Barclay James Harvest Album Portfolio

Barclay James Harvest Album Portfolio

Baby James Harvest

Baby James Harvest LP cover    Baby James Harvest remastered CD cover

LP: Harvest SHSP 4023, 10th November, 1972
LP reissue: Harvest ATAK 8, May 1985 (Price Attack sticker)
LP reissue: Fame FA 3172, April 1987
MC: Harvest TC-SHSP 4023, 1973
8-Track: Harvest 8X-SHSP 4023, 1973
MC reissue: TC-FA 3172, April 1987
CD: Part of Four BJH Originals 4CD set, EMI BARCLAY 1, February 1996
CD: Remaster with 10 bonus tracks, EMI UK, 27th May, 2002


Side 1
Crazy (Over You (Les Holroyd)
Delph Town Morn (John Lees)
Summer Soldier (John Lees)

Side 2
Thank You (Les Holroyd)
One Hundred Thousand Smiles Out (Les Holroyd)
Moonwater (Woolly Wolstenholme)


Bonus tracks on remastered CD:
Child of Man (John Lees)
I'm Over You (John Lees)
When The City Sleeps (Lester Forest) [Bombadil]
Breathless (Terry Bull) [Bombadil]
Thank You [Old Grey Whistle Test version] (John Lees)
Medicine Man - single version (John Lees)
Rock and Roll Woman (Les Holroyd)
The Joker (Holroyd/Lees)
Child of Man (John Lees) [1972 BBC Session]
Moonwater (Woolly Wolstenholme)

Recording Details

Recording Studio:
"Moonwater", recorded at EMI's Abbey Road Studios, St.John's Wood, London - all other songs were recorded at Strawberry Studios, Stockport

Recording Dates:
September 1972

Producer:
Barclay James Harvest

Engineers:
Peter Tattersall (Strawberry)
Mike Sheady and Kete Go (Abbey Road)

Additional Personnel

The Barclay James Harvest Orchestra perform on "Moonwater", arranged by Martyn Ford and John Bell, and a thirteen-piece brass section appears on "Delph Town Morn", arranged and conducted by Brian Day.

Sleeve

The "baby" theme was the idea of Ian Cassie, one of the band's managers at the time. The photographer was Julian Cottrell, and the baby was his daughter, Boo! The title came from the finished artwork, although it is probably also a jokey reference to James Taylor's classic album from 1970, Sweet Baby James. Original copies have an inner sleeve listing the performers on each song, which is absent from later reissues.


Crazy (Over You)

Baby James Harvest has been described at different times by members of the band as a "schizophrenic" album. The reason for this is simply that the band were physically split during the recording, with Les, John and Mel at Strawberry in Stockport, and Woolly mostly working with the orchestra in London. On Les's opener, "Crazy Over You", Woolly does play some piano, but Les handles organ and Mellotron as well as the bass part.

Lyrics:
The day, the night, to me are just the same
I see your face, it burns me like a flame

And there's something I've got to say
Yes it's making me feel this way
Don't you know that I'm going crazy -
Over you

One look, a smile, is all you've got to do
I see your face in everything I do

And there's something I've got to say
Yes it's making me feel this way
Don't you know that I'm going crazy -
Over you

[Les Holroyd, RAK Publishing Ltd]


Delph Town Morn

John's first contribution to the album is unusual in that it features not members of the orchestra, but a thirteen-piece brass ensemble. They were, in fact, band leader Syd Lawrence's brass section. It's a small world, because Syd's son is Martin Lawrence, who has also had a bit to do with the band down the years! The Delph Town of the title is, of course, the Saddleworth village where John was living at the time, and "Chris's son" in the first line is actually Les!

Lyrics:
Sitting here, me and Chris's son
We've got a story to strike you down
About a girl with the light in her eyes
Black on the night, drive on the day
Let the wheels run dry

Sitting here, waiting for the sun
Little darling, for you to come
By the light of the moon flashing by
Black on the night, drive on the day
Let the wheels run dry

Fly on by silver bird in the sky
Fly on day, black on night, roll on by
Bring on the sunshine shine in her eyes
Fly on by silver bird

Sitting here in the early grey
Of a Delph town morning, we sit and pray
For a sight of the light in her eyes
Black on the night, drive on the day
Let the wheels run dry

Fly on by silver bird in the sky
Fly on day, black on night, roll on by
Bring on the sunshine shine in her eyes
Fly on by silver bird

[John Lees, RAK Publishing Ltd]


Summer Soldier

John's classic which closes side one of the album returns to one of his perennial themes: the futility of violence and a plea for peace. The background seems to be Northern Ireland, with the song's mention of bombers and soldiers being stoned, but, unfortunately it could equally apply to a dozen other situations. The second half of the song was arranged by Woolly, the only significant work that he did on the others' songs on this album.

