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Nexus CD

8 customer reviews

Price: £3.48 & FREE Delivery in the UK on orders over £20. Details
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Product details

  • Audio CD (1 Dec. 2008)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Format: CD
  • Label: Eagle Rock
  • ASIN: B0000245J4
  • Other Editions: Audio CD
  • Average Customer Review: 3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (8 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 76,779 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Product Description

BARCLAY JAMES HARVEST Through The Eyes Of John Lees - Nexus CD

Customer Reviews

3.8 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Rich Milligan on 7 Mar. 2005
Format: Audio CD
This was a landmark album in more ways than one for all members of Barclay James Harvest, past and present. After their last studio album, River of Dreams, the three surviving members had decided to take a sabbatical and would be free to record, what is basically solo material, or re-workings of classic BJH material, still using the BJH name but suffixed with the name of the band member most involved with the project.
Correctly titled, Barclay James Harvest through the eyes of John Lees, this is BJH's lead guitarist teaming up with former BJH keyboard wizard Woolly Wolstenholm in this recording of new material and some re-recordings of BJH classics. Joining the pair were Craig Fletcher and Kevin Whitehead on bass and percussion respectively.
If we take the re-worked material first I guess whether you prefer the original or the re-worked version is obviously entirely dependant on personal opinion. None of the re-workings differ greatly from their original versions but songs like "The Iron Maiden" and "Hymn" certainly seem to sound fresher with the spruce up they receive. Standing out from the bunch is the superb "Titles" which gets an almost Oasis-like varnish, but still shines like a beacon amongst the other tracks.
Of the new tracks there are a couple of weaker offerings, "Festival" although probably meant in a jovial tone, fails to deliver and for me the clumsy lyrics to "Float" obscure the beautiful melodies and the gorgeous orchestrations that run beneath. "Brave New World" is a superb track although I prefer the slightly rougher version that appeared on a fan club free CD. "Star Bright", the final track on the album, is perhaps the best of both the old and the new though.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on 6 Nov. 2003
Format: Audio CD
As a long time BJH fan, I felt that the band had lost its direction to some extent after Woolly's departure following "XII" - ironically having lost their keyboard player, BJH then opted for a much more synthesiser-based sound in the 80's, which became somewhat bland at times, particularly on the Les Holroys tracks. [True, there were some good albums, such as "Eyes of the Universe" & "Welcome to the show"]. With "Nexus" (& the subsequent live set "Revival"), Woolly & John have shown that they really can still get the old magic to work. I understand that the re-workings of old tracks may have been a request of the record company, & I would personally have preferred to have seen all new tracks (although at least the reweorkings have been arranged differently to the originals). Of the new tracks,"Star Bright", in particular, is a real BJH classic & on a par with the band's prime in the mid 70's. This album rates along with some of the band's mid 70's work (such as "Everyone is everybody else", "Time Honoured Ghosts", "Octoberon" & "Gone to Earth") as one of their finest - I hope this line-up lasts, or at least that Woolly is allowed to rejoin the BJH 'proper' line-up. (Contrast this with the BJH feat. Holroyd/Pritchard album "Revolution Days", which I found somewhat disappointing).
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11 of 12 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on 27 Feb. 2002
Format: Audio CD
I'm something of a lapsed BJH fan, having lost interest after "Turn of
the Tide", but the prospect of hearing a renewed collaboration between
John Lees & Woolly prompted me to buy this CD from an auction site.
First impressions were that the revisited older songs were great but that
the new material was weak. Repeated listenings have changed my opinion
though and I now like the album a lot. The best part is that Woolly's
genius for creating an orchestral feel and for musical arrangement
is given free reign on the album.
It's always fascinating to hear reworked versions of familiar songs, and
each one on this album is approached differently. Iron Maiden is slower
than the original and is improved by the absence of the unsubtle, thudding
bass. Mockingbird (surprise!) features an gorgeous cornet solo in the outro, while Titles
has been extended and is stronger than before(I'm curious about the Oasis
reference included on this song). I question the choice of Loving Is Easy -
one of the band's more mediocre efforts with cringeworthy sexual-innuendo
lyrics, but they've created a nice laid-back feel on this version.
Of the new stuff, Festival is average but lively and Brave New World teeters on
the edge of sentimentality but has won me over. Shelf and Devils are
strong tracks with Woolly hallmarks. Float is an interesting track,
with the soft mellotron intro harkening back to the very early BJH
days before rolling into a deliberate, majestic chorus. On Star Bright, John
is in reflective mood providing a melancholy finish.
There's a bittersweet feel to the album - lyrics look back with affection
and sadness to times gone by, and the rerecording of old songs does
the same. Perfect then for an old fan who remembers "honey-scented
days" of 70's BJH at the Manchester Apollo.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By alextorres on 2 Jun. 2008
Format: Audio CD
The original Barclay James Harvest more or less fell apart in 1997 and two years later John Lees teamed up with original member Woolly Wolstenholme, who had left the band in 1979, to work on his "barclay james harvest Through the Eyes of John Lees" project. Subsequently the band has renamed itself "John Lees's Barclay James Harvest".

"Nexus", the band's first and, so far, only studio album marked the welcome return to the music business of Woolly, who had spent nearly 20 years farming following the break-up of his original Maestoso project in 1980.

John's recruitment of Woolly sent out a message to all BJH fans that the music would be returning to the values the band held in the 70s, as opposed to following the European led commercialist adventure of their 80s period. The album sold well, much better than the original band's final album, "River of Dreams" (which, in actual fact, was very good!).

It's a very good, though not excellent album. For me, it is let down by three things: (1) the production sounds a bit muffled; (2) the tempo is very slow - BJH have never been a high-tempo band but these songs are even slower and this affects in particular the "revisited" songs that one is used to listening at a higher tempo; (3) the "revisited" songs don't always work and the mix of old and new doesn't quite work.

What are these "revisits"? The record company wanted the band to include re-recorded versions of some old BJH classics, not only to boost sales perhaps but also so they could have the rights over the songs.

The "revisited" songs are: "The Iron Maiden", "Mockingbird", "Hymn", "titles" and "Loving Is Easy".
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