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


Barclay James Harvest


Crossover Prog

3.03 | 168 ratings

From, the ultimate progressive rock music website

3 stars I've wrote so many praises about BJH's output especially in original line up so I have to confess that "Baby James Harvest" doesn't really make me happy - although "Moonwater" deserves a five-star rating for itself alone.

Perhaps due to the pressures the band were undergoing at the time - they came pretty close to an untimely end ! - there's many things that just don't sound mature here... and with time ( and financial sources ) running out the album became no more than a hint towards what it could have been... under different circumstances. It SHOULD have been a double-vinyl featuring one side of each member's creative work and ended up a rather disrupted affair with Woolly Wolstenholme working separately from the others ( most of the time ), so their songs just didn't receive that little extra-treatment that eventually would have made them shine brightly. With Woolly's piano on "Crazy ( over you )" you only get a glimpse of it, while "Summer Soldier" ( on which Woolly's participating on mellotron and organ ) is a complex beast of a song which is truly best on the 74's Live album but here it's not really fulfilling the high ambitions - it may satisfy the prog-lover, though.

"One hundred thousand smiles out" is a fine song but not arranged to full perfection ( it preceded the far better "Negative Earth" ) while "Thank you" as well as "Delph Town Morn" could have been in John Lees' mind when he spoke of "Ashtray Material" afterwards, though this harsh judgement may be too severe. Nonetheless "Baby James" is BJH's weakest offering in original line-up, though the bonus tracks on the remastered edition ( "The Joker", "Child of Man", "When the City sleeps" ... all fine Single-A's and B's ! ) help the rating to be a three-star ( which it was only barely before and only because of "Moonwater" ). Lucky enough their problems could be solved and they came back with many beautiful albums afterwards... Rupert

rupert | 3/5 |


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