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Elonkorjuu Harvest Time album cover
3.19 | 41 ratings | 4 reviews | 7% 5 stars

Good, but non-essential

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Studio Album, released in 1972

Songs / Tracks Listing

1. Unfeeling (3:23)
2. Swords (4:03)
3. Captain (3:41)
4. Praise to Our Basement (4:43)
5. Future (3:55)
6. Hey Hunter (3:40)
7. The Ocean Song (3:17)
8. Old Man's Dream (4:44)
9. Me and My Friend (4:01)
10. A Little Rocket Song (4:04)

Total Time 39:31

Line-up / Musicians

- Heikki Lajunen / vocals
- Jukka Syrenius / guitar, vocals
- Veli-Pekka Pessi / bass
- Eero Rantasila / drums
- Ilkka Poijärvi / organ, flute

Releases information

EMI Finland, LP 1972, CD 2002

Thanks to Atavachron for the addition
and to projeKct for the last updates
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ELONKORJUU Harvest Time ratings distribution

(41 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of progressive rock music(7%)
Excellent addition to any prog rock music collection(37%)
Good, but non-essential (54%)
Collectors/fans only (2%)
Poor. Only for completionists (0%)

ELONKORJUU Harvest Time reviews

Showing all collaborators reviews and last reviews preview | Show all reviews/ratings

Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by Atavachron
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
3 stars Finnish quintet Elonkorjuu are one of the many little-known bands that did heavy blues/psych with strong prog elements, drawing initially from the schools of Cream, Sabbath and Colosseum but expanding on those influences with soulful church organ and cutting guitar from leader Jukka Syrenius. There are also warm jazz undertones and an earthy quality to the production, giving this group a vintage sound you can put on like a pair of ancient but dear shoes.

'Unfeeling' is self-sorry blues rock with almost evangelical vocals and Jukka Syrenius' hot licks, not a great opener but 'Swords' continues the disillusioned weeping and picks up with a good arrangement, understated organ and a bit of flute. The surprising 'Future' absolutely rocks and even foreshadows Fripp's use of atonal guitar lines, Syrenius showing sadly underappreciated talent. 'Old Man's Dream' is strange heavy psych with great changes and a beautiful dual guitar exchange, and 'A Little Rocket Song' is a Sabbatic rocker with Zeppelin's guitar/drum dynamics. No obvious pull here for the jaded progster but many little surprises hidden just beneath the surface, and Elonkorjuu is worth investigation if you have an ear for the shadowy and mysterious world of early heavy progressive rock.

Review by Matti
3 stars The original vinyl of the debut album by the Pori-based band ELONKORJUU ('Harvest' in Finnish) has been the most valuable collector's item in Finnish rock: in 2005 its average prize was 435 euros, 50e more than the second priziest, APOLLO's eponymous album. Even 1500 euros has been paid for it. This heavy prog classic was recorded in a single day, almost live, after the group had slept the night in a car parked nearby the studio. Another day was used for the mixing. The album was released with a notable delay, after some line-up changes, and it didn't really give the full picture of the band's capacity. Rock critic Waldemar Wallenius's article was loaded with angry frustration as he compared the shortened tracks of "the failed, meant-to-be-good album" to the powerful gigs he had witnessed. "No studio experience. No self criticism. No good producer."

Especially the latter is literally true. According to the guitarist and composer Jukka Syrenius, Chrisse Johansson who was credited as the producer "visited the studio just shortly for a couple of times". However, at that point the band had already reached a fair amount of success. Syrenius had previously played in a blues band called Blue & Black Friars Organization. In the autumn of 1969 Elonkorjuu came the second in the national band contest and a bit later recorded a long track 'Where's the Rising Sun' for the anthology Popmestarit (1971).

When Elonkorjuu played in rock festivals such as Ruisrock, the original vocalist Timo Hannukainen had been replaced by Heikki Lajunen (who's singing on this album). Drummer had changed for a couple of times. On the album Syrenius's cousin Ilkka Poijärvi, who studied music at the time, plays Hammond and also some flute and guitar. Despite the hurried recording, Harvest Time is quite impressive heavy prog. Vocalist-lyricist Lajunen's slightly rough voice fits very well into the hazy, dynamic rock, although the English pronunciation is rather unclear.

