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on 29 November 2010
This 3 CD boxset is a measured distillation of the previously issued 'All are gathered safely in' 5 Disc set, and it's all the better for it. I would class myself as a long-time fan of the group, without feeling the need to purchase everything they do. In my opinion their output has been mixed ever since the departure of keyboard player Woolly Wolstenholme. This 3 CD pack is very consistent and includes the very best of their work. Disc 1 is quite superb with most of the early classics on view. Disc 2 is also extremely strong up to about the half way point. Reading through the extensive booklet of interviews with band members you can see how the band struggled to re-capture former glories whilst the relationships and musical directions started to splinter. Nevertheless they would go on to see a major high point live at the Reichstag and Disc 3 opens strongly. From there the tracks are less memorable although tracks like the superb 'Fifties child','Denshaw Mill' and 'Lady Macbeth' prove that class is permanent. If you just want a comprehensive overview of a long career then this is the one. Once again Esoteric Records have delivered the goods. (Sad footnote - Just a week after purchasing this the news came in that Woolly had tragically taken his own life. Therefore the boxset becomes a statement of what a wonderful performer he was, a master of the mellotron)
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on 27 March 2013
As a lifelong listener to BJH this triple album contains all the essential tracks you would want. From the early days of the likes of She Said and Galadriel through classics such as Poor Man's Moody Blues to the later tracks recorded just before they split into two bands. Great mellotron playing by the sadly missed Woolly Wolstenholme and great drumming by the also sadly missed Mel Pritchard not to mention the lead and bass from John and Les. i have downloaded this album as mp3 from Amazon and it's 400MB of pure delight. Highly recommended for all the BJH fans out there.
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