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Barclay James  Harvest - Ring Of Changes CD (album) cover


Barclay James Harvest


Crossover Prog

2.68 | 78 ratings

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Special Collaborator
Honorary Collaborator / In Memoriam

BARCLAY JAMES HARVEST released in the beginning 80s 3 studio albums i do consider as being the worst ones from their-very long-carreer. I reviewed with 2 stars TURN OF THE TIDE which marked a shift to soft rock format; i guess this one RING OF CHANGES and the next one VICTIM OF CIRCUMSTANCES sadly follow the same pattern.

When i bought RING OF CHANGES back then in 1983, I never played the record too often as it failed to leave an impression on me.Not that i thought that it was bad, it's just it was completely dull with no memorable moments whatsoever. Playing this record a few months later, i had no memory of any songs at all.I would say that for me RING OF CHANGES is the worst of all BJH albums with nothing to eat on it. I still prefer listen to VICTIMS OF CIRCUMSTANCES than this one (not that it happens often!!!!). But i think it's just a matter of taste. However every BJH fan generally agree that their worst album is one of the 3 aforementioned.Beyond that, it's only personal perception.

As usual we have the 2 song writers sharing the credits but now more than ever, BJH sounds like 2 solo projects working under the same namebrand.There is almost nothing in common between JOHN LEES songs and HOLROYD material. Somehow, LEES keeps the heritage of the ''old '' band even if he has to adapt to the new times, but here and there, the listener can always find something reminiscent of the past through his songs.

The same cannot be said of HOLROYD's tracks as they almost all have become cheesy processed synthetic pop. They are all composed on keyboards, the guitar of LEES is an afterthought now.Just listen (or better avoid) to LOOKING FOR THE OUTSIDE, HIGH WIRE or WAITING FOR THE RIGHT TIME, 3 dull attempts at making a ''hit''. They are completely dull, predictable and lifeless. We had ''concert for the people ''(great), now we have music for the masses, perfect for airports ( i am not talking about ENO,believe me)

The last HOLROYD track RING OF CHANGES sounds first more elaborated because of the use of an orchestra , but this is not a return to ''THE WORLD HAS WOKEN'' either as all instruments are synthetized and the song goes nowhere.So far this album get only one star as we cannot give the big ZERO.

Thanks god, John LEES manages to save this recording from total disaster, but not by much. LEES was not either at his most prolific creative peak at this time, but at least he didn't go as low as his partner.Not that any of his songs here would belong to any BJH best-of, but i least i can go through TEENAGE HEART or PARAISO DOS CAVALOS. We have heard many songs this kind from him before, nothing new but at least it is listenable. He even performs a West-coast Californian style song JUST A DAY AWAY , the same kind we have been used to during the ''glory'' times from 1974-1975.

However, none of the tracks from RING OF CHANGES are necessary listening, even for the most ardent BJH fan. I bought the CD for completion but the music stops here.


febus | 2/5 |


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