barclay james harvest`s first album for polydor in 1974 is quite superb, gone is the overblown production and whimsical songs, in comes courtesy of roger bain, tight,sparse arrangements and a clutch off all-time classic bjh tunes. it starts with the magnificent "child of the universe", lyrically still as relevant today as the day it was recorded. the track concludes with a lovely understated john lees bluesy guitar solo. elsewhere, "the great 1974 mining disaster" is both a bee gees deconstruction and social commentary on the handling of the miners strike. les holroyd`s excellent "crazy city" ups the pace a bit, "mill boys/poor boy blues" takes things in a folk/country direction and segues straight into "for no one", a seminal bjh track. woolly creates a wall of sound on the mellotron, les and mel keep things tight, john lyrically bemoans the isolation of man and right at the end, lets rip with a multi-tracked solo which hendrix fans would approve of and possibly have dave gilmore running for cover. barclay james harvest have made many fine albums but this is their finest.