Barclay James Harvest Album Portfolio

Barclay James Harvest Album Portfolio

Barclay James Harvest

Barclay James Harvest LP cover    Barclay James Harvest remastered CD cover

LP: Harvest SHVL 770, 5th June, 1970
MC: Only issued on cassette in France
CD: Part of Four BJH Originals 4CD set, EMI BARCLAY 1, February 1996
CD: Remaster with 13 bonus tracks, EMI UK, 27th May, 2002


Side 1
Taking Some Time On (Barclay James Harvest)
Mother Dear (Barclay James Harvest)
The Sun Will Never Shine (Barclay James Harvest)
When the World Was Woken (Barclay James Harvest)

Side 2
Good Love Child (Barclay James Harvest)
The Iron Maiden (Barclay James Harvest)
Dark Now My Sky (Barclay James Harvest)


Bonus tracks on remastered CD:
Early Morning (Barclay James Harvest)
Mister Sunshine (Barclay James Harvest)
So Tomorrow (Barclay James Harvest) [1968 BBC Session]
Eden Unobtainable (Barclay James Harvest) [1968 BBC Session]
Night (Barclay James Harvest) [1968 BBC Session]
Pools of Blue (Barclay James Harvest) [1968 BBC Session]
Need You Oh So Bad (Barclay James Harvest) [1968 BBC Session]
Small Time Town (Barclay James Harvest) [1968 BBC Session]
Dark Now My Sky (Barclay James Harvest) [1968 BBC Session]
I Can't Go On Without You (Barclay James Harvest)
Eden Unobtainable (Barclay James Harvest)
Poor Wages (Barclay James Harvest)
Brother Thrush (Barclay James Harvest)

Recording Details

Recording Studio:
Abbey Road Studios, St. Johns Wood, London

Recording Dates:
8th November, 1969 to 26th January, 1970

Producer:
Norman "Hurricane" Smith

Engineer:
Phil McDonald

Other Details:
Two 8-track machines were used to record the album, including all the orchestral pieces!

Additional Personnel

The Barclay James Harvest Orchestra (former members of The New Symphonia)

Resident Musical Director: Robert Godfrey

Credits: "Special thanks to Jim and Jim" - Jim Tetlow was the band's road manager and sound engineer, and Jim Litherland was the guitarist in the band Colosseum, an Oldham lad who played some percussion on "Taking Some Time On".

Sleeve

Original gatefold sleeve designed by Ian Latimer

Photography by Richard Dunkley (photos inside the sleeve taken at "The Hanging Gate" in Diggle and at Preston House).


Taking Some Time On

Composer: John Lees
Lead vocal: Les Holroyd

Written by John Lees, the first track was actually the last to be recorded, fulfilling a need for an attention-grabbing opener. It shares a riff with "Too Much On Your Plate", the song which only saw the light of day on a free fan club flexidisc in 1991.

John: "It was a hippy song, very tongue in cheek, like "Psychedelic Child". It's second favourite of my own songs on the album."

Lyrics:
Let's come on and get together
Like the sky gets to the sea
Just taking some time on
Let's come on and make it better
Let's make everybody see
Just taking some time on
For those who feel inclined
To talk about the hidden meanings of the mind
Let's come on and get together
Let's come on and get together
Like the sky with the sea
Like the sky with the sea
Just taking some time on

Let's come on and tell the story
Of the way it used to be
Just taking some time on
Let's come on and sing a song now
Of the days when we were free
Just taking some time on
For those who feel inclined
To talk about the hidden meanings of the mind
Let's come on and get together
Let's come on and get together
Like the sky with the sea
Like the sky with the sea
Just taking some time on

Let's come on the feeling's right now
We want everyone to be
Just taking some time on
Let's come on and get together
Like the sky gets to the sea
Just taking some time on
For those who feel inclined
To talk about the hidden meanings of the mind
Let's come on and get together
Let's come on and get together
Like the sky with the sea
Like the sky with the sea
Just taking some time on

[Barclay James Harvest, © Ardmore & Beechwood/EMI]


Mother Dear

Composer: John Lees
Lead vocal: Woolly Wolstenholme

Also written by John, but quite a contrast: "Mother Dear" is a gothic tale of ghostly apparitions in the night, and dates back to 1967. Apparently an early version featuring honky-tonk bar-room piano was rejected as inappropriate to the subject matter!

Lyrics:
Oh Mother dear
What a night this has been
I awoke in the light of a vision in white
The prettiest girl that I have ever seen

Lately my love, said the lady in white
I have watched from afar, but love draws me near
Now take my hand, hold tight, Mother dear
Do you know what this could mean, Mother dear?
Was it just another dream..... in the night?

Mother dear, on that same silver night Saw a figure in black by the lady in white
He said his name was death, was he right?
Do you know what this could mean, Mother dear?
Was it just another dream..... in the night?
Do you know what this could mean, Mother dear?
Was it just another dream..... in the night?

Mother dear, what a night this has been
It's so cold by your side, no don't cry, can't you see?
Won't you listen to me please, Mother dear
Was it just another dream, Mother dear?

[Barclay James Harvest, © Ardmore & Beechwood/EMI]


The Sun Will Never Shine

Composer: Woolly Wolstenholme (orchestral arrangement: Robert Godfrey)
Lead vocal: Woolly Wolstenholme

Woolly Wolstenholme: "It was written as a kind of antidote to "Mr. Sunshine", which was about hiding from the bright light of day, not about drugs! "The Sun Will Never Shine" and "Ra" have a similar theme."

John Lees: "My favourite song from this album - it gave me a big high, and still sounds great."

