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Barclay James  Harvest - The Collection CD (album) cover


Barclay James Harvest

Crossover Prog

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Easy Livin
Honorary Collaborator / Retired Admin
3 stars Any takers?

Good grief, yet another repackaging of BJH's early tracks. At least here "Mocking bird" appears in its full glory, and the music is of an unquestionably high quality, but do we really need these tracks to be re-bundled yet again?

Each of the four Harvest label albums is represented by two or three tracks, although arguably it's not always the best ones which have been selected. These are joined by three from the "Early morning onwards" compilation, and a couple from the same period which lay unreleased until more recently.

Quite who might now wish to invest in this collection is not obvious. The music it contains is of course good, but those to whom it appeals will surely already have what it contains in some form or other.

Report this review (#22754)
Posted Friday, August 6, 2004 | Review Permalink
Chris S
Honorary Collaborator
2 stars This is another poor compilation set from a reasonable 70's outfit. I would recommend this album only for true BJH collectors. It just has something missing.' Galadriel' and ' Mocking Bird' make good listening though. The most exciting ingredient to The Collection is the cover.
Report this review (#22755)
Posted Wednesday, December 8, 2004 | Review Permalink
2 stars I have to agree with the previous reviews, this is rather poor and lazily done compilation. It does not fulfill the criteria that make a compilation good. First, no written info about the band, not even the album sources mentioned - so the new listeners are quite lost with this very uneven material; second, some really bad songs are included. Third, it could have been 15+ minutes longer. And fourth, the principles of the track selection could be more openly revealed, in this case the (sub)title of the album could have given the years 1969- 1973 because to name it just "The Collection" makes unjustice to the post-'73 output.

Though I have listened to most covered albums, I still was amazed how poor songs they have made. 'Thankyou' is an imbecile rocker that originally replaced written album credits. 'Good Love Child' was for me 5 minutes of embarrasment, begging it to stop. Four songs were new to my ears, nowhere near the best but neither the worst. What comes to the best of BJH's early years, of course many great songs are missing here. But there is 'Mocking Bird', 'Song for Dying' and 'Galadriel' from Once Again (their best album), 'The Iron Maiden' from debut and 'Medicine Man' from And Other Stories, all fine songs. Also many others are good ones, if only there weren't bad songs too... I bought this to my library, I hope at least some clients get interested in Barclay James Harvest by it. (My low rate concerns the overall edition; for the music itself it would be 3 stars.)

Report this review (#114361)
Posted Wednesday, March 7, 2007 | Review Permalink
3 stars Sincerely, "The Collection" is a compilation pretty interesting if you do not know BJH. Otherwise you can just leave it on the record shop shelf! I think building a compilation of compositions of EMI period , so the years 1969 - 1973, is not a bad idea. Except that "The Collection" is not well built.

Leaving aside the fact that a booklet with a minimum of bio and info would help (also considering that this compilation is branded EMI Gold) would move to the music. Now I would observe that those who at the time noted that BJH and The Moody Blues was very similar was not out of the way. But BJH were a hundred times more Rock. So it must be said, in my opinion, that were a little less BJH Prog. But this is an advantage, with their style.

Returned to "The Collection" I must admit that the compilation, in the end I like, too. But only for a few songs I would recommend it. And these songs are: "Poor Wages", "Mocking Bird", "Medicine Man" (here in single version), "The Iron Maiden", "Galadriel", "Someone There You Know" and "Song For The Dying". But I admit, these songs, although half of the track list, raise the value of music in a compilation with a nice cover but too poor in general.

Report this review (#619845)
Posted Thursday, January 26, 2012 | Review Permalink

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