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Barclay James  Harvest - Time Honoured Ghosts CD (album) cover

TIME HONOURED GHOSTS

Barclay James Harvest

 

Crossover Prog

3.61 | 142 ratings

From Progarchives.com, the ultimate progressive rock music website

Trotsky
Special Collaborator
Honorary Collaborator
3 stars By 1975, BJH was moving firmly away from its symphonic progressive roots (although the next year's Octoberon would temporarily reverse the process) and ploughing down a catchy commercial direction that had been forged by the likes of America. They still kept writing some exceptional songs though, and Time Honoured Ghosts is full of beautiful material.

In My Life is an excellent pop-rock tune with one of those catchy John Lees lead guitar riffs (it's not quite as good as Baby James Harvest's Crazy (Over You) though) and Sweet Jesus is a moving Les Holroyd ballad, with nice gospel organ,courtesy of Woody Wolstenholme. The Beatles' influence on BJH is shown to the max on the song Titles (a superb pleading ballad that uses Beatles' song titles as its lyrics!), even the outro, with all the guys chipping in with little ad-lib vocals, is a hilarious yet melodic tongue in cheek nod to their idols. Jonathan is a nice ballad, as is the melancholic Hymn For The Children, which continues a theme that Lees touched on the previous album's Child Of The Universe. One Night also continues the trend of making pleasing, but unchallenging music.

In fact only on 3 of the 9 tracks here do BJH attempt to stretch the boundaries of rock. Notably, Wolstenholme's sole compostion, Beyond The Grave is the most arty piece on here with a menacing guitar riff, symphonic synths, Gothic organ and a free-form melody that rides on a variety of chord formations according the piece a welcome unpredictable character. Moongirl is another highlight, not quite as impressive, but ethereal and symphonic in nature. And Song For You also attempts to be quite bold, but doesn't quite work as well, with a weak vocal performance from Les Holdroyd not helping its cause.

Overall, though, like most mid-period BJH albums (1974's Everyone Is Everybody Else to 1978's Barclay James Harvest XII), this record is damn good, but not really "progressive enough". ... 58% on the MPV scale

Trotsky | 3/5 |

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