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Album Review

This double-live CD, made on BJH's last tour with Wooly Wolstenholme, is one of the better live albums to come out of the progressive rock genre. Though not as exciting as Genesis Live or as majestic as Yessongs, it shows the group in excellent form, playing and harmonizing beautifully and doing many of their best songs, among them "Child of the Universe," "Rock and Roll Star," "Poor Man's Moody Blues," "For No One," and "Mockingbird" (the latter never sounded more beautiful). All of the tracks work significantly better as live cuts than they do in their original studio form. Lees' guitar and Wolstenholme's keyboards work together very well on-stage and within the songs. The only complaint one could have is the price — for just under 80 minutes of music, the two CDs could have been combined on one disc. The sound is good, though there is no real audience "presence," except between songs. [The 2006 British import version has several bonus tracks: "The World Goes On," "Medicine Man," and "Hymn for the Children."]

Biography

Formed: September, 1966 in Oldham, England

Genre: Rock

Years Active: '60s, '70s, '80s, '90s, '00s, '10s

Barclay James Harvest was, for many years, one of the most hard luck outfits in progressive rock. A quartet of solid rock musicians — John Lees, guitar, vocals; Les Holroyd, bass, vocals; Stuart "Wooly" Wolstenholme, keyboards, vocals; and Mel Pritchard, drums — with a knack for writing hook-laden songs built on pretty melodies, they harmonized like the Beatles and wrote extended songs with more of a beat than the Moody Blues. They were signed to EMI at the same time as Pink Floyd, and...
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Live Tapes, Barclay James Harvest
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