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Barclay James  Harvest - After the Day: The Radio Recordings 1974-1976 CD (album) cover

AFTER THE DAY: THE RADIO RECORDINGS 1974-1976

Barclay James Harvest

 

Crossover Prog

3.26 | 8 ratings

From Progarchives.com, the ultimate progressive rock music website

febus
Special Collaborator
Honorary Collaborator / In Memoriam
3 stars THE CLASSIC BJH SOUND....ONE MORE TIME!!

I ordered this new double CD 3 months ago as soon as it came out like a good BARCLAY JAMES HARVEST FAN would do. Not that i expected anything new considering the tracklist, but you know, you never know,i may hear something different that would give this CD its own personality!

Also a look at the cover brings you back to the time when BJH produced marvelous LPs with their delightful crafty songs , wonderful harmonies and exquisite lavish arrangements . They were the kings at composing the most beautiful songs you could hear. Nothing was too challenging but good taste was never lacking when it was time to coat the song with those cute orchestrations.

JOHN LEES the guitarist and main composer was never about showing you off with an extended solo, only looking for the few right notes that would beautify his song! Also, the sound of BJH was in the hands of the fantastic keyboard player WOOLY WOLSTENHOLME who really added a symphonic touch with his majestic mellotron!....If you love the Mellotron, BARCLAY JAMES HARVEST is the band to start with!

So what to expect from those ''radio broadcasts''=1974-1976-??? if you are already the owner of ''BJH LIVE'' ''LIVE TAPES'' ''EVERYONES IS EVERYBODY ELSE'' or ''TIME HONORED GHOSTS''...not much!! The first CD is a concert brodacasted from a theatre in London, circa ''BJH LIVE '' tour! You actually get to hear the EXACT same songs than on ''LIVE'', minus the oldies GALADRIEL and the classic MOCKINBIRD. So be ready for the likes of ''SUMMER SOLDIER'' ''FOR NO ONE'' ''NEGATIVE EARTH'' and other goodies from the time.......and to tell you the truth those versions don't differ much from the ''LIVE'' one as BJH has never be known to be ''adventurous'' on stage , except a little bit with ''SUMMER SOLDIER ''or ''MEDICINE MAN''.

The second disc was actually recorded at the BBC sessions for the famous JOHN PEEL sessions, at least the first five songs and guess what, FOR NO ONE and the others were already featured on the first disc. So if you like PAPER WINGS played twice, you are for a treat. And if you love a song repeated 3 times on CD (even a double set) so welcome to heaven!!. Sadly the incriminated song is no less that an usual pathetic attempt at hard rock BJH tried many times without any success. Get ready for the LES HOLROYD-penned CRAZY CITY and its horrible guitar riff! I do love BARCLAY JAMES HARVEST, but i like them best at what is their strength: crafting beautiful ballads with angelic harmonies and lavish orchestrations, not when JOHN LEES thinks he is the second coming of RICHIE BLACKMORE.

The rest of the CD is occupied with a few songs broadcasted from a theatre in Liverpool for the promotion of their then-new LP OCTOBERON back then in 1976. And we are not getting the best from this album except the fantastic and tragic SUICIDE. Yes, we are getting 3 ''rock'' tracks that i don't care of: CRAZY CITY...one more time, POLK STREET RAG and ROCK N ROLL STAR! Not the best way to end this recording!

So obviously, this double set is aiming at all real BJH lovers like myself, but it will never get the amount of spins ''BJH LIVE'' ''LIVE TAPES'' had in the past or will in the future. But there is still beautiful music to be heard: That's classic BARCLAY JAMES HARVEST!!

Good recording, but non essential!!

3 STARS!

febus | 3/5 |

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