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Barclay James  Harvest - Once Again CD (album) cover


Barclay James Harvest


Crossover Prog

3.80 | 232 ratings

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Special Collaborator
Symphonic Team
3 stars Anonymous Two

Once Again is a very good title for this second album by Barclay James Harvest. Once again they give us their brand of symphonic rock inspired by The Beatles, The Moody Blues and Procol Harum with a slight Folk rock influence. However, Once Again contains some of Barclay James Harvest's best and strongest classic songs like Mockingbird, Galadriel and She Said.

Barclay James Harvest were never truly groundbreaking, they were never pioneers of anything. The Mellotron had been used by other bands before them and the use of symphony orchestras in a rock setting had also been utilized. However, Barclay James Harvest did write some good material in their early days. It is hardly a coincidence that on a recently released live DVD (of the band performing live in London in 2006), material from the Harvest years (the bands first four albums) together with their fifth - Everyone Is Everybody Else - makes up the vast majority of the set list.

What Barclay James Harvest did not have, however, was a sound of their own; a unique musical identity. Rather they had a pretty anonymous sound that was also very inoffensive and mellow. The only song that rocks hard on this album is Ball And Chain, which probably is the least good one too. Somehow, this band were unable to rock out without sounding strained and uncomfortable.

Overall, Once Again is a very good early prog album and the best example of what Barclay James Harvest were all about in their very early days. Therefore, this is a perfect starting point if you want to investigate this band (together with the debut and Everyone Is Everybody Else). However, there are lots and lots of other bands that deserve your attention before you turn your attention towards Barclay James Harvest.

Good, but non-essential.

SouthSideoftheSky | 3/5 |


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