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Barclay James  Harvest - Barclay James Harvest CD (album) cover


Barclay James Harvest


Crossover Prog

3.26 | 198 ratings

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Prog Reviewer
4 stars A wonderful debut by the sadly overlooked BJH. I feel a bit wordless, because although this album has only four reviews, each of them is excellent (and 4* like mine). Things I had in mind are there already, for example "...can be categorized somewhere in the PROCOL HARUM - MOODY BLUES school of musical thought with still carrying their own personality." Yes, the sonic closeness to '67-'72 Moody Blues in fact helped BJH to become one of my fave bands. Procol Harum assimilation is the strongest in 'When the World Was Woken'; the mellow organ sounds very much the same as in the epic on Shine On Brightly, and surely would have been a massive hit had it Procol's name on it. But BJH was a unique symphonic rock band and deserves a classic status.

'Sun Will Never Shine' is a nice sixtyish song with a memorable chorus. Perhaps the loveliest after 'Woken' is the short but ahh so moody and haunting ballad 'Iron Maiden'. Its sad Mellotron sound - compare the beginning of Uriah Heep's 'Come Away Melinda' - and the perfect vocals. (BTW it's the vocals that are not always good in BJH from the third album onwards.) Last but definitely not least: 'Dark Now My Sky', nearly 12-minute epic, their grandest collaboration with conductor Robert Godfrey (>The Enid). Even with two or three less interesting tracks this is unarguably a classic album. To me band's pinnacle was their second, Once Again.

Matti | 4/5 |


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