Fireworks

CD Reviews

Barclay James Harvest - 'Eyes Of The Universe' / 'Turn Of The Tide' / '25th Anniversary Concert' http://rocktopia.co.uk/media/reviews/photos/thumbnail/200x200s/0b/0a/13/barclay-james-harvest-eyes-of-the-universe-84-1375575811.jpg Hot

Added by Central Electronic Brain     August 04, 2013    
 
0.0
 
0.0 (0)
7826   0   3   0   0   1

Esoteric have done a great job with their two re-releases, If only I could comment similarly about the '25th Anniversary Concert'.

The history of this band is impossible to summarise briefly, but if you were to attend a BJH concert now, you would be faced with one of two separate derivatives, each fronted by one of the surviving original members of the band: John Lees and Les Holroyd. However, the three (re-mastered) re-releases under consideration here take us back to an earlier period. 'Eyes...' was the first album by the band, in 1979, after their keyboardist, Stuart 'Woolly' Wolstenholme decided to quit, while 'Turn...' was the following release in 1981 (their tenth and eleventh studio albums, by my reckoning). We jump forward eleven years for the third of this triumvirate, recorded at the Town & Country Club, London, on 16th February 1992.

Although the live album includes many of their seminal songs (including 'Mocking Bird', 'Medicine Man', and the utterly beautiful 'Hymn') there is less than an hour's music here, and my research has revealed that the set actually included nineteen songs! Perhaps the somewhat lifeless performances across the eight songs that are included go some way to explain why this release is highly abbreviated? Anyway, for me, this really is a rather disappointing album, and probably only for BJH completists.

One of the other songs included on the live album is 'Poor Man's Moody Blues' and for anyone reading this and previously unfamiliar with the music of BJH, this was the band's marvellous riposte (but also a homage to 'Nights In White Satin') to a one-time critical barb that in essence accused them of being a second rate clone of the MBs! However, this does nail pretty well the musical style of a band producing gentle progressive ballads and more classically-influenced and longer progressive rock compositions. I've used the word "progressive" twice there, but the band's music was always supremely accessible to anybody with a penchant for well-written and impressively performed melodic songs.

Wolstenholme's departure was caused by what he considered was the band's slight change of emphasis "to a more poppy, West Coast flavour". The reality of 'Eyes...' is that shorn of his expected contributions, it is still one of my favourite albums from BJH, with many melodic highlights including the wonderfully guitar-laden 'Sperratus' (an anagram of "superstar" and lyrically including the album title) and the mellifluous, keyboard-led numbers 'The Song (They Love To Sing)', 'Skin Flicks' and 'Play To The World'. However, it is the wonderful tongue-in-cheek 'Alright Down Get Boogie (Mu Ala Rusic)' and the gorgeous 'Rock N' Roll Lady' that provide the cream to top this irresistible pie. But it's all good...

Fireworks - The Ultimate Magazine For Melodic Rock Music

This website uses cookies to help us give you the best experience when you visit. Cookies used for the essential operation of the site have already been set. By continuing to browse the site you are agreeing to our use of cookies. To find out more about the cookies we use and how to delete them, see our Privacy Statement.

I accept cookies from this site


'Turn...' is another irresistible album, from my perspective, although it did mark a further retrenchment from the progressive anthems of the 70s. Nevertheless, over thirty years on, it is possible to escape the narrow-mindedness that prevailed at the time of its release (whereas I have personally always tried to take every album on its individual merits). This time it is 'Back To The Wall' that lyrically incorporates the album's title and the aforementioned laid back West Coast feel certainly shines through here and on the preceding two songs. They contrast with strong up-tempo rockers such as 'Highway For Fools', 'Death Of A City' and 'Life Is For Living' with its abundant keyboard parps. 'Turn...' has closing song 'In Memory Of The Martyrs' as its eight minute "piece de resistance".

Esoteric have done a great job with their two re-releases, and the new booklet essays plus the bonus material demonstrate the care and attention lavished upon them. If only I could comment similarly about the '25th Anniversary Concert'.

Paul Jerome Smith

Share this on the web.

User reviews

There are no user reviews for this listing.

