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Barclay James  Harvest - Everyone Is Everybody Else CD (album) cover


Barclay James Harvest


Crossover Prog

3.86 | 230 ratings

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Prog-Folk Team
5 stars It took BJH longer to shed the orchestra than the Moody Blues, and the results were arguably more dramatic. It must also be said that the new record company, Polygram, and producer Roger Bain, who coaxed a more radio friendly and melodic sound out of the group, played a critical role. For the first time since "Once Again", BJH produced a consistent album in which the children actually play well with each other.

Speaking of children, the opening track "Child of the Universe" became an anthem for the group, and sent a clear signal that the group was open for business. The use of simultaneous piano and synthesizer is particularly powerful in this anti-war tune, Lees' guitar weeps in the closing sequence. Both "Negative Earth" and "Paper Wings" were unique Holroyd/Pritchard collaborations and reveal a maturity hitherto unimagined. Unlike many Holroyd solo compositions, they are more ponderous than poppy, but both are enhanced by mellotron soaked choruses and more expressive lead guitar. The greek-style section that closes "Paper Wings" is not particularly innovative but it sounds fresh given its previously placid surroundings. "The Great 1974 Mining Disaster" begins the tendency to write blatant spoofs of other bands' work rather than mere allusions. It's a bit too plodding although it is saved by the work of Lees' and Wolstenholme in the outro.

Side 2 contains two more BJH perennials, "Crazy City" with its raw riffs, acoustic interludes and fine harmonies, and "For No One", with a constant mellotron backing enhanced by Lees' vitriol. In between, the buildup via several Byrds/Eagles styled country folk rockers displays the versatility of the group. "Poor Boy Blues" contains a middle instrumental section that previews the melody of "Mill Boys", while "Mill Boys" harkens back to "Poor Boy Blues" for its break, but it is done subtly and in a refreshingly understated way rarely heard up to that point from BJH. This makes the fanfare of "For No One" seem all the more impressive.

"Everyone is Everybody Else" was the the right album at the right time for BJH. The songs are great, but together they form a cohesive work that left no doubt of the band's ability to progress.

kenethlevine | 5/5 |


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