Barclay James Harvest Album Portfolio

Barclay James Harvest Album Portfolio

Everyone Is Everybody Else

Everyone Is Everybody Else cover

LP: Polydor 2383 286, 14th June 1974
LP: Audio Club of Great Britain ACB 00216, 1974
MC: Polydor 3170 186, June 1974
8-Track: Polydor 3820 118, June 1974
LP reissue: Polydor SPELP 11, August, 1983
MC reissue: Polydor SPEMC 11, August, 1983
CD: Polydor 833 448-2, December, 1987
CD: Remaster with 5 bonus tracks, Polydor/Universal 065 401-2, 2nd June, 2003
LP: Heavyweight vinyl reissue, Polydor "Back to Black" 535 208-8, 1st September, 2014
2CD/DVD: 3-disc deluxe edition, Esoteric ECLEC 32540, 10th June, 2016


Side 1
Child Of The Universe (John Lees)
Negative Earth (Les Holroyd/Mel Pritchard)
Paper Wings (Les Holroyd/Mel Pritchard)
The Great 1974 Mining Disaster (John Lees)

Side 2
Crazy City (Les Holroyd)
See Me See You (John Lees)
Poor Boy Blues (Les Holroyd)
Mill Boys (John Lees)
For No One (John Lees)


Bonus tracks on remastered CD:

Child Of The Universe (John Lees) [U.S. single version]
The Great 1974 Mining Disaster (John Lees) [Original mix]
Maestoso (A Hymn in the Roof of the World) (Woolly Wolstenholme) [1974 BJH recording]
Negative Earth (Les Holroyd/Mel Pritchard) [Original mix]
Child Of The Universe (John Lees) [remake for planned U.S. single]


Tracks on 3-disc deluxe edition:

CD 1   (24-bit remastered original stereo mix):
Child Of The Universe
Negative Earth
Paper Wings
The Great 1974 Mining Disaster
Crazy City
See Me See You
Poor Boy Blues
Mill Boys
For No One
Child Of The Universe - U.S. single recording
The Great 1974 Mining Disaster - original mix
Maestoso (A Hymn in the Roof of the World)

CD 2   (new stereo mixes and bonus tracks):
Child Of The Universe
Negative Earth
Paper Wings
The Great 1974 Mining Disaster
Crazy City
See Me See You
Poor Boy Blues
Mill Boys
Child Of The Universe (U.S. single version, new stereo mix)
Negative Earth (original mix)
Child Of The Universe (remake of U.S. single)

DVD   (new 5.1 surround mixes and 96kHz / 24-bit stereo mixes): Child Of The Universe
Negative Earth
Paper Wings
The Great 1974 Mining Disaster
Crazy City
See Me See You
Poor Boy Blues
Mill Boys
Child Of The Universe (U.S. single version)



Recording Details

Recording Studios:
Recorded at Olympic Studios, London (which was owned by John Kongos, the South-African born singer-songwriter who had hit singles with "He's Gonna Step On You Again" and "Tokoloshe Man" in 1971). Mixed at Trident Studios, London.

Recording Dates:
March/April 1974

Producer:
Rodger Bain

Engineers:
Rufus Cartwright (Olympic); Ted Sharp (Trident)

Sleeve

Photographs of the band were by Alex Agor and Art Direction by Vincent McEvoy. Issued in a single cover with no printed inner sleeve or lyrics. Original UK copies have a matt sleeve, with the back photo in colour on a green background, whereas later pressings used first glossy card and then a black and white back for the mid-price reissue (SPELP 11, 08-1983).

Rodger Bain

Rodger was best known for his production work on the first three albums by the archetypal heavy metal band, Black Sabbath; his speciality was certainly heavy rock, as he also produced bands such as Judas Priest and Budgie. This may have been one of the reasons why he didn't always see eye to eye with Barclay James Harvest, who were never fully satisfied with the end result, especially "Child Of The Universe", which they spent hours mixing and remixing. Woolly's only contribution to the album was also omitted from the final listing for the same reason, leaving him unrepresented as a songwriter - the song, incidentally, was "Mæstoso"! Having said that, the album's warm sound and subtle, understated production still sound superb to these ears, and at least three of the songs from it went on to became live classics.


Child Of The Universe

John's hard-hitting opener has, sad to say, lost none of its relevance in the intervening twenty-one years since it was written. Originally rejected for BJH, the song was first recorded for John's solo album, A Major Fancy (made in 1972 but only released in 1977) before the band decided to include it on this album. It was recorded and remixed several times, and BJH were never really happy with the results, but 'live' it worked brilliantly, and it has been a live favourite ever since.

