Barclay James Harvest

Barclay James Harvest

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Barclay James Harvest Review

by Dave Thompson

Barclay James Harvest's sensibly titled debut album was one of the unsung classics of the late '60s, a post-psychedelic pop album that posits a peculiar collision between the Bee Gees' vision of classic grandeur and the heftier sounds leaking out of the rock underground. Add Norman Smith's epic production and one cannot help thinking that if the Pretty Things had ever looked elsewhere for their follow-up to S.F. Sorrow, Barclay James Harvest could have handed it to them on a plate. The opening "Taking Some Time On" is absolutely phenomenal, churning and riffing on the one hand, positively hymnal on the other -- and poised, during its chorus, to plunge into a virtual dry run for R.E.M.'s "Talk About the Weather." Elsewhere, "When the World Was Woken" is unmistakably daubed in a whiter shade of Procol Harum, while the 12-minute closer, "Dark Now My Sky," is simply spellbinding. Barclay James Harvest ranks among the finest albums of the entire early prog boom.

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