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Barclay James Harvest: BBC in Concert 1972 (reissue)

Recorded with the Barclay James Harvest Symphony Orchestra (conducted by Martyn Ford) at the Paris Theater in London, England way back in November of 1972, this new reissue/remaster is a real gem to add to your CD collection if you are a BJH fan. Not a fan, but would like to be? Well, this is a great place to start, as many of the bands early memorable tunes are covered here. The set contains 2CD's, one in Mono, one Stereo, with the Stereo disc running in a slightly different order due to the omission of song and band introductions and slight edits of two songs.

Performed in a small theater in front of about 300 people, Barclay James Harvest and their accompanying orchestra play solid renditions of classics such as "Medicine Man", the dreamy "Galadriel", the melodic and emotional "Mocking Bird", and the symphonic "Summer Soldier." On that one, Woolly Wolstenholme's organ takes on a huge, rich tone, and John Lees' guitar licks just scream with emotion, while the raging orchestra sweeps in the background. "The Poet" gets grand treatment thanks to the inclusion of the orchestra, as the end result could have been a leftover from the Moody Blues Days of Future Passed (hate to throw that one in, but give the tune a listen and prove me wrong folks!)

This is wonderful stuff here, from an often overlooked and forgotten band. The orchestra gives these songs a warmth that differs greatly from the monstrous Mellotron sounds that the band substituted in a few years later. The booklet contains lots of great photos and a huge essay on the band and the recording of this event. Listen to both Mono & Stereo back to back, hear the subtle differences, and prepare to be relaxed and swept away into lush, proggy bliss....

Added: June 18th 2003
Reviewer: Pete Pardo
Related Link: Official Barclay James Harvest Website
Hits: 2814
Language: english

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