on 17 December 2010
There have been in rock history absolutely stunning live albums. I'm thinking, for example, in "Yessongs" (Yes), "Before the Flood" (Dylan & Band), "Live Rust" (Mr. Young), "Absolutely Live" (Doors) ... "BJH Live" is one of them. The band was in the peak of their creativity and in top form, they had released their best studio album (Everyone is everybody else) and the sound was clean, strong and cohesive. Lots of guitars, lots of mellotron (played by the great late Woolly), no orchestra, and all the beauty and subtlety of their great themes from the Harvest years are there. And, as some reviewers emphasize, the songs sound better live than in studio.
A real must have. An immortal live.
on 25 February 2011
Went to see BJH in Buxton last weekend - their first concert since the tragic death of Woolly Wolstenholme. Needless to say they were superb and John Lees gave a very poignant tribute to his old friend. Driving home through the mist and snow, I put 'BJH Live' on and was transported back to the Liverpool Stadium concert in 1974 where it was recorded, and when I saw them for the first time. What a fantastic performance and recording it is, hardly a hint that is getting on for 40 years old, and some truly remarkable songs. I'd forgotten how especially wonderful 'Galadriel' and 'For No One' are. I hope they continue to perform, but whatever the future holds they've left a fabulous musical legacy.
on 1 August 2009
...is as good a title as any for this review , because as i start to type i am listening to the fantastic guitar solo that closes that particular song , track 4 on this stunning album. That just happens to be the track currently playing , and it's beautiful, but yet it seriously rocks...still it is just one of the many BJH classics on this album.
The opening 3 songs are 'SUMMER SOLDIER','MEDICINE MAN',& 'CRAZY CITY'.
3 of the best songs ever written in this genre.
(What genre, hey i'm not getting into it,ha, but yeah they are 'somewhere in between the 'Moody Blues' & 'Pink Floyd',just like everybody says.'Somewhere'.
To my mind , with this live set, BJH released the best album of their career, and easily surpassed The Moodies and drew level with the very best of Pink Floyd. They may not have maintained this standard, actually , lets be honest they made some truly bad albums later in their career,as did the Moodies.
This pinnacle of their releases however ,needs to be heard by everyone who likes the 'genre'.(that word again).
HEY, you can get this information above this review , but still i have to tell ya,..tracks 5 & forwards are...'THE GREAT 1974 MINING DISASTER',the absolutely gorgeous 'GALADRIEL',then ,'NEGATIVE EARTH','SHE SAID','PAPER WINGS','FOR NO ONE',and their all time classic 'MOCKINGBIRD'.Basically this album contains all the best tracks they ever wrote,played with more passion than their studio counterparts.
The guitar solo in 'Negative Earth', is currently giving me goose-bumps,as did the solo from '1974 Mining Disaster', a few mints ago.
Rest assured , this is an album of much more than guitars solo's ,indeed one could argue that the mellotron is the lead instrument ,enriching each and every track as it does here,quite beautifully, and yet as already mentioned, with the help of powerful drums and prominent bass, this album truly rocks. As i write ,the 'wah-wah' has just taken flight in 'For No One'.
I had not heard this album for about 12 years ,so i recently bought the cd,half out of curiousity,not really expecting it to be as good as i seemed to remember,surely it would have dated terribly ?.
I could not have been more wrong. This recording has just jumped into my top 20 albums ever.
Buy it !.
on 24 January 2010
I first heard this in the 70's on Radio London and was completely hooked. I went out and bought it the very next day. Over the years this album has stood the test of time. It is a must have for your collection and many of these live tracks are actually better than the studio tracks.
Mockingbird, in particular, sends a shiver down your spine. Play it at full volume, but ask the neighbours in. They will love it.
on 30 September 2013
Loved it on cassette (?!) when I was 18 and starting at Uni, re-united with it at 57 and love it still! Sound quality of course is a blurry wash at times, it was 1974 and it was live - but just to hear the wondrous 'Galadriel' brings it all back, and 'For No One' (is there a more passionate anti-war song???) and know that yes, John Lees is surely going to come in with that imploring, wailing guitar solo at the end...and yes, there it is! Unforgettable, unsurpassable stuff.
on 18 October 2012
I have been a fan of Barclay James Harvest since the re-issue of Once Again on DVD-A, I was hooked and brought the 5 CD Box set Taking Some Time On as well.
This Live album has been highly praised as a great Live album.
I decided to take the plunge and I am very glad I did.
What immediately impressed me is the powerful drum sound Mel Pritchard achieved on this recording.The concert was mixed by Brian Humphries who is famous for also engineering Pink Floyd's Wish You Were here, so I am not surprised this sounds great. What a shame Brian didn't convince Pink Floyd to record a Live album with the same quality this has.
The performances on this album equally add to the excellence of this CD.
My favorite tracks are She Said & the powerful final song Mockingbird that goes out with a bang, some beautiful guitar and keyboard interplay that is simply spine chilling.
A brilliant album by a band that deserve far more respect than they have.
on 12 May 2011
There's something sad about this album - and about BJH as a whole. Their symphonic approach definitely fit in with the progressive mainstream of the early seventies, but their timing was a bit off. This album was released in 1974, and it took a year before it reached a broad audience. By the time their next album, Time Honoured Ghosts, came out they were recognized as a leading progressive outfit, but by then it was late 1975; interest in symphonic rock was waning and the publics preferences had moved elsewhere. To make things even more difficult, BJH had no flashy frontman, no virtuoso players, no stunning musical technique. They just crafted pleasant songs with a Beatles/Moody Blues feel to them and drowned them in a sea of mellotron. This live album is certainly their best effort and worth buying if you think these guys deserve at least one representative in your collection.