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Barclay James  Harvest - XII CD (album) cover

XII

Barclay James Harvest

 

Crossover Prog

3.56 | 107 ratings

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rupert
4 stars Anybody knowing me will wonder about the rating cause for sure "XII" - for RUPERT - is a 5-Star album without discussion, but it isn't so much "prog", it's--- a bunch of everything BJH were great for delivered with good songs and, more than ever, finding a way into catchy Pop-Rock with "Loving is easy" ( the single-version's got more punch so get the remaster with the bonus-tracks ! ), "Sip of Wine" and "Turning in Circles" ( great guitars/bass/drums on that one ), "Harbour" offering a second ( and "lighter" ) Wolstenholme-composition with west-coast-leadguitar-lines and "A Tale of two sixties" is as close to traditional, rootsy rock than BJH ever were and all of them are fun, while the somewhat sleepy "Giving it up" is a bit weaker.

Finally left for Proggies are "Nova Lepidoptera" ( strange... it doesn't really LIFT me up as usual with the great BJH- songs, but if I'm up with BJH it's keeping me right there ! ) , "Berlin" ( yes, one of Les Holroyd's finest compositions and - for me - still best here with him on Piano and Woolly on Keys ), the ever-excellent "In Search of England" and finally "The Streets of San Francisco", which, to me, is BJH's most underrated song... just listen carefully and you'll be surprised... that Harmony-Vocals to THAT melody... that Harmonica... that Mellotron and Piano ( surely Woolly HAD to love this song, you can feel it in the way he played ! ) and... have you ever heard such a fine bass as Les Holroyd played it at the end ??? I suppose he was only improvising "around quints" but it's so beautiful, it's everything from Jazz to Pop to Prog... I still can't believe that when "XII" came out I found it "not quite as good as Gone to Earth", it's - in fact - better but perhaps not for those looking for a higher quantity of "Prog"-Elements... I'm even tempted to rate "XII" as a 3-Star album only for them, but I love it too much, I can't do this... so sad it was "Goodbye to Woolly" afterwards, I hoped for an increasing number of his contributions then...

Rupert P.S.: Very glad about similar high ratings and good reviews here, it makes me dare to give it 4 Stars for the readers !

rupert | 4/5 |

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