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Barclay James  Harvest - Welcome To The Show CD (album) cover


Barclay James Harvest


Crossover Prog

2.92 | 77 ratings

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Prog Reviewer
2 stars Studio albums are really scarce in these days for BJH. "Welcome To The Show" is released three years after "Face To Face" and three before "Caught In The Light".

The Lees - Holroyd situation is extremely well depicted by Easy Livin' in his review. So, what about the music ?

Well...There has been ages that I haven't been enthusiast about a BJH album and when I listen the opening track "The Life You Lead", I can only expect the worse. Poor AOR music, almost all the way through.

A few songs will break these awful noises. "Lady Macbeth" is probably the best number on this album. Very pleasant melody, it sounds as a good old BJH song. But don't put too much hope in this one, because it is a very isolated moment in this ocean of extremely poor stuff.

It is a very simple excercise, the one of mentionning the bad tracks : you take basically the whole and just deduct two or three numbers : you'll get the most straight-forward idea of the material you can get here. "John Lennon's Guitar" is one of them, even if the lyrics are childish. The Beatles having been a major source of inspiration from the very start of their career, John Lees will here and there produce a song full of emotion about them. I guess we can call this respect and admiration.

One of the woret song featured is "Halfway To Freedom". A useless tune invaded by orchestration. Just skip it, to avoid to suffer like hell ! You'll then drop into another blunder : "African Nights". BJH plays ethnic ! It is quite an experience, I tell you !

Under these circumstances, "Psychedelic Child" has to be considered as an OK track. A rocking one with some good guitar riff as well as a bearable melody. Same might apply to "Where Do We Go". A soft ballad with nice sax. The melody is above par but of course not to be compared with their great work of the mid- to end seventies.

What is really sad in here, is that most of the songs featured have absolutely nothing to offer. Listen to "Origin Earth" : mellowish to death, syrupous, empty. "If Love Is King" will raise the general level. But this is an easy task here. This song features a very good guitar solo. Extremely welcome, should I say. Another good song.

To get over with this record, you'll still need to go through "Shadows On The Sky". Not a nice job, believe me.

The only positive feeling I have about this album, is that I am now one step further in my reviewing process for BJH. Only a few more to go to have finished with their catalogue. This record is difficult to listen from start to finish. But so were several BJH albums. Basically, this one is not the poorest one of their discography. Two stars.

ZowieZiggy | 2/5 |


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