF THE TIDE gets an improved treatment here as well definitely more powerful and energetic. LIFE IS FOR LIVING is not their best tune for sure but i think it works well as live tune sure to please the crowds. Even LOVING IS EASY sounds more interesting as it is perfect for a live environment.

CHILD OF THE UNIVERSE, my definitive BJH song is also included so why should i not be happy with A CONCERT FOR THE PEOPLE?. Did i mention that the wonderful HOLROYD song 'BERLIN'' from 'XII' opens the album? If they wouldn't have performed it for this special night in BERLIN, when would they? A beautiful majestic rendition full of emotions clearing the way for a wonderful musical evening.There are really no bad tracks, no POLK STREET RAG or WAITING ON THE BORDERLINE or stuff like that to kill the charm.

Maybe A CONCERT FOR THE PEOPLE-BERLIN should have been released as a double LP back then as i am sure they played more songs this evening, but we have to be happy with what we got.A great concert, a band on top of his game full of energy,the attendance under the charm and the listener like me happy. This was a big commercial success as this album sold big time!


febus | 4/5 |


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