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John Lees - A Major Fancy CD (album) cover


John Lees


Crossover Prog

2.58 | 22 ratings

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Special Collaborator
Symphonic Team
2 stars Untitled

A Major Fancy is the one and only solo album by Barclay James Harvest man John Lees. Apparently it was recorded in 1972, but held back from release until 1977. One most interesting fact is that it was on this album that the original version of Child Of The Universe appeared. This song later ended up, in a different version, on Barclay James Harvest's Everyone Is Everybody Else in 1974 and has since become one of the band's most recognized songs.

My expectations before hearing A Major Fancy were rather low, but this album is not a disaster. The style of music is more funky than what you would expect from Barclay James Harvest. Rod Argent hands in some nice organ on the nearly 8 minute opening track, Untitled No. 1. The weakest aspect of this otherwise rather good track is the banal lyrics. Child Of The Universe I have already mentioned. This older version is not as good as the subsequent band version, but it is a good song. This flows into Kes, a brief and inoffensive instrumental.

So far A Major Fancy is rather good, but after this point things start to get problematic. Untitled No. 2 is a funky number that, despite its relatively short length, feels overlong and leaves no lasting impression. Sweet Faced Jane is however the first embarrassment. A bouncy rocker with a violin lead, and a slight Country feel. Wittburg Night is closer to Barclay James Harvest territory in its slow tempo and in the melody. However, it sounds rather like a weak Barclay James Harvest tune and leaves a lot to be desired. The lyrics are again banal and there is an unnecessary Beatles-quote! Similar comments apply to the rest of the album.

I cannot recommend this album for anyone but the most devoted Barclay James Harvest fan

SouthSideoftheSky | 2/5 |


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