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Barclay James  Harvest - BJH 25th Anniversary Concert  CD (album) cover


Barclay James Harvest


Crossover Prog

3.18 | 9 ratings

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Andrea Cortese
Special Collaborator
Honorary Collaborator
3 stars ".Oh! what a cold surprise the flying horses cried.".

I have the BJH Ultimate Collection DVD, but it's taken from the same 25th anniversary live show, recorded in 1993. This is not their best repertoire, but, finally, I can see them performing one of my favourite track of all times: the wonderful Medicine Man! This is the traditional live version, even if the studio album one is a lot different, classically arranged by Martyn Ford and Toni Cooke. Orchestral arrangement tends to overshadow the band's playing but it's still a powerful song and has remained a classic ever.

The band were not happy with this arrangement of the song, which was why they later re-recorded in a very strong rock vein for the B-side of "Thank You" (another great rock track!). I think Medicine Man is a real MASTERPIECE in both its versions and I recommend to all you prog-lovers to buy the remastered editions of 1971 Other Short Stories (for the album version) and 1972 Baby James Harvest (for single version). This John's classic opener was inspired by Ray Bradbury's novel, Something Wicked This Way Comes, the title of which was a quote itself from Shakespeare's Macbeth.

Apart the GEM above mentioned and the eternal Mockingbird, here we have songs from 1977 on: the good and highlights Poor Man's Moody Blues and Hymn. There's no much words to say about these two classic from the Gone To Earth album, only that are both from the pen of John Lees!

Then it's the turn of Les Holroyd who chose more recent material.what a great gift to all the BJH's fans if he decided to play such classics as Negative Earth, She Said or Crazy City! By the way there are two good songs from the Eyes Of The Universe 1979 album: the ballad Play To The World: the icing on the cake is John's moody guitar, followed by Alan Fawkes' sax solo, reproduced in live shows by Kevin McAlea; the catchy Rock'n'Roll Lady (surprisingly never released as a single!).

Stand Up is unique amongst BJH singles in that it wasn't written by the band . The song comes from a concept album called Darwin - The Evolution which was written by Dutch brothers Rob and Ferdi Bolland. The album featured various guest artists and was issued under the name The Bolland Project. BJH's contribution is a song about the destruction of the environment and appeared in four different single formats, including a limited edition CD single in a large butterfly-shaped pack. The only BJH album on which this song can be found is the UK version of The Best Of Barclay James Harvest which was issued in 1992 and is already quite difficult to find (that with the car on cover).

Good DVD! 3 stars! P.S. 5 stars for Medicine Man!

Andrea Cortese | 3/5 |


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