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


Barclay James Harvest


Crossover Prog

3.90 | 273 ratings

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4 stars Review Nš 657

"Everyone Is Everybody Else" is the fifth studio album of Barclay James Harvest that was released in 1974. This was the first album from the band released for Polydor label and represents a subtle change into their music. This was their first album not to feature any orchestral arrangements and the final result was a more rock oriented sound and the early similarities with The Moody Blues became less apparent. It showed the band had a better and more polished production than the albums on the Harvest Records, and this actually helped them to develop a sound that was more of their own.

"Everyone Is Everybody Else" has nine tracks. The first track "Child Of The Universe" written by John Lees is a song about the violence in Northern Ireland and Vietnam and the apartheid in South Africa and is a classic theme of Barclay James Harvest. It's also one of the most known songs of the group and is also one of the most performed live by them. It's a very emotional and personal song perfectly treated with a proper dramatic sense. The second track "Negative Earth" written by Les Holroyd and Mel Pritchard is a song based on the disastrous 1970 Apollo 13 space mission, that in spite of everything and in the ending, the space crew returned safely to Earth. This is a very melodic and accessible song perfectly identified with the more oriented pop style of Les Holroyd. The third track "Paper Wings" written by Les Holroyd and Mel Pritchard is another melodic song but with a more rock and frenetic rhythm, especially because the drum attacks at the end of the song. It's a good song very easy to here and that doesn't require too much attention to listening. The fourth track "The Great 1974 Mining Disaster" written by John Lees seems to be based to the Bee Gees song of a very similar name. Deconstructing the lyrics of the Bee Gees "New York Mining Disaster 1941", it retold the story of the 1974 UK miner's strike that led to the downfall the British government. It's a very nice and interesting song with beautiful guitar moments, especially its great guitar solo. The fifth track "Crazy City" written by Les Holroyd is a superb song with great gritty guitar riffs and nice vocal harmonies and that was therefore released as a single. It's the rockiest song on the album and is also very well sung. It's one of the most commercial songs of the band, but sincerely I think that it isn't necessarily a bad thing. The sixth track "See Me See You" written by John Lees is, as usual, another very melodic track with nice and fine musical parts which gives us a great moment of relaxing pleasure. This is a song with some musical complexity and one of my favourite songs of the album. The seventh track "Poor Boy Blues" written by Les Holroyd and the eighth track "Mill Boys" written by John Lees are two simple and beautiful folk songs with nothing of special to offer. They're two songs with a country rock feel that seem a little out of the place in the context of the album. They aren't bad songs but both represent, without doubt, the weakest point of the album. The ninth and last track "For No One" written by John Lees is an anti-war song like "Child Of The Universe" and a great song to close the album. It's a powerful song with clean vocal harmonies, dense and simplistic Mellotron and great guitar performance and where John Lees pleading vocals, carry the song to an impressive climax. In my humble opinion, "For No One" is with "Child Of The Universe" the two highest points of this great album. Both remain two excellent tracks, even today.

My "Everyone Is Everybody Else" version has five bonus tracks. Usually I don't review bonus tracks. However, this time I'm going to do an exception with "Maestoso (A Hymn In The Roof Of The World)" written by Woolly Wolstenholme. The recording sessions produced this track that would remain locked for about twenty years because Polydor didn't agree with the inclusion of this symphonic piece on the album, with the argument that it has a very different style from the rest of the album. This is an epic track with the lyrics telling the story of a chance meeting between a Russian and an American mountaineer at the top of the World, in Mount Everest. Woolly Wolstenholme later recorded it on his debut solo studio album "Maestoso". It was a shame this track hasn't been included because it would have been the only real progressive song on the album. This is also one of the best and most spectacular compositions composed by the band.

Conclusion: "Everyone Is Everybody Else" is one of the best Barclay James Harvest studio albums, indeed. However, I don't consider it their best studio work. Sincerely, I'm absolutely convinced that they have better studio works, such as, their two next studio albums, "Time Honoured Ghosts" and especially "Octoberon". "Everyone Is Everybody Else" isn't as cohesive and well balanced as "Time Honoured Ghosts" and "Octoberon" are. It has especially two weak songs "Poor Boy Blues" and "Mill Boys" that constitute the Achilles' heel of this album. By the other hand, it's completely inexcusable the editor's decision of not include one of the greatest music pieces composed by Woolly Wolstenholme, "Maestoso (A Hymn In The Roof Of The World)". If that hadn't happened, "Everyone Is Everybody Else" would be a better album. Still, for many persons, "Everyone Is Everybody Else" remains BJH's most solid and consistent release.

Prog is my Ferrari. Jem Godfrey (Frost*)

VianaProghead | 4/5 |


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