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Barclay James  Harvest - Alone We Fly CD (album) cover


Barclay James Harvest


Crossover Prog

1.88 | 11 ratings

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1 stars Even at the best of times, a compilation can fail to capture the essence of a group's music. A small minority of progressive rock groups, are ideal for compilations, and I would have said that BJH is one of them. Unfortunately Alone We Fly is a real travesty. Purporting to cover the period from 1974-1987, it ignores some of the period's best albums and is an unconvincing melange of live tracks, B-sides and singles from the group's tired mid 80s phase.

Now, it just so happened that during this period, BJH was moving away from its early symphonic sound, but the band still continued to make good music. So seriously how can you leave out songs from Everyone Is Everybody Else, Time Honoured Ghosts and Octoberon? It's just not on.

The only essential recordings included from the classic 1974-1978 period are the stately Hymn (the only track included from Gone To Earth) and its counter-part Berlin (from Barclay James Harvest XII). Live versions of the excellent tunes Mocking Bird (a heart- breaking classic), For No One (an epic ballad) and Crazy City (nice synth/guitar interplay and Yes-like harmonies) lend the collection a semblance of credibility, but really there are so many flaws with the song selection that I don't even know where to start. I'm going to assume that some licensing issues led to the incredibly poor song selection.

I can't think of why a newcomer should be subjected to so many unacceptable tracks, nor why a long time fan should be abused in this way. Aside from the 5 tracks here that are taken off live albums, there are curiousity B-sides (Shades Of B Hill is actually a Fats Domino tribute, except with 80s synths and a drum machine!), a disco excursion Loving Is Easy and dated synthy stuff from albums like Victim Of Circumstance and Face To Face. There is some quality music on here, but generally I'd have to advise you avoid this like the plague. ... 19% on the MPV scale

Trotsky | 1/5 |


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