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Barclay James  Harvest - Once Again CD (album) cover


Barclay James Harvest


Crossover Prog

3.83 | 267 ratings

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4 stars One of the first prog albums I ever heard, after Nursery Cryme, and still one of my favourites. BJH used their own orchestra on this album, and it is one of the best integrations of rock band and orchestra around.

"She Said" (not to be confused with the Beatles "She Said, She Said") kicks off the album, starting off with some nice keyboards but a slightly dodgy roll around the drum kit. This song sets the tone for the album, with the distinctive guitar sound which features heavily throughout the album. Following one of the short guitar solos, it goes into a very quiet orchestral section before bursting back into the rest of the song. An excellent chorus and a good start to the album. "Song For Dying", despite the rather morbid title and lyric, is one of the best songs on the album, again featuring that wonderful guitar sound, going up the scale until you think it cannot go any higher. The beautifully evocative "Galadriel" starts off on guitar but is mainly voice and orchestra, demonstrating effective an orchestra can be on a prog album. This precedes "Mocking Bird" which is probably the best known song here, if not the best known BJH song. An excellent melody again featuring striking use of the orchestra. "Vanessa Simmons" is a simple but effective number with just acoustic guitars under the vocals. "Ball and Chain" is a fairly basic but effective rock song with another impassioned vocal. "Lady Loves" winds up the album with a high guitar playing over the vocal and this is one of the few times a Jaws harp has featured on a pro album.

One of the classic prog albums of the early 70s, everyone should check this out.

chopper | 4/5 |


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