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Customer Review

on 17 March 2014
I discovered the delights of BJH in the year 1980 with the release of Eyes of the Universe, courtesy of the great Alan Freeman's radio show, and instantly went back into all the great stuff they'd done before. This put me in a state of great anticipation for their next album, which of course became Turn of the Tide. I recall being slightly disappointed with it overall but not being sure why exactly. It wasn't as good as Eyes that's for sure, although there was obviously a lot of great music on it. They even used Death of a City on BBC's Not the Nine O'Clock News program and I still can't hear that track without picturing Rowan Atkinson walking into a lamp post...
I would've played the vinyl a fair bit in the 80s but then probably didn't listen to the full album again for about 25 years, as the original CD release seemed to vanish and I only just got hold of this "remastered" reissue once the price had come down. (None of these Esoteric Remasters sound any different to the earlier Polydor disks by the way - save your money:)
As soon as I played the CD again I immediately knew what the problem had been with this album all along - Track 2 - "How Do You Feel Now? I feel sick, since you ask! What a bloody awful song that is. After a great atmospheric opening track from Les which should have set us up for an album of cerebral pop-rock classics, you get this boring, way too personal and literal insight into the lead guitarist's wife who's finally managing to squirt out a baby after years of "trying". What a picture that paints... And they were now attempting to be more commercial with this stuff? I'm obviously more cynical in my old age but what kind of Artie Fufkin record executive would've agreed to that kind of blatant self indulgence, even then?! Far too much Charlie going round in those days, obviously...
However, if you do delete that dreadfully duff track two, the effect on the rest of the album is highly redeeming - all the rest of the songs are very good to great apart from that stinker. They could even have sequenced it nearer the end of the album and done less damage, that's where most of John Lees' "novelty" songs were prone to appearing: think "Panic", "Inside My Night Mare" etc. To be fair on average I usually prefer John's songs even to those of Mr Holroyd, but what a different story this could've been with a real John Lees classic coming in burning on Track Two.
Well, I'm so glad I got that off my chest after all these years! I know, I really should get out more.
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