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


Barclay James Harvest


Crossover Prog

2.55 | 72 ratings

From, the ultimate progressive rock music website

Andrea Cortese
Special Collaborator
Honorary Collaborator
2 stars This is an album from the 80s, with a strong commercial vein, like the previous 4 studio album without the contribution of Wolstenholme and his legendary mellotron. The first album to be recorded at John Lees' own Friarmere Studios in Delph. The working title for the album whilst recording was in progress was Elements, but there was a last-minute change of heart, possibly because of the futuristic artwork, to Face To Face. Additional keyboards were by Kevin McAlea, Bias Boshell and Wix (Paul Wickens, a session man who has worked with Paul McCartney and Nik Kershaw, amongst others). Additional percussion came from Frank Ricotti, another session musician who had played with numerous luminaries ranging from Tina Turner to Rick Wakeman etc.

He Said Love, of all of John's songs, is the one which has the most overtly Christian message, as the lyric is basically a condensed version of the New Testament. It was written in celebration of the birth of John's second child. The music bears a close family resemblance to `Hymn', and, with its seasonal relevance, was an obvious choice for single release just before Christmas, but unfortunately it failed to get anywhere.

Turn The Key is another lively song from Les with a neat melody line played on the guitar. This track formed part of the 1988 live set and appeared on the Glasnost CD.

In Kiev Les Holroyd was inspired by the Chernobyl disaster in April 1986. The song is a lament for the people of the area, who were innocent victims.

Guitar Blues is the song which is regarded by many as a high point of this album. It's a reject from 1983's Ring Of Changes! The lyrics are ambiguous - its can be read as a lament for a lost love, but it also makes sense as a tribute to man closest to John in the original Barclay James Harvest line up i.e. Woolly Wolstenholme.

"Each night the same songs Each night the pain As I look for your face In the shadows of the front row Life came between us Life on the road We'd kiss and fly on Like birds in the winter time ."

".every day it's another lonely ride Was a time when you'd be here by my side Oh, but the rain came down Washed it all away Now I stand alone with my guitar and play."

Anyway, these good ones are compensated by the others in which there's no many things to remember. I'll give three stars, because I love BJH, but the right value would be around 2,5.

Ah, total time 60,30 mns!

Andrea Cortese | 2/5 |


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