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Barclay James Harvest

Crossover Prog

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Barclay James  Harvest Alone We Fly album cover
1.93 | 12 ratings | 3 reviews | 17% 5 stars

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Boxset/Compilation, released in 1990

Songs / Tracks Listing

1. Poor Boy Blues
2. Crazy City (live 1974)
3. For No One (live 1974)
4. Mockingbird (live 1974)
5. Rock'n'Roll Star
6. Hymn
7. Our Kid's Kid
8. Berlin
9. Loving Is Easy
10. Love On The Line (live Berlin)
11. Rock'n'Roll Lady (live Berlin)
12. Shades Of B Hill
13. Fifties Child
14. Waiting For The Right Time (edit)
15. Blow Me Down
16. Sideshow
17. He Said Love (edit)
18. On The Wings Of Love
19. You Need Love

Tracks 1,5 18 & 19 not on the CD version.

Line-up / Musicians

- Les Holroyd / vocals, bass, guitars, keyboards
- John Lees / vocals, guitars
- Mel Pritchard / drums, percussion
- Woolly Wolstenholm / keyboards, Mellotron, vocals, guitars
- Bias Boshell / keyboards
- Kevin McAlea / keyboards

Releases information

2LP Connoisseur VSOPLP 140
CD Connoisseur VSOPCD 140

Thanks to ProgLucky for the addition
and to Joolz for the last updates
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BARCLAY JAMES HARVEST Alone We Fly ratings distribution

(12 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of progressive rock music(17%)
Excellent addition to any prog rock music collection(33%)
Good, but non-essential (8%)
Collectors/fans only (33%)
Poor. Only for completionists (8%)


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
2 stars The Mockingbird flies alone

A very uneven collection of tracks from BJH's early years on the Polydor label though to their "Face to face" album. The classic "Mockingbird" from their even earlier Harvest period is included by virtue of a 1974 live version. There are six live tracks in total, including two from their famous Berlin concert. These live versions are not noticeably different to the originals, and have already been released on official live albums. It is therefore something of a mystery as to why they have been included here in preference to the originals.

Musically, if you are familiar with the work of BJH, you will find plenty of their melodic soft rock here, but little of their more prog related early style. While there are a few tracks which rank among BJH's best ("Hymn" and "Crazy city" to name but two), other tracks do not represent their source albums particularly well.

There are a couple of rare tracks, "Shades of B hill", and "Blow me down", and while they will be of interest to BJH fans, they are far from essential.

In summary, not a particularly well complied album, but it does contain some enjoyable music.

Review by Trotsky
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
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

Review by Joolz
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
2 stars History doesn't remember this compilation too kindly, but when released in 1990 it contained a number of unavailable or 'rare' tracks and was a great success riding on the back of the band's successful studio album Welcome To The Show. Today, though, only Shades Of B Hill [inspired by Fats Domino's 'Blueberry Hill'] has not been incorporated into newer and better releases. Alone We Fly was compiled with assistance from fan club members who obviously convinced Connoisseur to include live versions of some of the old classics like Crazy City or For No-One. In itself a nice enough collection but if you don't already own it then newer compilations will serve you better unless you are a completionist.

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