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Barclay James Harvest

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Barclay James  Harvest Early Morning Onwards album cover
3.30 | 16 ratings | 5 reviews | 19% 5 stars

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Boxset/Compilation, released in 1972

Songs / Tracks Listing

1. Early Morning (2:34)
2. Poor Wages (2:31)
3. Brother Thrush (3:07)
4. Mr. Sunshine (2:53)
5. Taking Some Time On (5:29)
6. Mother Dear (3:16)
7. Mocking Bird (6:37)
8. Song With No Meaning (4:19)
9. I'm Over You (3:51)
10. Child Of Man (3:19)
11. After The Day (4:39)

Total Time: 42:35

Line-up / Musicians

- Les Holroyd / bass, guitars, vocals
- John Lees / guitars, vocals
- Mel Pritchard / drums, percussion
- Woolly Wolstenholme / keyboards, Mellotron, vocals

Releases information

LP EMI/Starline SRS 5126 (1972) (black sleeve)
LP EMI/Starline SRS 5126 (1973) (reissue - white sleeve)
CD Brimstone BRIM 001 (1997)

Thanks to ProgLucky for the addition
and to Joolz for the last updates
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BARCLAY JAMES HARVEST Early Morning Onwards ratings distribution

(16 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of progressive rock music(19%)
Excellent addition to any prog rock music collection(38%)
Good, but non-essential (38%)
Collectors/fans only (6%)
Poor. Only for completionists (0%)

BARCLAY JAMES HARVEST Early Morning Onwards reviews

Showing all collaborators reviews and last reviews preview | Show all reviews/ratings

Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by Easy Livin
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator / Retired Admin
4 stars A wake up call!

At the time this was released, it was many peoples' introduction to BJH. The album was a budget label release (Pink Floyd's "Relics" was a similar release on the same label) costing less than a pound.

The album contains highlights from their first 3 albums, plus singles A and B sides which had not at the time appeared on BJH albums. Those singles, which were recorded prior to release of the band's debut album, have an endearing naivety. While they are simple in their structure, they offer early tantalising glimpses of what was to come. A useful analogy for this album might be Genesis first album, "From Genesis to revelation".

As with any compilation, it's easy to debate the tracks selected from the source albums, but "Early morning onwards" represented excellent value at the time of its release, and must have served to introduce many more people to the music of this fine band.

Review by Joolz
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
3 stars In the early 1970s 'bonus tracks' were often hard to come by, which is why EMI's budget label Starline filled a niche amongst fans. Early Morning Onwards is a good example of their philosophy - take a smattering of familiar album tracks, mix in some non-album material and release at a bargain-bin price. It was a successful formula and won BJH many new fans as six of its eleven tracks were from single A and B sides, including the first two [Early Morning/Mr Sunshine and Brother Thrush/Poor Wages] and a later one from 1972 [I'm Over You/Child Of Man], the remainder being album tracks from the first three studio albums, including the ubiquitous Mocking Bird and apocalyptic After The Day.

It was those singles which caused many fans to buy the album because it helped us to complete our BJH discography while at the same time offering an insight into the band's development. The songs are presented sequentially through time, thus tracing their career from the musical innocence of Early Morning through to what was then the standard BJH style of After The Day. Today, this album remains a charming time capsule of those years, fondly remembered by those who were there but no longer essential as all those non-album tracks are now available on a number of other compilations, and four are on the remastered edition of BJH's eponymous debut.

Review by ZowieZiggy
2 stars A compilation effort is often controvertial. The choice of the tracklist being always a matter of discussion. Most of the time, even the band doesn't fully decide which track will be compiled or not.

But frankly, this compilation does not make a lot of sense. These Harvest years will not be remembered as the most creative ones for BJH but since their contract with their label was put to an end, it was normal that Harvest tried to capitalize on BJH. Pure economics.

Even so, there were means of selecting sufficient very good tracks to make a great compilation even with BJH early recordings. It would only have required to construct this compilation around "Once Again" and add here and there one or two good songs from other albums.