A perfect example of an epic-like feel in less than four minutes space is 'Captain'. The organ sound and the nuanced singing remind me of the early Van der Graaf Generator. After the electric guitar solo that cites a well known Slavonic song, the calmer section featuring flute would pass for the Genesis album Trespass. Jukka Syrenius appears as a decent songwriter but especially as an excellent guitarist, perhaps a bit too much so. Occasionally it sounds like everything else is just surroundings for showcasing the guitarist's talent. The album sold poorly and EMI lost its interest for Elonkorjuu which continued gigging. Further changes in the line-up occurred, and around '74 the band started playing simpler, funk based music.

(Based on a chapter of my book Prog Finlandia, 2016)

Review by Aussie-Byrd-Brother
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
3 stars Formed in 1969, Finnish five-piece band Elonkorjuu (translated to mean `Harvest') enjoyed early success in local music contests, rock concerts and were even blessed to have a professionally recorded piece included on a compilation in 1971. Come the time to record their proper full-length debut a year later, the band spent one single day laying all the tracks down, with the next given to the mixing. The results, 1972's `Harvest Time' is a rough'n'ready rocker, with the band already being ambitious enough, even at a young age, to deliver a gutsy set that was firmly rooted in hard rock, but crossing over into numerous genres at a moment's notice.

Elonkorjuu's debut is a little bluesy, a touch jazzy and plenty hard-rocking, with light symphonic touches, hints of folk and a scuzzy psychedelic underbelly frequently creeping in. Despite the relatively short running time of most of the pieces, the band cram in constant direction changes, and while some parts are more successful than others, their intentions are always admirable. Lead-singer Heikki Lajunen has a gruff toughness to his voice (he even reminds of a less abrasive version of Family's Roger Chapman in parts), and the young players were already showing a range of ideas through their developing musical skills.

Firmly rooted in a cool late-Sixties rock sound, strident opener `Unfeeling' has a galloping momentum with bursts of power. `Swords' wraps mournful organ and a soulful vocal between bouts of muscular riffing and twisting lead-guitar strains (boo to the abrupt fade-out, though!), and the whole band ruptures into rumbling power between the blissful bookends of `Captain'. `Praise to Our Basement', an album highlight, is introspective and dreamy with drawn-out psychedelic jamming, and the manic instrumental `Future' is a tasty mess of murky bass tantrums, winding jazzy guitar licks and frantic drumming.

The B-side's `Hey Hunter' is fiery up-tempo blues rock, `The Ocean Song' is dominated by scorching Hammond organ soloing, and `Old Man's Dream' is a schizophrenic mangle of wild guitar explosions, gulping bass and peppy drum thrashes. Sadly the last two actual tunes on the LP are a touch unmemorable, but the rambunctious early metal/hard rocker `Me and My Friend' is saved by muscular and boisterous guitar outbursts, and fragmented closer `A Little Rocket Song' strikes a balance between lusty Led Zeppelin-esque bluesy strutting and Black Sabbath-like heavier moods.

While some of the pieces on `Harvest Time' are not nearly as well-developed as they could have been, it's admirable how a young band attempted to tick so many musical boxes. It's no lost true classic, but it proves spiky, energetic and varied with much to offer. Those looking for a rarely spoken about rarity or prog-related musical curio of the early Seventies may find plenty of worthwhile interest here.

Three stars - good but non-essential describes this perfectly :)

Latest members reviews

3 stars Here here, something nice from my favourite homecountry. The album is still pretty rare here in Finland, as with the rest of the world too. That's really a shame. Elonkorjuu is a really nice rock band with the 70s atmosphere well alive in their music. They've got a lot of bluesy influences, also som ... (read more)

Report this review (#178285) | Posted by Passionist | Sunday, July 27, 2008 | Review Permanlink

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