Subject: I have found a CD that I think you would enjoy
|Barclay James Harvest|
Everyone Is Everybody Else
Genres: Pop, Rock
2003 remastered reissue of the British progressive rock act's 1974 album includes 5 bonus tracks, 'Child Of The Universe' (US Single Version), 'The Great 1974 Mining Disaster' (Original Mix - Previously Unreleased), 'Ma... more »
2003 remastered reissue of the British progressive rock act's 1974 album includes 5 bonus tracks, 'Child Of The Universe' (US Single Version), 'The Great 1974 Mining Disaster' (Original Mix - Previously Unreleased), 'Maestoso (A Hymn In The Roof Of The World)' (Recorded at Olymopic Studios, London in March 1974), 'Negative Earth' (Original Mix - Previously Unreleased) & 'Child Of The Universe' (Remake For Planned US Single). Features 14 tracks in all & a 16-page booklet. Polydor. 2003.
English folky soft rock with a ton of mellotron and the occa
Jeffrey J.Park | Massachusetts, USA | 04/27/2006
(4 out of 5 stars)
"I have to admit that my first exposure to the music of BJH was very pleasant and this 1974 release is really not bad at all. The lineup consisted of John Lees (electric and acoustic guitar); Mel Pritchard (drums and percussion); Les Holroyd (bass, acoustic guitar, and rhythm guitar); and Stuart "Woolly" Wolstenholme (mellotron, synthesizers, electric piano, and piano). The album was produced by Rodger Bain (the guy who produced the earliest Black Sabbath albums) and his influences are felt here and there, albeit rarely.
The album opens with the moody track Child of the Universe, which features some nice mini-moog synthesizer work atop the standard bass, guitar, and drums setup. This is the heaviest synth piece, whereas the mellotron is used predominantly on the remaining tracks. The lead vocals and vocal harmonies are also pleasant and work well with the material.
The overall sound of the album is, in large part, dominated by a gloomy and plodding Pink Floyd-ish beat in 4/4, saturated with mellotron (with string setting), and sprinkled with tasteful leads on the electric guitar. There are however, moments where things perk up a bit, as on the vigorous "tribal" drumming section of Paper Wings, and the crunchy, distorted electric guitar parts that are scattered here and there (Crazy City). Favorite tracks include Child of the Universe; The Great 1974 Mining Disaster; See Me See You; the closing track For No One; and the proggy bonus track Maestoso (A Hymn in the Roof of the World).
In terms of bands that I might be inclined to compare BJH with, they would most likely include the Strawbs and the Moody Blues, although fleeting, tiny snippets of American west coast soft rock bands like Crosby, Stills, and Nash and the Eagles (especially on Poor Boy Blues/Mill Boys) can be heard too.
One thing that is of interest here is that the band confronts topics such as the Vietnam War, Apartheid in South Africa, and the violence in Northern Ireland in very straightforward and literal terms. In contrast, many British prog bands used cryptic allegory, myth, and science fiction to illustrate their subject matter and many avoided larger societal issues altogether by focusing on inward (personal) transformation.
The remastered CD is pretty good and features great sound quality and abundant liner notes. There are five bonus tracks that are OK but do not add a great deal to the listening experience, with the single exception of Maestoso (A Hymn in the Roof of the World), which is a very strong track.
All in all, this is a very nice album of folky soft rock lent an added bit of "oomph" with the heavy use of the mellotron and synthesizers. Recommended to fans of English bands like the Strawbs, Spring, and the Moody Blues."
Wonderful art rock, with voices to carry it off ...
K. Marshall | San Francisco, CA United States | 07/23/2007
(5 out of 5 stars)
This alongside 1971's "Once Again" is BJH's masterpiece. While that album came in the middle of their early period '68 - '73 of dense rock orchestrations, magnificent gloom, King Crimson inspired eerieness and Pink Floydesque dreamscapes (probably fully mastered before Floyd and Gilmour found their own perfect place in the sonic scape), "Everyone Is Everybody Else" was the first of a serious of albums from BJH with a cleaner, lighter (less mellotron heavy and less or no orchestral or string backing) sound which would last (albeit qualitywise, fadingly) through to the end of the decade and produce a few other good to excellent albums, though none of them ever quite reaching the cool sonic plateau where this one plays on. The well channelled voices come out clear and vibrant and searchingly, sometimes infinitely sadly across the great melodies and superb instrumentation of songs like Negative Earth, Child of the Universe, Crazy City and Paper Wings. Here in 1974 was a band at the height of their rather magnificent artform. Sure, a couple of years later, a new, corrosive (and perhaps necessary) fashion in music culture swept away the foundations where such old stately rockers worked, and only the giants (Led Zep/Floyd/etc) survived with their reputations near intact. However, historical perspective is most likely not a very good tool to apply to music listening for critical purposes, as reading any pseudo-arty-nouveau-self-appointed-intellectual type NME critic will sometimes effectively show without any necessity for further explanation. Anyway, if you are alive and your ears are open, it doesn't take away from the sound of a record like this one what fashions and particular cultural hostilities come along afterwards ... if you ever want to soar away someplace where only near-perfectly realized music can take you, (REM, Tchaikovsky, Puccini, Beatles, Neil Young, Fred Astaire! & Nena Simone, just to name a strange bred smattering from my own cultural mish-mash, and I suppose also, partly to demonstrate that I am free of the type of cultural imprisonment and mismanagement I just alluded to) you could do worse than buy this one, turn down the lights, fix a drink and let it do what it is trying to do and take you there, gently rising the lost and seeking spirit, soothingly, almost at first, as these also searching vocal harmonies come to soothe and settle in a quality quite near the magical manner of the later Beatles ... until you realize you are already listening at the end to those perplexing, locus-deranged calls of a guitar connected to someone's straining soul ... and it's screaming its portion of aural anguish in some vague telling which is only half inside your imagination and therefore already half alive in the room and the whole world beyond, and though it's calling "for no-one" it's really calling into some ancient place for you and everyone else ...
perhaps from where everyone is everybody else ....?
Absolutely majestic, when you hear it for what it is. One of the best Albums of the 1970's."
Poor man's prog-rock
Golovanov Alexey | Limassol, Cyprus | 02/21/2010
(2 out of 5 stars)
"BJH is known to be more than influenced (obsessed, I would say) with classical music and to be able to integrate an orchestra into their compositions better than their peers ("Moddy Blues", for example). On the other hand the band was trading for almost 3 decades (since 1970) in lightweight uninspiring music and has managed to build a devoted following.At the early stage they were supported by John Peel (who had a weakness for oddities) and labeled as "poor man's Genesis".
Frankly speaking, I can't feel excited or inspired by this rather dull and shallow music, but it's a matter of taste"