Barclay James Harvest Album Portfolio

Barclay James Harvest Album Portfolio

Eyes Of The Universe

Eyes Of The Universe album cover


LP: Polydor POLD 5029, 5th November, 1979
MC: Polydor, November 1979
CD: Polydor 821 591-2, 12th July, 1984
CD: Remaster with 4 extra tracks, Eclectic ECLCD 1049, 23rd October, 2006
CD: Digipack remaster with 4 extra tracks, Esoteric ECLEC 2370, 28th January, 2013



Side 1
Love On The Line (Les Holroyd)
Alright Down Get Boogie (Mu Ala Rusic) (John Lees)
The Song (They Love To Sing) (Les Holroyd)
Skin Flicks (John Lees)

Side 2
Sperratus (John Lees)
Rock 'N' Roll Lady (Les Holroyd)
Capricorn (John Lees)
Play To The World (Les Holroyd)


Bonus tracks on remastered CDs:
Sperratus (John Lees) [previously unreleased single edit]
Rock 'N' Roll Lady (Les Holroyd) [previously unreleased single edit]
Capricorn (John Lees) [single edit]
Play To The World (Les Holroyd) [previously unreleased single mix]



Recording Details

Recording Studios:
Strawberry Studios North, Stockport

Recording Dates:
July - September 1979

Producer:
Barclay James Harvest and Martin Lawrence

Engineer:
Martin Lawrence



Title

Taken indirectly from the lyrics of "Sperratus":
	Look in my eyes,
	See the light of the universe



Sleeve

Designed by Alwyn Clayden, with photography by John Shaw. The UFO theme is given an interesting twist by the fact that the spaceships are also windows looking out onto another world. Original UK copies had a black and white lyric inner, and a butterfly embossed on the bottom right corner of the front - this is missing from later issues, including the CD, misleading some fans into thinking that the band's trademark butterfly doesn't appear on the album.



Guest Musicians

This album saw the first guest appearance with BJH of Kevin McAlea (ex of Bees Make Honey and fresh from Kate Bush's touring band) on keyboards. Alan Fawkes (who worked with Steve Broomhead plus various members of Sad Café and Steeleye Span on a Tim Hart solo album produced by David Rohl!) played saxophone on "Play To The World".


Love On The Line

Les's opener was selected as a single to promote the album, and gained a lot of airplay, helping Eyes on its way to platinum status in Germany. Ironically, the title is similar to Woolly's "Lives On The Line", which was originally going to be included on the album. Like Woolly's "bit of bizarre in 6/8", "Love On The Line" is a rocky number, but the theme is the consuming power of love.
Lyrics:
Love like a burning fire
Creeping up on you
Watch as the flame grows higher
Can you see it through?

Don't you know the die is cast?
Got to keep on running faster than time
And you're riding high above
Are you gonna lay your love on the line?

Out where the light is burning
There's a heart that's true
Sounds of the night returning
Put a spell on you

Don't you know the die is cast?
Got to keep on running faster than time
And you're riding high above
Are you gonna lay your love on the line?

[Les Holroyd, © St. Annes Music]


Alright Down Get Boogie (Mu Ala Rusic)

John's "disco" song is not, it must be said, the fans' favourite BJH offering. However, it should really be seen in the context of 1979 as a tongue-in-cheek comment on the Saturday Night Fever styleof disco which was endemic at the time. The strange subtitle may be an anagram ("aural music"?).
Lyrics:
Disco la Risco
Latin Surprise
Dance Floor A Go-Go
Satin and Thighs
Coke a la Cola
Flashing Her Eyes
Get Down Get With It
Nights, Boogie, Lights

Get Down Boogie Alright

Mu ala Rusic
Cool Out o Sight
Heaven in High Heels
Hell in Black Tights
Move ala Groovin'
Flashing Her Lights
Get Down Get With It
Nights, Boogie, Lights

Get Down Boogie Alright

Rock ala Rolla
A Slip and a Slide
Move a Bit Closer
Whisper You're Nice
Booga la Rooga
Don't Give Me That Jive
Get Down Get With It
Nights, Boogie, Lights

Get Down Boogie Alright

[John Lees, © St. Annes Music]


The Song (They Love To Sing)

This song and "Play To The World" have a similar theme, conjuring up the unique atmosphere and emotion of live concerts by the band. Whilst "Play To The World" has enjoyed a revival in recent years, "The Song (They Love To Sing)", which is just as good, if not better, has been rather neglected.
Lyrics:
The day begins
Riding a rainbow
Bow in her hand
To drive away
The night again
Nothing has changed
And all around
People are waking
King of them all
Has gone to rest
He passed the test
Leaving the stage

Time goes sailing on
Slowly the crowd will appear
And into their ears
The song they'd love to sing forever
Tomorrows come,
Tonight lives on for years

The time has come
Follow the spotlight
Lighting the scene
Another world
The flags unfurled
Into the sky
And in the air
Music is playing
Ingots of gold
Fall to the ground
Creating sound
Into the night

Time goes sailing on
Into the light disappears
And still in the ears
The song they'd love to sing forever
Tomorrows come,
Tonight lives on for years

Under a setting sun
Spiriting shadows away
Wonderous people run
Watch as the band starts to play

The song they'd love to sing forever

[Les Holroyd, © St. Annes Music]