Lyrics:
I feel sorry for the soldier who is shot and stoned in anger
I feel sorry for his wife and child at home
I feel sorry for the bomber who all life and limb dishonours
For the people that he's maimed and left alone
The Lord God said love thy neighbour
Though in human life he trades, he's still a man

I feel sorry for the children who with open mind are willing
To fight for ideals aged and past their time
I feel sorry for the children who will join the vicious circle
Of instinct fear bred from their parents' minds
The Lord God said love thy neighbour
Break the circle, free the hater, call him a friend

Wake up, wake up, there's a man by your side
With a knife and a gun in each hand
Wake up, wake up, you're one and the same
It's time to stop and decide
Is it love or hate?
Is it peace or war?
It's for sure there's no inbetween
Politicians point views
But they're pointing for you
The solution has to be seen

I thought I saw a summer soldier, helmet on his brow
His silver rifle clutched beneath his armour-plated shroud
I fire in hate, he cried aloud
To protect myself from defeat
My shield's my cause, my cause is war
And from war I'll make no retreat

I dreamt I saw an angel bright, a halo on his brow
His golden sword lay in its sheath beneath his silver shroud
I draw thee not, he cried aloud
Though your deeds like spears strike my soul
My shield's my love, my cause is peace
Faith be sure I shall not retreat

[John Lees, RAK Publishing Ltd]


Thank You

The whole of this album was written and recorded in a matter of four weeks or so, and "Thank You" was a late addition to the line-up. Despite the credit on the album, this is actually a John Lees song, and the lyric is just a musical credits list - the "who's who" has been stated before, but just one more time, those mentioned are:

Dixie - owner of a music shop in Huddersfield
Pete (Tattersall) - manager of Strawberry
Teddy (Meyers) - head of EMI Switzerland
Eddie (Buckley) - one of the road crew then
Ollie (Olwen Lees) - John's wife
Chris (Christine) - Les's girlfriend
Janet (Pritchard) - then Mel's wife
Snibbley - Ian Southerington
Heather (Crowe) - Dave Crowe's wife
Georgie - Middle name of Dave Crowe, one of the band's managers at the time
The waterfall - Dave and Heather's baby boy
Cassie - Ian Cassie, the band's other manager
Nicky (Mobbs) - head of Harvest Records
Ricky (Dixon) - of Kennedy Street Enterprises
Eric (Stewart) - member of Hotlegs and 10cc
Kev (Godley) & Lol (Creme) - of 10cc
Billy Bean's Machine - Kev and Lol's "gizmo" effects machine for electric guitars.

Lyrics:
I thank me, I thank you
I thank Dixie and Pete too
I thank Teddy for a sweet scene
Eddie for the jokes inbetween

I thank me, I thank you
I thank Ollie and Chris too
I thank Janet for the meat pies
Snibbley for the soldering iron blues

I thank Heather for the waterfall
And Georgie for his Yankee drawl
And Cassie is a gas with his
"Wo issen das?", Mr. Dream

I thank Nicky for the record machine
I thank Ricky for the discount between
I thank Eric for his Hotlegs
Kev and Lol for Billy Bean's Machine

[John Lees, RAK Publishing Ltd]


One Hundred Thousand Smiles Out

Les's beautiful song is about the isolation of an astronaut lost in space, a theme to which he subsequently returned in "Negative Earth". The "space race" was always in the news after the first manned expedition to the moon in 1969, and that interest was reflected in many other songs from that period on the same subject, for example David Bowie's "Space Oddity" and Elton John's "Rocket Man". Les again played the piano in Woolly's absence.

Lyrics:
I cannot see you
For the sun is in my eyes
I cannot hear you
Everything you say just passes by
What I'd give for just a smile
Instead of drifting at
A hundred thousand miles

Can you hear me there below?
All my lines have gone dead
And I'm not very sure
Can you hear me there below?
'Cause I'm coming down fast
I can't make it alone
Oh no no no...

I cannot see you
For the sun is in my eyes
I cannot hear you
Everything you say just passes by
Here I stay until I'm found
Insane in space and my world
Is spinning round

Can you hear me there below?
All my lines have gone dead
And I'm not very sure
Can you hear me there below?
'Cause I'm coming down fast
I can't make it alone

[Les Holroyd, RAK Publishing Ltd]


Moonwater (Poco Adagio)

In the meantime, Woolly was at Abbey Road in London, working on his own epic. The idea was to record the orchestral pieces, then take the tapes up to Stockport for the rest of the band to record their parts. However, when Woolly arrived, the tapes wouldn't play properly, so he had to get back on the train to London and do them again! Time was so short that the other three couldn't wait for him, so went ahead with their own songs. "Moonwater" was Woolly's "attempt to bridge the gap between Radios One and Three", and was dedicated to Gustav Mahler, whose work had a big influence on Woolly; the Countess was a Polish countess who worked for a London publishing company. The "additional material" by Les was actually a mellotron part taken from "Eden Unobtainable" - check it out on The Harvest Years!

Lyrics:
The moon is making patterns on the water
Why it is I just can't say
I'm not old enough or wise enough to wonder
I don't think about the magic that I'm under
Oh moonwater, running out like silver from my eyes
Oh moonwater, running out like silver from my eyes

You'll find me in the twilight on the mountain
When the sun shines on the lake
I'm a child of darkness lost among the thunder
Where the shafts of moonlight break the sky asunder
Oh moonwater, running out like silver from my eyes
Oh moonwater, running out like silver from my eyes

[Woolly Wolstenholme, RAK Publishing Ltd]


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