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Barclay James Harvest

Crossover Prog

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Barclay James  Harvest Thank You / Medicine Man album cover
3.19 | 7 ratings | 1 reviews | 29% 5 stars

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Singles/EPs/Fan Club/Promo, released in 1972

Songs / Tracks Listing

1. Thank You (4:21)
2. Medicine Man (4:23)

Line-up / Musicians

- John Lees / guitars, vocals
- Les Holroyd / bass, vocals
- Mel Pritchard / drums
- Stuart "Wooly" Wolstenholme / keyboards, vocals

Releases information

(Germany) Harvest ‎- 1C 006-05 188, EMI Electrola ‎- 1C 006-05 188
(France) Harvest ‎- 2C 006-05188
(US) Harvest ‎- 3501
(UK) Harvest ‎- HAR 5058

Thanks to kingsnake for the addition
and to Matti for the last updates
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BARCLAY JAMES HARVEST Thank You / Medicine Man ratings distribution

(7 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of progressive rock music(29%)
Excellent addition to any prog rock music collection(29%)
Good, but non-essential (29%)
Collectors/fans only (14%)
Poor. Only for completionists (0%)

BARCLAY JAMES HARVEST Thank You / Medicine Man reviews

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Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by Matti
3 stars To me and undoubtedly to everyone here, Barclay James Harvest's fourth studio album Baby James Harvest (1972) is easily the weakest one from their early era. Even the album cover is stupid, and the same picture is used on the cover of this single featuring one of the least interesting (at least for prog-oriented ears) BJH songs ever. 'Thank You' is a straight-forward rocker written and badly sung by John Lees. Also other reviewers have pointed out his occasional habit of pushing his voice from the throat in a way that sounds stuffy. The best feature in this song is the gritty electric guitar solo. As poor as the album is, surely there would have been better songs to be released on single format.

But the B side song is much more interesting and would have deserved the A side status in itself -- only that it's not from the album they had to promote at the time. Their previous album ...And Other Short Stories (1971) begins with an orchestrated John Lees song 'Medicine Man' inspired by the sixties suspense/fantasy novel Something Wicked This Way Comes by Ray Bradbury. Lees really managed to capture the book's atmosphere. But the band was disappointed with the arrangement and wanted to record a new version, placed into this single.

I agree with many listeners that this version rooted on pulsating bass is better. Mellotron and electric guitar come to the front effectively. On their Live album (1974) the band plays a 10-minute version of the song which in my opinion suffers a bit from the extension. And in 1977 came out Live EP in which 'Medicine Man' is divided in two parts spread on both sides of the EP. Well, they gave the song the status it deserved, but definitely not in the best possible way.

As for rating this single, I give the A side 1 stars at maximum and the B side 4 stars, or maybe even 4. So I guess it's enough for three stars.

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