Shop now Shop now Shop now  Up to 50% Off Fashion  Shop all Amazon Fashion Shop now Shop now Cloud Drive Photos Learn More Shop now Shop Fire Shop Kindle Shop now Shop now

Customer Reviews

4.5 out of 5 stars24
4.5 out of 5 stars
Format: MP3 Download|Change
Your rating(Clear)Rate this item

There was a problem filtering reviews right now. Please try again later.

on 10 December 2006
This album became my favourite as soon as I first heard it at the age of fifteen in 1975 and it has been the "no.1" ever since.

I was doing some homework one Saturday afternoon with the radio on - it was Alan Freeman's show and he played a song called One Night from Time Honoured Ghosts. Its effect on me was like always having lived in a dark room, then someone coming along and turning on the lights!

On first hearing One Night, here was the music I'd always been waiting to hear! Unhurried, melodic, perfectly composed and arranged. John Lees sang the poignant, sympathetic lyric about prostitution with real heartfelt feeling and laced the music with gorgeous lead guitar phrasing. The overall effect was magical.

The album did not disappoint: In My Life launches it in great fashion at a lick with pacey guitar phrasing and a storming couple of verses , before the song slows in its middle section, picking up the pacey guitar again on the outro. All the songs had, and still have, immense appeal. The two main song-writers in the band (John Lees and Les Holroyd) contribute four songs apiece with Woolly Wolstenholme, the Mellotron and keyboards maestro, chipping in with one short, punchy number, Beyond the Grave. The formula of alternating John's and Les's songs on the album was a successful, oft-repeated one, for the band: the continuous contrast between their slightly differing voices and song-styles enhancing the listening pleasure.

This music is not hard rock, nor could you dance to it. The fact that The Beatles are a big influence on the band is obvious from John's clever tribute song Titles, whose lyrics are made up from Beatles's song titles. Other writers have described Barclay James Harvest's music as soft-rock, but there are also elements of prog-rock about it. The tempo is slow, giving you time to enjoy the beautifully sung melodies, the harmonies; to enjoy the gorgeous guitar work and the fabulous, symphonic keyboards sound which almost acts as the canvas onto which the rest of the music is painted. Whichever way you classify or describe the music, its effect on Time Honoured Ghosts is mesmerising!

Other than the songs already mentioned, the album comprises Les's lush, swirling Jonathan, his prayer Sweet Jesus and John's haunting plea Hymn for the Children - songs which have a depth of quality about them that belies their apparent simplicity; and finally, Les's Song for You and Moongirl are two of the most gorgeous love songs you could ever hope to hear.

The 2003 re-issue includes a version of Child of the Universe (from 1974's "Everyone is Everybody Else" album) originally intended as a US single release - this fine studio recording appears to have been the basis for most live renditions of this timeless classic and is a fine addition to the original LP's songs.
11 comment|37 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on 23 October 2010 underrated band in their own country, so much more popular in Europe.
My brother introduced me to their music in the early 70's, and we both had pretty much every one of their early albums.
I recall listening to them on the headphones through my record player, in glorious stereo!
This is my second favourite album, Everyone is Everybody Else being my favourite.
This though stands alongside that album very well......superb songs, with John Lees' expected high standard of guitar playing, and Wolstenholme's keyboards (and mellotron) on top notch form.
I recommend this to any BJH fan out there!
0Comment|11 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on 9 July 2009
Well I remember getting this in the mid 70s from Britannia Music on a trial.(God bless em or I'd never have come to know BJH)....This is their best album ever. Falling asleep to this playing on the record player (vinyl) ensured I had the best siesta every time. Real haunting thoughtful stuff. Worth getting the vinyl version just for the album cover alone, which must rate as one of histories finest. We lost so much of the *art* when we went down to CD size.

Their second best album was *Everyone is everybody else*

The post 70s stuff seems to have turned a bit weird to me, and not very joined up somewhow.

