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


Barclay James Harvest


Crossover Prog

3.85 | 209 ratings

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4 stars Everyone Is Everybody Else is cited by many Barclay James Harvest fans as capturing the band at their very best. I certainly wouldn't disagree with that except perhaps for having a slight preference for their excellent 1974 live album which contains some of the songs featured here as well as having definitive versions of some of their earlier classics.

BJH were never the most complex of prog bands, a strong melody taking precedence over complex instrumental workouts. This is perfectly demonstrated here where they go for a more direct songwriterly approach than ever before, abandoning the orchestral elements that had sometimes featured on their previous albums. Often compared to The Moody Blues, which while being a useful reference point doesn't really do them justice as they had their own identity and are in my opinion a superior band.

The album consists of nine short, no messing, straight to the point songs with strong melodies in abundance. Largely on the mellow side, Crazy City being the only rocking moment and even this alternates between John Lees powerful guitar riffs and the acoustic fuelled verse. It also features an inventive off beat drum pattern from the underrated Mel Pritchard.

There are many songs here that have since gone on to be regarded as BJH classics. Apart from Crazy City, there's the piano dominated Child Of The Universe, Negative Earth and The Great 1974 Mining Disaster, all essential tracks to hear in the bands repertoire. Perhaps best of all though is closing track For No One; Mellotron lovers will be in heaven and Lees supplies some searing guitar work. The weakest point of the album comes in a duo of songs, Poor Boy Blues and Mill Boys. Not that they're particularly bad but seem a little incongruous to the rest of the album, having a light country rock feel.

If you enjoy symphonic rock generally on the mellower side with a strong emphasis on melody and not heard BJH then this excellent album is the perfect place to start. Highly recommended.

Nightfly | 4/5 |


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