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Barclay James  Harvest - BJH Featuring Les Holroyd: Revolution Days CD (album) cover


Barclay James Harvest


Crossover Prog

2.34 | 48 ratings

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Easy Livin
Special Collaborator
Honorary Collaborator / Retired Admin
3 stars Turn, turn, turn

With BJH's two main songwriters and singers firmly entrenched in separate camps while sharing joint custody of the BJH name, releases under the BJH name are now either by "BJH Through the eyes of John Lees" or "BJH featuring Les Holroyd". It would be reasonable to expect such releases to contain songs which are faithful to the tenets which identified an album as being by BJH. To that extent, this offering by the Les Holroyd BJH (which includes the late Mel Prichard, but excludes Lees and Woolstenholme), is indeed a bona fide BJH album.

One of the strengths of the band when they were a foursome however, was the fact that Holroyd's softer vocals were complimented by Lees deeper, often rougher voice. With all the tracks here being sung by Holroyd, his vocals are not really strong or interesting enough to sustain a whole album. He might have been wiser to pursue BJH's early orchestral leanings more, with longer more progressive pieces in the way of "Dark now my sky". Instead he goes for a generally more commercial sound, even veering towards ZZ Top on "That was then.. this is now".

Unfortunately, the songwriting is not strong enough make the tracks commercially appealing to a new audience. Holroyd does chose to rework one older BJH number "Life is for living", but its hard to see why. Initially, it sounds like a demo version of the song, and certainly adds nothing to the original which appeared on "Turn of the tide".

A pleasant, but ultimately disappointing BJH badged album. The sooner Holroyd and Lees patch up their differences and decide to produce some memorable BJH work again, the better.

Easy Livin | 3/5 |


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