Barclay James Harvest – Barclay James Harvest And Other Short Stories
Label: Sire/SI 5904 | Release: 1972 | Genre: Progressive-Rock
Vinyl | LP Cover (1:1) | FLAC | 24bit/96kHz & 16bit/44kHz
The band’s growing confidence is apparent on this their third album. “Ursula”, “Medicine Man”, and “Someone there you know” all bear the hallmarks of a band at ease with itself, while developing its own hallmark sound. That sound is one of melodic prog with strong vocals and symphonic instrumentation. I hesitate to say it in view of BJH’s undeserved “Poor man’s Moody blues tag”, but the Moodies are a good reference point for those unfamiliar with the work of BJH.
The band are working as a coherent unit here, with a definite sense of purpose and direction, coupled with strong compositional skills. These skills are perhaps most apparent towards the end of the album where the orchestral majesty of the delicate “The Poet” merges into the bombastic “After the day” to form a terrific two part closing track. Only “Harry’s song” and “Blue John’s Blues” let the side down slightly, both being rather dull with weaker melodies. In all though, a highly accomplished album which displays an evolving maturity.
By the way, it is interesting to hear on the subsequent live album how the opening track “Medicine man” is transformed from a BJH standard, to a lengthy beat laden jam.
A1 Medicine Man
A2 Someone There You Know
A3 Harry’s Song
A4 Ursula (The Swansea Song)
A5 Little Lapwing
B1 Song With No Meaning
B2 Blue John’s Blues
B3 The Poet
B4 After The Day
– Les Holroyd / basses, piano (2,3,5), guitars (5,6), lead vocals (5,6)
– John Lees / guitars, lead vocals (1,3,7), percussion (4)
– Mel Pritchard / drums, percussion, effects (1) congas (6) Tympanis (9)
– Stuart Wolstenholme / keyboards, Mellotron, electric guitar (1), lead vocals (2,8,9) drums (3), acoustic guitar (4-6)
– Martyn Ford / tambourine (5)