RIP Mel....the drummer who died in 2004.
11 comment|9 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on 14 November 2012
I recently bought this re-issue, having virtually forgotten about Barclay James Harvest. Once you get past its modest production, mundane song titles and (let's face it) variable quality of the lyrics, This CD is actually rather good. The ambience and atmosphere are uniquely delicate for a rock group. This is a band who turned fragility into an asset: you can almost imagine them disintegrating mid-song (in a pleasant way)! Of course the album was originally released in the mid seventies when macho rock titans still ruled, and BJH must have looked and felt a bit out of place with their gentle balladry. Ironically, their fortunes improved (especially in continental Europe) during the punk movement, which is probably not a coincidence: they were a perfect antidote to the harsh thrash of punk! (it is interesting that a lot of 'soft rock' bands peaked in the late seventies after punk was supposed to destroy them).

It would be disingenuous to claim that the music hasn't dated, particularly as several tracks feature the sound of the mellotron, a staple of Seventies prog rock (played compellingly by Woolly Wolstenholme, who was a singular talent). But the overall effect is surprisingly powerful. There is not a bad song on the album, with standouts being Jonathan (with a deeply affecting outro) and Moongirl, with its delicate vocals and melodies. These are two of Barclay James Harvest's finest compositions. In My Life is a strong opening track, and Hymn For The Children features a remarkable guitar sound.

Some other BJH albums have one or two token hard rockers, which sound a bit false to me. This hasn't, really. For that reason I think it is their purest, truest and best!
0Comment|2 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on 6 September 2010
Barclay James Harvest had many fans but were unable to break into the circle of the major bands of the 1970s. This is perhaps because they fell between two types of music namely progressive rock and the more pop orientated music. True to form this album has flavours of both (Titles and Beyond the Grave are good examples). The music is not exactly challenging and hence not always favoured by those who who were progressive rock afficianardos but on the other hand was not the type of music to be the staple fare of the singles charts. The songs are melodic and some of the lyrcis carry meaning which make them worth a close listen. Some of the songs (Beyond the Grave / Song for You)sound a little dated but the remastering has given them a fresh impetus. I dont expect many who are reading this review are new to BJH but if you are it is a good album to start with. It certainly puts some of the more recent bands of a similar ilk (Coldplay springs to mind) to shame. For those who are familiar to BJH and may not have listened to this album for some time give it a go it is well worth it. I purchased direct from Amazon and the CD arrived unsealed with the case scratched giving the impression that it was not new so the delight in hearing this album again was somewhat tainted.
0Comment|One person found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on 28 April 2004
This edition from last year (June 2003) has an added bonus, a tenth track, originally on 'Everyone Is Everybody Else' (June 1974)


1. In My Life
2. Sweet Jesus
3. Titles
4. Jonathan
5. Beyond The Grave
6. Song For You
7. Hymn For The Children
8. Moongirl
9. One Night
0Comment|One person found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on 27 August 2011
one of their best albums( mid 70s) as they do each song in the style of other well known groups without abandoning their own sound - very clever, these midlands rockers have been going since 1968 and are still good value
44 comments|One person found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
Polls amongst BJH fans usually sit this album at the top of the list. I can vividly remember buying Time Honoured Ghosts. It was in the days when I automatically bought any BJH album as soon as it came out. I remember taking it home and being extremely disappointed. Here was my favourite band churning out what I felt were rather dull middle of the road rock songs with none of the old sparkle. Now re-visiting all the albums one by one, Time Honoured Ghosts has certainly improved with age.

There are some pretty songs here and Woolly's keyboard playing is again on form, but I certainly wouldn't rate it as one of my favourite BJH albums.
0Comment|Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on 5 June 2013
I bought this album when it came out in 1976 and this album is one of the many that I just had to replace with a CD version. When I first played the album after it was released in 1976 I was in awe and Time Honoured Ghosts still has the same effect now as it did then. With Barclay James Harvest an excellent standard of musicianship can be guaranteed. The song writing like all the other Barclay James Harvest albums that I have never ceases to amaze me. I love especially John's Lee's electric guitar solos. For any Barclay James Harvest fan to have this album in your collection is a must and I would thoroughly recomend it to anyone.
0Comment|Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on 11 December 2013
Bought this album to replace an old vinyl copy purchased in the 70's. Brilliant album, my favourite from BJH. Very Beatlesque, soft rock undertones, and great lyrics.
0Comment|Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse

Customers also viewed these items


Send us feedback

How can we make Amazon Customer Reviews better for you?
Let us know here.

Sponsored Links

  (What is this?)