Lyrics:
I'm a child of South Africa
I'm a child of Vietnam
I'm a child of Northern Ireland
I'm a small boy with blood on his hands

Yes I'm a child of the universe
Yes I'm a child of the universe
You can see me on the TV every night
Always there to join in someone else's fight

I didn't ask to be born and I don't ask to die
I'm an endless dream, a gene machine
That cannot reason why

Yes I'm a child of the universe
Yes I'm a child of the universe
You can see me on the TV every day
I'm the child next door three thousand miles away

[John Lees, © RAK Publishing Ltd]


Negative Earth

I personally rate "Negative Earth" as one of BJH's most underrated songs: Les based the song on the near-disastrous Apollo 13 space mission in April 1970, when an explosion forced the astronauts to use the lunar module Aquarius as a "liferaft" to return to Earth. The song captures the isolation of the astronauts with understatement and a superbly evocative melody. Mel made a rare foray into lyric-writing, and came up with the superb lines beginning "here in syncopated time". More, please!

Lyrics:
For fifty-five days I've been flying around the world
Didn't anybody know, didn't anyone suppose
That my life up here was slowly drifting by
And all I've got to do is sit and cry

The Earth is so clear and it's simply a reach away
I just had to laugh today but the news it seemed to say
That my life once full was surely running dry
I prayed a while but then I had to cry

Look in my eyes - I know
That man is surely just a man
It's no surprise - I know
The road is far too long
And life too short to carry on

For fifty-five days I've been flying around the world
Here in syncopated time, while my tangled web of rhyme
Dangles aimlessly, time drips slowly by
And all I've got to do is sit and cry

Look in my eyes - I know
That man is surely just a man
It's no surprise - I know
The road is far too long
And life too short to carry on

[Les Holroyd, © RAK Publishing Ltd]


Paper Wings

Another Holroyd/Pritchard collaboration, with Mel again helping out with the lyrics. Part of the inspiration came from a visit to Paris and a trip up the Eiffel Tower, where they saw a plaque in memory of someone who had fallen to their death from the tower - "a broken man without a dream".

Lyrics:
His crazy frame against the dawn
His hungry leap and ragged fall
A suicidal perch is now laid bare
To searching eyes and empty stares

A fearful silence hits the crowd
The air hangs heavy with the sound
Of useless wings against the morning sky
As paper yields before their eyes

Oh, can you see him now?
A broken man without a dream
Oh, can you hear him now?
A futile laugh above the screams

[Les Holroyd, © RAK Publishing Ltd]


The Great 1974 Mining Disaster

In some ways, this song was a forerunner of "Poor Man's Moody Blues", in that it was written by deconstructing a well-known song by another band, then rebuilding it with new lyrics. In this case, the original song was the Bee Gees' "New York Mining Disaster 1941"; which John adapted to comment on the 1974 UK miners' strike that finally brought down the Conservative government. Subtle alterations to the original lyrics such as changing "don't go talking too loud, you'll cause a landslide" to "all you have to do is smile to cause a landslide" were combined with contemporary political and musical references to people such as "a sailor oh so gay" (Prime Minister Ted Heath), "Mister Groan" (miners' leader Joe Gormley) and songs by David Bowie ("The Man Who Sold The World" and "Space Oddity" about "a major out in space").

Lyrics:
Heard a song the other day
About a major out in space
And though the song was kind of grey
It took me far away

Heard the news the other day
About a sailor oh so gay
And though his policies were grey
They took me far away
'Cause I couldn't stand the thought
Of being taken in again

Have you seen my life, Mr. Groan?
Do you know what it's like to be outside?
All you have to do is smile to cause a landslide
And you do, and you do, Mr. Groan

Heard a song just yesterday
About a man who sold the world away
And though the song was still quite grey
It took me far away
'Cause I couldn't stand the thought
Of being taken in again

Have you seen my life, Mr. Groan?
Do you know what it's like to be outside?
All you have to do is smile to cause a landslide
And you do, and you do, Mr. Groan

[John Lees, © RAK Publishing Ltd]


Crazy City

Side Two kicked off with yet another live classic, this time from Les Holroyd's pen. The excellent three-part harmonies in the middle reveal a taste for the vocal talents of Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young (and why not?!). Apparently written about London, although it could equally apply to the frenetic pace of life in any big city.