Skin Flicks

The title is a slang phrase for pornographic films, and the song is a sorry tale of a model whose career as a glamour pin-up comes between her and her lover. Musically, John continued where "Poor Man's Moody Blues" left off, with the coda borrowing a riff from the Moody Blues' "Question".
Lyrics:
Calendar, Pin-Up Girl
Blonde and Bronze, Beauty Fair
Photographed, Cover Girl
Unashamed, Body Bare
There's No Story
She's A Country Girl At Heart
There's No Glory
She's Just In It For The Art, Her Part

Sun Oiled Skin, Shapely Breast
Slim and Sleek, Without Dress
Page Two Girl, Page Two World
Glamour Girl, Look Your Best
There's No Story
She's A Country Girl At Heart
There's No Glory
She's Just In It For The Art, Her Part

Every Day I'm Waiting by The Telephone
Every Day You Keep Me Hanging On
But While You're Away, I Think Night and Day
About Where You're Gone and How For Long
Before Our Love Turns To Stone

See You In The Papers and The Magazines
But a Photograph's No Good To Me
But While You're Away, I Think Night and Day
About Where You're Gone and How For Long
Before Our Love Turns To Stone

Saw You For The First Time and My Shutter Froze
Cameras Clicked, We Kissed and You Were Gone
But While You're Away, I Think Night and Day
About Where You're Gone and How For Long
Before Our Love Turns To Stone

Beauty Contests Were Your Only Claim to Fame
Then Your Body Won Over Your Brain
You Stripped For the Lights
And Things Went Just Right
Now You're Suntanned Right Down To The Bone
And Our Love's Gone, Turned To Stone

[John Lees, © St. Annes Music]


Sperratus

I could never understand why this one didn't become an essential part of the live set, with its atmospheric verse, catchy chorus and wonderful "duelling guitars" ending. The song is about the complex relationship between stars and the fans who put them in that position, and the title is another anagram, this time of "superstar".
Lyrics:
Look in my eyes
See the light of the universe
I'm man, born of God
Not a clown in disguise

My skin is bronze
My hair is gold
The power within me lights the way
To wealth and fame
All in my name, the final goal

Shout it, shout it, shout it out loud
Sing it, sing it, sing to the crowd
Call out, call out, call out from afar
Make them, make them, make you superstar

Look in my face
See the light
Of a thousand stars shine bright
In the night
As I step
From the stage

Don't burn your hands
On my skin
You can't touch what's deep within
That's my soul
Reaching my final goal

Shout it, shout it, shout it out loud
Sing it, sing it, sing to the crowd
Call out, call out, call out from afar
Make them, make them, make you superstar

[John Lees, © St. Annes Music]


Rock 'N' Roll Lady

This very commercial song was, surprisingly, never released as a single. Following on from "Sip Of Wine", the song is about the camp followers attracted by the glamour of the music business. The line "In the bars where the stars drink tequila and wine" may also be heard as "the stars drink tequila and whine"!
Lyrics:
In the light of the night
Trying hard to forget
All the cries and the lies
Of the people she met
Hypmotised by the sight
That you're seeing and yet
Can't disguise in her eyes
There's a look of regret

So she drifts into tomorrow
Maybe she can find a better way
To love and see her sorrow
Vanish in the haze

Rock 'n' roll lady
Keep on trying
Like the sand that is washed on the shore
Don't believe all the tears and the crying
She's running back for more

In the bars where the stars
Drink tequila and wine
Loud guitars, fancy cars
And the feeling is fine
See her face every place
Every movement in time
But don't choose or a loser you'll be
When she throws you her line

And she drifts into tomorrow
Maybe she can find a better way
To love and see her sorrow
Vanish in the haze

Rock 'n' roll lady
Keep on trying
Like the sand that is washed on the shore
Don't believe all the tears and the crying
She's running back for more

[Les Holroyd, © St. Annes Music]


Capricorn

One of John's cut-up lyrics, where he took favourite phrases from books and rearranged them into profound-sounding but meaningless verses. It conjures up a marvellous atmosphere nevertheless, reminiscent of "Medicine Man".
Lyrics:
Capricorn
Man of war
Honour bright
The long midnight
In the hour before
You lose your head
The thief will paint
The sunlight red
Sunlight red

Deep blue sea
Witnessed by
Flocks of ships
As they sail by
In a tower of strength
The sabre frail
Will take the brig
And raise the sail

Caged until tame
Go-between is the name
Scaring death to the strains of their crying
Here lies the tale
Of escapists who sail
With assassins who kill for the morning

Don't paint the sunlight
It's virgin bright
Don't paint the sunlight
Wait 'til the morning light

Capricorn
Man of war
Honour bright
The long midnight
In the hour before
You lose your head
The thief will paint
The sunlight red
Sunlight red

Caged until tame
Go-between is the name
Scaring death to the strains of their crying
Here lies the tale
Of escapists who sail
With assassins who kill for the morning

Don't paint the sunlight
It's virgin bright
The long midnight
In the hour before
You lose your head
The thief will pain
The sunlight red

[John Lees, © St. Annes Music]


Play To The World

The reintroduction of "Play To The World" to recent live performances has given the song a new lease of life and boosted its popularity. The icing on the cake is John's moody guitar, followed by Alan Fawkes' sax solo, reproduced in live shows by Kevin McAlea.

Lyrics:
Girl, can make the day seem right
And make the darkness bright
That's what you do

Girl, don't hide your love away
You'll want it back some day
That's what they say

And, my friend
We're gonna make it right
And play to the world tonight
We'll play to the world

Time, what's to become of me?
What will the future see?
What will they say?

Life is like a passing dream
It's never what it seems to be
From day to day

And, my friend
We're gonna make it right
And play to the world tonight
We'll play to the world

[Les Holroyd, © St. Annes Music]


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