But what happened here ?

Their best (by far) and epic track from their first release "Dark Now My Sky" (just over twelve minutes) is not featured here. Not even in an edited form. Instead, we'll get six tracks of which only "Talking Some Time On" is valuable mainly thanks to its psyche cachet.

The other five numbers will be released as bonus tracks on the remastered version of their debut. Most of them being single releases. The two I preferred, were "Night" and "Eden Unobtainable". None of them are listed here. Anyway, it is a useless and doubtful commercial approach. To release so many non-album tracks to make it more a "lost jewel" compil is rather questionable.

Their best album under the Harvest label is undoubtfully "Once Again". It will hold several of the all-time best numbers that the band has ever written. Can you believe that only "Mockinbird" is featured ! "She Said", "Galadriel" and even the poopy "Happy Old World" are simply forgotten !

From "Other Stories" the choice will at least correspond to a logical and comprehensible selection. "Song With No Meaning" and especially "After The Day" belong to the best of their early repertoire.

As I have described in my review for the individual album "Baby ...", there won't be a lot to be remembered on that one. To have chosen two singles track from these recording is not completely insane. Still, the edited version of "Summer Soldier" should have sit here.

I guess that with this description, you'll get the picture. This is not the best BJH compilation work on the market. Two stars.

Actually, the best one which will partially cover this period is their magnificent BJH Live 1974. Almost all of their great songs of their early days will be featured there. One noticeable exception : "Dark Now My Sky". This one will only be released live on the album "BBC In Concert" (1972).

Review by seventhsojourn
4 stars Early Morning Onwards was originally released on the budget EMI Starline label in September 1972, a couple of months ahead of BJH's last album for the Harvest label (Baby James Harvest). This was actually the first ''progressive'' lp I bought, along with ELP's Pictures At An Exhibition. It too was a budget release and I was able to buy both together for the price of one full-price lp. Oh to be a teenager again. The initial batches of Early Morning Onwards had a simple dark sleeve displaying a group picture on the front, while the song lyrics were printed on the back cover. Super. However the album was re-issued soon after in a gaudy white cover with large orange lettering. Apparently the stylised lettering of the original cover was difficult to read. As to the music itself, this was a compilation of singles and album tracks, selected from the band's first three Harvest lps.

Early Morning was BJH's first A-side, released on the Parlophone label in 1968. It's a lovely pastoral ballad featuring Mellotron flute and strings. Poor Wages features a nice guitar solo (played by Woolly Wolstenholme!) and was the B-side of Brother Thrush. The band had moved from Parlophone to the more progressive Harvest label, and Brother Thrush was the first BJH release on the new label in 1969. Featuring some falsetto vocals, it was one of many songs that John Lees would write about birds. Mr Sunshine was on the flip-side of Early Morning; it features a recorder solo by Lees and deals with the subject of depression. Taking Some Time On and Mother Dear were both lifted from the band's debut album of 1970, and are a rocker and a ballad respectively.

The classic Mocking Bird was released as a single in 1971, as well as appearing on the acclaimed Once Again album. Song With No Meaning and After The Day featured on the band's third Harvest album, And Other Short Stories, also from 1971. I'm Over You was released as a single in 1972 and contains more superb Mellotron. Its B-side Child Of Man contains a religious theme, a theme that BJH would return to throughout the band's career.

This album was released as a means of introducing people to BJH almost four decades ago, so should not be viewed as a ''best of...''. Personally, I don't like compilation albums but this is really a very nice collection. It is from the halcyon days and is pure nostalgia for someone of my age, so I'll award it 4 stars.

Latest members reviews

3 stars It was released in 1972 "Early Morning Onwards". It is a compilation album that contains the excerpt and the rhea track from three initial works. It is an album of BJH to which I listened for the first time. "Early Morning" Single released in 1968. Really a classical ballade that seems to be ... (read more)

Report this review (#60148) | Posted by braindamage | Monday, December 12, 2005 | Review Permanlink

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