Lyrics:
Running alone in the crazy city
Look at the faces of once were pretty
People then wonder what happened
To make it that way

Listen around you, have you heard?
Climb on the back of a silver bird
London to L.A. before you can think
What to say

Stop awhile, take a smile
Know that you're living in today
Up and down, look around
No need to hide yourself away

Out in the country's where I'm going
Back where the tree of life's still growing
Take a free ride where the tide
Flows the way of your heart

Follow the wild dove where he's flying
Out where the sun is never crying
Wait at the gate or they'll stop you
And blow you apart

Stop awhile, take a smile
Know that you're living in today
Up and down, look around
No need to hide yourself away

[Les Holroyd, © RAK Publishing Ltd]


See Me See You

The word-play in the lyrics of "See Me See You" lifts it out of the ordinary run of love songs, and John couldn't resist one of his periodic references to The Beatles in the "Hey Jude" at the end of the chorus.

Lyrics:
Forgive me, child, I am sorry
I can't see your face
Forgive me, child, I am sorry
I can't hear your name

Take me, take you, lost in other worlds
Take me, take you, crazy boy, lonely girl
Far away, far away, what d'you say?
Far away, so far away
Hey Jude

I was, you were, time was when I could
I knew you knew me
So light your light shining and star bright
Through you, through me, too

Take me, take you, lost in other worlds
Take me, take you, crazy boy, lonely girl
Far away, far away, what d'you say?
Far away, so far away
Hey Jude

[John Lees, © RAK Publishing Ltd]


Poor Boy Blues

Having very similar subject matter, this song and "Mill Boys" are woven together musically, too. The verse of "Mill Boys" is used as an instrumental middle eight in "Poor Boy Blues", and the chorus from "Poor Boy Blues" becomes the instrumental middle eight in "Mill Boys". The whole section is topped and tailed by Les's virtually a capella intro and 'outro', which dovetails nicely without a gap into "For No One". The country-ish feel of this song is something that Les is on record as saying that he wanted to explore in a solo album that was planned for the early seventies but never recorded; perhaps "Poor Boy Blues" is a taster of how that album might have sounded.

Lyrics:
It's easy to see a poor boy's blues
When he's working every day
It's harder to be there in his shoes
He was born to be that way

If I tell you tomorrow I'm leaving
Would you understand the reason why?
A poor boy works hard for his living
But a rich man he plays to pass the time

So goodbye, pleased to know you
We had some laughs along the way
But I have to be leaving
And there's nothing you can do to make me stay

If I tell you tomorrow I'm leaving
Would you understand the reason why?
A poor boy works hard for his living
But a rich man he plays to pass the time

So goodbye, pleased to know you
We had some laughs along the way
But I have to be leaving
And there's nothing you can do to make me stay

[Les Holroyd, © RAK Publishing Ltd]


Mill Boys

John wrote this song specifically about the Lancashire cotton mills, and therefore includes very local references to such places as Tandle Hills ("Tangle 'ills" in the local dialect) and Shaw Road, a street in Oldham.

Lyrics:
Sky was black, Lord, rain came pouring down
Number 12 bus shuffling down Shaw Road way
Mules keep spinning, black-faced lifers peck the ground
Sun comes up like lightning over Tandle Hills grey

We are mill boys, stuck on the hill boys
Stuck in the mill boys, 'till our dying day

Cotton mill will get you, boy, she'll take you to your grave
Tell you boy to use your head, apprentice out your days
You'll end up a nothing, boy, with cotton as your trade
Sun comes up like lightning over Tandle Hills grey

We are mill boys, stuck on the hill boys
Stuck in the mill boys, 'till our dying day
We are mill boys, stuck on the hill boys
Stuck in the mill boys, 'till our dying day

It's easy to see a poor boy's blues
When he's working every day
It's harder to be there in his shoes
He was born to be that way

[John Lees, © RAK Publishing Ltd]


For No One

A classic anti-war song brings us neatly back to the opening theme of the album. The live version, as captured on Barclay James Harvest Live from later that same year, was even more powerful, with a big build up to the exquisite ending which is, unfortunately, missing from the studio version. Still, a great way to end a fine album, which has a very special place in many fans' affections.

Lyrics:
Please lay down your pistols and your rifles
Please lay down your colours and your creeds
Please lay down your thoughts of being no-one
Concentrate on what you ought to be

Then lay down your bullshit and your protests
Then lay down your governments of greed
Take a look at what lies all around you
Then pray God we can live in peace

Everyone's a loner 'till he needs a helping hand
Everyone is everybody else
Everyone's a no-one 'till he wants to make a stand
God alone knows how we will survive

So please lay down your pistols and your rifles
Please lay down your colours and your creeds
Please lay down your thoughts of being no-one
Concentrate on what you ought to be

Everyone's a loner 'till he needs a helping hand
Everyone is everybody else
Everyone's a no-one 'till he wants to make a stand
God alone knows how we will survive

[John Lees, © RAK Publishing Ltd]


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