Lyrics:
In corridors of air the clouds were waiting there
They knew that never again the skies would be so blue
They took away the sun and with it took the fun
It's true, and now there is really nothing I can do
So I look outside my window at the sheets of pouring rain
And I wonder if the sun will come again

But the sun will never shine the way it used to do
The clouds won't let it through
Oh the sun will never shine its smile for me and you
The clouds won't let it through

It wasn't long ago the people that I knew were glad
And nothing they ever thought about was sad
But since the sun has gone their laughing times are none
That's bad, to make them forget the happy times they've had
So they look outside their window at the sheets of pouring rain
And they wonder if the sun will come again

But the sun will never shine the way it used to do
The clouds won't let it through
Oh the sun will never shine its smile for me and you
The clouds won't let it through

[Barclay James Harvest, © Ardmore & Beechwood/EMI]


When The World Was Woken

Composer: Les Holroyd (orchestral arrangement: Robert Godfrey)
Lead vocal: Les Holroyd

Les Holroyd: "I remember writing all the melody lines for that on a Hammond. The singing was all over the place, but in those days you didn't have the luxury of going back and doing it all again!". The correct title, incidentally, should have been "When The World Has Woken", but it was mis-quoted on the album artwork and has remained that way ever since.

Lyrics:
When the world was woken
Save all unknowing eyes
And thoughts that once were spoken
Left only to despise
And when the dawn is breaking
Look upward to the sky
If life is so hard to live
Why not die?

When the world has woken
And shadows leave the air
Then each spell will be broken
For everyone who cares
The day will then be endless
The night will soon pass by
If life is so hard to live
Why not die?

When the world has woken
For all who see the sun
And gentle words are spoken
The dawning has begun
Then man can live together
With one triumphant cry
If life is so hard to live
Why not die?

[Barclay James Harvest, © Ardmore & Beechwood/EMI]


Good Love Child

Composer: John Lees
Lead vocal: Les Holroyd

John Lees: "It's just an out-and-out rock and roll song."

Lyrics:
Get up, get up, get up, child
Get off your knees
Take it, take it, take it, I'm easy
We're here to please
Put your hands in the air
Put your feet on the ground
Put your mind in a dream
'Cause there's nothing we ain't seen
Good love child
You know what I mean
Good love child
You've got to keep it clean
Good love child
Gonna steal the scene

Make love, make love, make love, child
And make it mean
Take love, take love, take love, child
And keep it clean
Put your hands in the air
Put your feet on the ground
Put your mind in a dream
'Cause there's nothing we ain't seen
Good love child
You know what I mean
Good love child
You've got to keep it clean
Good love child
Gonna steal the scene

Get up, get up, get up, child
Get off your knees
Take it, take it, take it, I'm easy
It's here to squeeze
Put your hands in the air
Put your feet on the ground
Put your mind in a dream
'Cause there's nothing we ain't seen
Good love child
You know what I mean
Good love child
You've got to keep it clean
Good love child
Gonna steal the scene

[Barclay James Harvest, © Ardmore & Beechwood/EMI]


The Iron Maiden

Composer: Woolly Wolstenholme
Lead vocal: Woolly Wolstenholme

Woolly: "It reflected a kind of mediæval feel - a folk song in a kind of "Olde Englishe" way. The song was actually about a rather obnoxious girl I knew who was nicknamed Behemoth!

"The Iron Maiden" gained television exposure when it was broadcast with a film clip about the return of the steamship SS Great Britain to the UK which was shown on Disco 2, a precursor of BBC2's Old Grey Whistle Test.

Lyrics:
She walks on through the night
Her circumstances slight
Are only helping her to fail
And though she feels she's right
She tries with all her might
And makes the deepest peril pale
Oh, but she is unreal
Oh, but she doesn't feel
Oh, but she is unreal

She chooses who to love
And then unlike a dove
She takes the laughter from their smile
She wears a velvet glove
Her friends may find it rough
It is a gauntlet all the while
Oh, but she is unreal
Oh, but she doesn't feel
Oh, but she is unreal

[Barclay James Harvest, © Ardmore & Beechwood/EMI]


Dark Now My Sky

Composer: John Lees (orchestral arrangement: Robert Godfrey)
Lead vocal: Les Holroyd

John's epic was a firm favourite with early fans, and is still his favourite of his own songs on the album. Les and Woolly also both rate it as their favourite track from the debut album. The song was around in 1968, but in a simpler version without the rather overblown orchestration. Woolly admits to being responsible for the "Shakespearean" spoken introduction after the style of Peter Sellers, and the maniacal laughter is from Robert Godfrey.

John: "It was inspired by a book called The Silent Spring (by Rachel Carson), written in the sixties about man's destruction of the environment".

Les: "It's still my favourite from the LP, because it was so different from anything we'd done."

Lyrics:
Don't ask me how I know
But this dark sky will soon be blue
Don't ask, no don't ask
Just watch as the grey mists of winter fall
Like so many drops of dew
Feel the ice melt to warm tears in my eyes
Under the light of a tin sun
Do not ask me how I know
The effect of light on unseeing eyes
How should I know?
How could I know?

Dark now my sky
The sea of peace has left my shore
No birds cry
The silent spring will overflow
Oh you'll never know
I love you so
You'll always be
A part of me

Dark now my eyes
The sea of peace has met the sky
No birds sing
And like the Spring life whispers by
Oh you'll never know
I love you so
You'll always be
A part of me

Dark now my sky
The winds of time have swept my shore
No birds fly
The trees that fall will rise no more
Oh you'll never know
I love you so
You'll always be
A part of me

[Barclay James Harvest, © Ardmore & Beechwood/EMI]


Last words from Woolly:

"Generally, the album wasn't as successful as it could have been - it was rather overblown. It seemed to be rather a pre-emptive strike, a rehearsal for the real thing."


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