 


Comments (0)add comment

Write comment

security image
Write the displayed characters


busy

Member Login



Calendar

<<  August 2020  >>
 Mo  Tu  We  Th  Fr  Sa  Su 
       1  2
  3  4  5  6  7  8  9
10111213141516
17181920212223
24252627282930
31      

Search Here

Shout Here

Latest Message: 1 month, 3 weeks ago
  • Rocktopia Te : @kbm1983: Currently, all orders have to be be processed manually. This could take a few hours. Sorry for the delay, you shoulkd have received a mail containing download instructions by now. @ all: Pls. do not worry in case you see a PayPal transaction error message. Your order was received, pls. do not order the magazine twice. Many thanks for your understanding!
  • kbm1983 : Hi, I bought #91 earlier today but its still not in my downloads. Can you check it out please. Thanks!
  • Rocktopia Te : @ Man Shaped Wolf: You should have received a mail containing download instructions yesterday. Sorry for the delay!
  • Man Shaped W : Hey, same as defron but for 91 :) excited to read our review
  • Berny : @Defron: Can you pls. check your mail? Many thanks, B. :)
  • Defron : Hi guys. Bought #90 couples of hours ago but still not in my downloads . Can you check pls regards Ro
  • Berny : @SoCal Rocker: Welcome back! There are 50 free issues of Fireworks Magazine for you (and of course all other Rocktopians) to download. Check out the news on the frontpage. Stay happy, safe & healthy. Best wishes to California!
  • SoCal Rocker : Hello from Burbank CA, I had to change my name and PW. How's anyone doing?
  • Rocktopia Te : @davidputnam: Could you please check your email? Many thanks & best regards, RT
  • davidnputnam : I ordered 86 - 90 and received paypal receipt, but cant find in downloads. Please advise.
  • davidnputnam : I ordered 86 - 90, but cant find in Downloads. i have the paypal receipt.
  • Berny : @rarock: Glad we were able to sort this out. Thanks for your purchase!
  • rarock : Hi there. I have similar problem with Issue 90, payed by Paypal, but doesnt show in Orders or in Downloads. Thanks for help
  • KI2000 : Thanks Fireworks Magazine and Rocktopia!
  • Hysteria : WOW! Thanks to the Fireworks Team for this AMAZING offer. YOU GUYS ROCK!!!! \m/ \m/
  • Rocktopia Te : Check out the Fireworks Magazine Corona quarantine give - away!
  • Johns Band : Royal Hunt new concept album in the works to be released in 2020.
  • Berny : @WardyS1: I will contact you by e - mail.
  • WardyS1 : Hi. Also purchased 90 couple days back but not in my orders have receipt. Cannot find an email to contact instead link sorry
  • Rocktopia Te : @tomandpam: Hope this is now sorted and you were able to download the magazine
  • tomandpam : I ordered a download of #90 and it's not in my orders and I have the PayPal receipt. Can you help with this? Thanks
  • Berny : @zom414: Apologies for my late reply. Could you please contact me directly at «email» ? Many thanks in advance!
  • zom414 : Trying to change my password but the security question won't accept my answer, can you help?
  • SeaDog57 : just an observation. I just got Issue 89 at the Bookstore and when i looked at the spine of the magazine it says "Fireworks Issue 85 Winter Jan - Mar 2019" Was this a misprint? The rest of the Magazine is Issue 89. Was just wondering did anyone else notice this?
  • Berny : Apologies! Magazine can now be accessed from your download section. Best wishes, B.
  • Berny : @Martykelly: We're sorry
  • Martykelly : Just purchased issue 89 hoping its going to be in my download soon.
  • Johns Band : Will "Watch & Listen" music videos make a comeback. Just order H.E.A.T. "Live In London" CD.
  • Berny : @the trapps: Apologies for the delay in processing your order. The magazine is now available in your downloads section.
  • the trapps : waiting for the issue 89 which we purchased to be in our downloads section ???

Only registered users are allowed to post

Follow Us

FacebookTwitterYoutubeGoogle

This website uses cookies to help us give you the best experience when you visit. Cookies used for the essential operation of the site have already been set. By continuing to browse the site you are agreeing to our use of cookies. To find out more about the cookies we use and how to delete them, see our Privacy Statement.

I accept cookies from this site