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Barclay James Harvest – Gone To Earth (1977/2016) [DVD-Audio to fLAC 24bit/96kHz]

Barclay James Harvest – Gone To Earth (1977/2016)
FLAC (tracks) 24 bit/96 kHz | Time – 40:13 minutes | 809 MB
DAD to Hi-Res FLAC – Source: DVD Audio| Front Cover | © Polydor | Esoteric Recordings
Recorded: March to June 1977, Strawberry Studios, Stockport

Gone To Earth is an album by the English rock group Barclay James Harvest released in 1977. It reached #30 in the UK charts, but in Germany it peaked at #10 and stayed for 197 weeks in the German album charts. As of 2011 it is ranked #6 on the list of longest running albums in the German album charts. Only the My Fair Lady soundtrack and albums by Simon & Garfunkel (Greatest Hits), The Beatles (1962-1966), Pink Floyd (Wish You Were Here) and Andrea Berg (Best Of) spent more weeks in the charts. It was the band’s largest selling album, eventually selling more than a million copies worldwide.

Barclay James Harvest had streamlined their sound considerably after leaving the Harvest label, culminating (so many felt) in the mellifluous music of Gone to Earth. Their pretensions to progressive rock all but abandoned, BJH here invites comparison to contemporaries like Supertramp, REO Speedwagon, and Fleetwood Mac (some of whom were similarly tagged with the prog rock label early on). Even at their most ornate, songwriters John Lees and Les Holroyd were simple balladeers at heart, and the decision to unclutter their arrangements allows the material’s intrinsic beauty to shine through with clarity. For this reason, Gone to Earth is regarded by many as the band’s best album, and judged on a song-by-song basis, it’s hard to argue against it. Lees’ “Hymn” and “Poor Man’s Moody Blues” swell from simple beginnings to majestic heights, while Holroyd provides a cache of catchy rock songs, incorporating Beach Boys’ harmonies on “Spirit of the Water” and “Taking Me Higher,” soaring with the Eagles on “Friend of Mine,” and even dabbling in reggae on the popular “Hard Hearted Woman.” Again, the album’s lone orchestral moment comes from Wolstenholme, the transcendent “Sea of Tranquility.” (The keyboardist, whose once-omnipresent Mellotron now played a diminished role in the band’s sound, left after the subsequent tour, releasing the first of several solo albums in 1980.) Although the songs are almost uniformly light on their feet, the lyrics reveal some heavy thoughts: Lees’ “Lepers Song” laments “The end of the line’s where I’m at/’Cos there’s nothing left to be,” and “Spirit of the Water” deals with killing seals for coats. Fortunately, it’s not the uneasy alliance you might expect. Rarely has the band sounded so comfortable in the studio, and the result is as lovely a record as they’ve made. —AllMusic Review by Dave Connolly

1 Hymn 5:08
2 Love Is Like A Violin 4:06
3 Friend Of Mine 3:32
4 Poor Man’s Moody Blues 6:58
5 Hard Hearted Woman 4:27
6 Sea Of Tranquility 4:06
7 Spirit On The Water 4:49
8 Leper’s Song 3:34
9 Taking Me Higher 3:07

John Lees – vocals, guitars
Les Holroyd – vocals, bass, guitars, keyboards
Stuart “Woolly” Wolstenholme – vocals, mellotron, keyboards
Mel Pritchard – drums, percussion


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