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Barclay James Harvest: Everyone Is Everyone Else

Glenn Astarita By

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During the advent of progressive rock in the late 1960s through the 70s, bands like ELP, King Crimson and Yes were snagging most of the headlines while others enjoyed limited success or traversed the proverbial roller coaster ride with fleeting moments of fame and recognition. Thus, Barclay James Harvest was a solid entity, tracing its origins back to the 60s amid ensuing personnel changes and subsets of the core unit, surging into the early 2000s. However, Everyone is Everyone Else (Polydor, 1974) is largely viewed upon as the band's crowning achievement, perhaps equaled by Gone to Earth (Polydor, 1977) which is another pivotal album that enjoyed a long-run on the German and UK charts. With that being stated, this sumptuous package comprises the original mix; an updated stereo mix and a 5.1 Surround mix. But I will add that the few original LPs I owned were pristinely recorded, including a 'pre-loved' LP of Gone to Earth LP I recently purchased at a local record store.

BJH is a resourceful band that integrates folk, art-rock, intelligent pop and country-rock into the prevalent prog component. In the good old days, many critics compared them to the Moody Blues, partially due to keyboardist Stewart Wooly Wolstenholme's use of mellotron as a support mechanism for his warmhearted lead vocals during many of the ensemble's majestic sequences. Otherwise, each disc boasts a detailed soundstage, which is a factor that removes most semblances of antiquity from this 42-year old recording. As the band launches the album with its signature piece "Child of the Universe," framed on a hummable, stately theme and Wolstenholme's tuneful piano voicings and synth treatments along with John Lees' echoing electric guitar solo. In addition, this package includes the US singles version of this track on all 3 discs.

" Negative Earth" is a regal ballad, consummated by a backwash of mellotron, but "Paper Wings" hints at early King Crimson, tinted with a catchy hook and an up-tempo prog motif, accented by drummer Mel Pritchard's rumbling patterns and Lees' sustain-driven lead lines. From a holistic perspective, the musicians' thoughtful and nicely constructed layers impart great depth to most of these works. Yet "Mill Boys," offers a 360-degree turn around via the three-part vocal harmonies and pedal steel guitar that conveys a kindred spirit to the likes of Crosby, Stills and Nash and The Eagles. Ultimately, these discs prove to be quite enduring after all these years and a must-have for serious aficionados of early progressive rock or for those who were curious, but never had an opportunity to delve into this quartet's fruitful legacy.

Track Listing: Disc One - 24-Bit Re-Mastered Original Stereo Mix Released in June 1974 - Child of the Universe; Negative Earth; Paper Wings; The Great 1974 Mining Disaster; Crazy City; See Me, See You; Poor Boy Blues; Mill Boys; For No One. Bonus Tracks: Child of the Universe (US Single Version); The Great 1974 Mining Disaster (Original Mix); Maestoso (A Hymn in the Roof of the World) Disc Two - New Stereo Mixes & Bonus Tracks Child of the Universe; Negative Earth; Paper Wings; The Great 1974 Mining Disaster; Crazy City; See Me, See You; Poor Boy Blues; Mill Boys. Bonus Tracks: Child of the Universe (US Single Version New Stereo Mix); Negative Earth (Original Mix); Child of the Universe (Remake of US Single) Disc Three - New 5.1 Surround Mixes & 96 KHZ / 24-Bit Stereo Mixes Child of the Universe; Negative Earth; Paper Wings; The Great 1974 Mining Disaster; Crazy City; See Me, See You; Poor Boy Blues; Mill Boys. Bonus Track: Child of the Universe (US Single Version)

Personnel: John Lees: acoustic guitar, guitar, vocals, backing vocals; Les Holroyd: acoustic guitar, bass, rhythm guitar, vocals, backing vocals; Stewart Wooly Wolstenholme: keyboards, vocal; Mel Pritchard: percussion, drums.

Title: Everyone Is Everyone Else | Year Released: 2016 | Record Label: Esoteric Recordings

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