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4.7 out of 5 stars39
4.7 out of 5 stars
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on 16 December 2003
There are some rock albums that sell well because they're hyped up, there are some that sell well because they're good.
And unfortunately there are some that are brilliant that took a long time to get noticed. Love's "Forever Changes" is one example, Van Morrison's "Astral Weeks" is another album that didn't chart when it was released - and so was "Everyone is Everybody Else". It took the bands later albums to chart before everyone realised what a superb album "Everyone..." is. Every single track is worth a listen - there are no fillers.
Dubbed later as the "Poor Mans Moody Blues", Barclay James Harvest later recorded a track of this name as an answer to their critics. Suffice to say, if you like the Moody Blues you'll like this album.
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on 14 November 2005
This was BJH's first album with Polydor and they obviously relished the increase in production values. Every song is excellent, disciplined and concise: there is absolutely no filler. John Lees excels, his songwriting is superb and his guitar is soulful- check out the solo on Paper Wings, it is almost painful in its sadness. The boys all provide excellent support, Mel's (RIP Mel) drumming is controlled and joyful, Wooly (RIP Wooly) serves up lashings of warm mellotron and Les provides excellent songs and bass. Wow! I first bought this after listening to a free disc given away by NME which had Paper Wings on it. Thirty two years on it still staggers me with its perfection. Hyperbole? Check it out!
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on 4 June 2006
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.
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on 8 February 2001
This is the album which turned Barclay James Harvest into an international success. Superb musicianship and top class material make this a winner. The best tracks are "Child of the Universe", "Negative Earth", "Crazy City" and "For No One". I can listen to this album again and again and not get bored! If you are unfamiliar with this band's music, then this is probably the best place to start. You'll be hooked after the first listen. Irresistable!
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on 16 March 2006
I first bought this album in the last millenium...well the seventies really!I've been recently re-introduced to the cd version and am as bowled over as 30 years ago.Excellent tracks by Lees are, for me, the backbone of the album but Holroyd and Pritchard also contributed greatly to the creation of this album.Add in the musical talents of Wolstenholme and you have a super all round album.
Stand out tracks for me are definitely '1974 Mining Disaster','Mill Boys' and the closer 'For No One'.That said though there is not a bad track here.Yes they certainly don't make them like this anymore!If you enjoy this you should delve more deeply in BJH.Try 'Time Honoured Ghosts'and 'Octoberon'... both older classic BJH.Slightly more 'modern' albums and still excellent are 'Victims of Circumstance' and my own personal favourite 'Ring of Changes'.All highly recommended!!
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on 18 December 2004
Considered by many to be BJH's finest work, this truly is an excellent album.
It has the feeling of a complete package; from the dramatic opening bars of "Child of the Universe" to the last heart wrenching cords of "For No One" the album carries the listener on a wonderful musical ride through all types of emotion and feeling.
Other highlights include the stunningly beautiful "See Me See You" and the epic "1974 Mining Disaster". Mention must also be given to a fantastic performance by drummer Mel Pritchard. Not only did the least productive of the song writing members of BJH contribute to two of the songs here, the drumming performances on tracks like "Paper Wings" and "Crazy City" are simply superb.
Wonderful Album!
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on 18 October 2000
Barclay James Harvest's mix of the progressive and classical are at their very best in this wonderful album! The first track "Child of the Universe" says it all when it refers to us as "an endless dream, a gene machine, who cannot reason why?". I enjoy listening to this album as much now as I did when it was first released back in the 70's, BJH just do not seem to date at all!
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on 6 November 2003
BJH's first album on Polydor following their move from Harvest. I can well recall reading one of the music papers when still at school, when this album was first released, which slated it, maintaining it had nothing different to offer than the band's earlier albums (blatantly untrue as I later discovered) & sarcastically suggesting the band should now change its name to Barclay James Polydor. This was probably the first I had really heard of BJH, & it wasn't until I was a student a couple of years later that I started listening to them. This was the second of their albums I listened to (following "Early Morning Onwards"), & having heard it I had to so straight out & buy it! Funny thing, but its one of the few albums (by anyone) I've never grown tired of, and is probably my favourite BJH album of all time (although closely folowed by "Octoberon" & "Gone to Earth", then "Time Honoured Ghosts" & the 1999 BJH/John Lees album, "Nexus"). It is also probably the band's seminal work,against which all their other albums can be assessed.
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on 19 January 2011
Strange Band - Barclays James Harvest. I don't recall anyone owning their albums in the early 70's when I was at school - their earlier (very fine) albums weren't in keeping with the increasingly 'heavy' albums being released at the time. Yet listening to them now, they seem so fragile and precious and chock full of fine melodies.

Their first release on Polydor, leaves me with mixed thoughts. The Orchestra is ditched (bad ?). And no other band makes it so easy to sound like someone else more famous - CSNY, Eagles (Desperado), Moody Blues. In some songs I swear I can hear Graham Nash singing harmony. Yet these are great songs, superbly sung and played. No duds just 9 classic tracks together now with a few extras.

An excellent disc, a no-brainer as a purchase, and a Radio Caroline favourite to boot. Enjoy.
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on 1 October 2014
Iwas trying to go back to some of the classic music from the 70s as I AM SICK OF THE RUBBISH that constitutes music today(my opinion) and i remember a friend telling me about BJH as we we were both big Moody Blues fans. he informed that i would love BJH.I put it on the back burner but then watched some of their music on youtube and was completely knocked out. Icant emphasise how good they are/were. ithen started to aquire some of the albums and i have to say the music is superb and this particular album is now amongst my alltime top ten,its that good. Iwant it on vinyl now to play on my project debut carbon turntable.Iwont say they are better than the Moody Blues but are as good. the first 7 moody blues albums are alltime classics,bt some of bjh albums are wonderfully musical ie.this album,octoberon and time honoured ghosts are amongst the best of the 70s. go wont be disapointed.How i bypassed this band in my teens i dont know because i was aware of them as some of my college friends had their albums and i had actually listened to them but probably dismissed them as "poor mans moody blues". how wrong i was.suffice to say i am listening to them everywhere. in the car. in bed on the headphones"you hear all the music on the phones". on my b&o in the living room.Why has it taken me all these years to get them ? i dont know. i feel ashamed. I did the same with Jethro Tull a few weeks ago and now see how brilliant Ian Anderson was/is.Some say their record sales show they are the poor mans moody blues, but some factfinding turns up in excess of 20 million sales and a record audience of 200,000 for the berlin gig in 1980.
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