100 privileged guests form part of this concert with a band who have played to hundreds of thousands at one gig alone-and see the wry introduction of "Poor Man's Moody Blues" by John Lees. Recorded at the end of 2010 the band welcomed the audience to "John's bedroom" and gave virtually a song-by-song rendition of the story of Barclay James Harvest. Filmed live for ITV in the intimate surroundings of London's Metropolis Studios on 4th December, 2010. The band was appearing as a quartet in the absence of Woolly Wolstenholme, who was unable to appear due illness, and who tragically died nine days later.
Esoteric Recordings are pleased to announce the release of an expanded 2CD re-mastered edition of the classic 1977 album A Major Fancy by Barclay James Harvest guitarist and vocalist John Lees.Although originally released in 1977 by EMI’s HARVEST label, the album was recorded between December 1972 and January 1973 at Abbey Road studios and Strawberry Studios in Stockport.
A Major Fancy is Lees's paintbrush of rock music, done outside Barclay James Harvest despite that not completely disconnected from the big band. The recording finished in 1972, but everything went on stand-by until late 1976-1977. As the grand vocalist in BJH, Lees receive, right here, both a greater freedom of expression and a weaker kind of inspiration. His album is placid (even lowly significant) but fruitful, plotted on an unforgettable serenity, nevertheless full of flavor.
In 1966 two R & B bands local to Oldham (UK) merged to form a blues outfit The Blues Keepers. With sponsorship from a local businessman (also their manager) they rented an 18th century farmhouse where they practised extensively, gradually moving towards a progressive rock style then beginning to emerge. On turning professional the name Barclay James Harvest was adopted, and the line-up stabilised as John Lees (guitars, vocals), Les Holroyd (bass, rhythm guitar, vocals), Stuart "Wooly" Wolstenholme (keyboards, vocals) and Mel Pritchard (drums). After releasing their first single in April 1968, the band joined the legendary progressive Harvest label, quickly expanding their musical horizons, chiefly by experimenting with longer evolving song structures and orchestrations…
Excellent addition to any prog rock music collection
“Eyes of the Universe” offers some gorgeous prog moments very reminiscent of the best ALAN PARSONS PROJECT work.
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.
About 'Barclay James Harvest,' I can safely say they've 2 works to the best progressive rock I have ever heard and are the following: I am presenting today 'Everyone Is Everybody Else' and the double live LP called 'Barclay James Harvest - Live ', both published in 1974, a key date for me.