Barclay James Harvest Album Portfolio

Album Portfolio

Woolly Wolstenholme - Mæstoso

Maestoso Polydor album coverMaestoso SPM/WWR CD coverMaestoso Brimstone CD cover

LP: Polydor 2374 165, October 1980
CD: SPM/World Wide Records SPM-WWR-CD 003, Germany, May 1990
CD: Brimstone BRIM 003, October 2000
CD: Eclectic ECLCD 1054, November 6th, 2006


Tracklisting

Bonus tracks on Eclectic CD remaster:
Even The Night (Stuart J. Wolstenholme)
Has To Be A Reason (Stuart J. Wolstenholme)



Recording Details

Recording Studios:
Strawberry Studios North, Stockport.

Recording Dates:
January to April 1980

Producer:
Woolly Wolstenholme and David Rohl

Engineer:
David Rohl, Chris Nagle, assisted by Glen Mackintosh



Musicians

Steve Broomhead (Voice, Mandoline and all the good guitars)
Kim Turner (Voice, Drums, Mellotron Flight Case and Percussion)
Woolly Wolstenholme (Voice, Keyboards, Basso Buffo and the other guitars)

Plus Brian Day (String Bass on "Waveform") and Bill Nixon (Tubular Bells, Timpani)



Sleeve

Designed by Woolly - cover photograph taken by Woolly on a flight home from a BJH tour.


Sail Away

An all-purpose leaving (it or her!), getting out, jacking in, packing up, clearing off-type song. (The break between this and the next song should have been the sound of "a great iron door closing" (L.Durrell), but sounds more like a face-slap!).


Lyrics:

"You must be joking," I hear you say.
"It can't be over and done."
I know the game but I don't want to play.
I've got my reasons to run.

Sail away. Sail away.
Sail away. Sail away.

If I get washed up upon some beach,
It's not for doing what I didn't preach.
No, I'm not saying I was always right,
But I had to sail away.

The wind is changing, it's turning cold.
It's blowing good for no-one.
Please don't believe all the tales you're told.
They'll never tell what goes on.

Sail away. Sail away.
Sail away. Sail away.

If I get thrown up upon some reef,
It's not for doing what was my belief.
No, I'm not saying I was always right,
But I had to sail away.

Stuart J. Wolstenholme
© 1979 St. Annes Music Ltd.




Quiet Islands

I don't know if this one is about the environment, tourism or whales! But the results are probably the same. The overbearing reggae clamour is there to imply a polluting force drowning out the real with the ersatz.


Lyrics:

Dark nights on quiet islands;
Tread soft, don't wake the sleeping.
Silent, the quiet islands.
Slumber beneath the still,
The still and jewelled sky.

Disturb us if you dare;
We will not sleep again.
Disturb us if you dare;
We will not sleep again.

Bird sounds on quiet islands,
Warning of our intrusion.
Dream on, you quiet islands.
Morning will find you woken,
Broken where you lie.

Disturb us if you dare;
We will not sleep again.
Disturb us if you dare;
We will not sleep again.

(For F.O.E.)

Stuart J. Wolstenholme
© 1979 St. Annes Music Ltd.




A Prospect Of Whitby

A winter break for Jill and me on the north coast. Great waves clawing at the sea wall and eventually ripping it apart. The hotel had been turned off - along with the water. Steve Broomhead's "thousand mandolins" paint the picture of our chattering teeth. Images of The French Lieutenant's Woman with fish and chips.


Lyrics:

We stood alone on the empty beach.
We felt the spray on our open face.
The ocean line was within our reach.
Leaving our lives on the rocky ledge,
We came to stand at the water's edge.

We saw the lamps on the higher ground
Like pools of moonshine in evergreen.
We didn't say much above the sound;
Hearing was harder against the wind.
We stood in awe as the sea came in.

The sea wall faltered and lost its place.
Like broken diamonds the waves washed in.
They stole the shore from the shore itself;
The ground was moving beneath our feet.
We broke for home and our safe retreat.
We broke no rules, we were not the thief.

(For Jill)

Stuart J. Wolstenholme
© 1979 St. Annes Music Ltd.




Lives On The Line

A bit of bizarre in 6/8.


Lyrics:

Do you think? We can make the grade.
Do you feel?It would be all right.
Do you know?If the change is made.
Could you sleep?Every night.
We're laying lives on the line.
We're laying lives on the line.
Do you see?It's the closing phase.
Do you care?For the other side.
Do you believe?Now we've got the raise.
Could you share?In their suicide.
We're laying lives on the line.
We're laying lives on the line.

Stuart J. Wolstenholme
© 1979 St. Annes Music Ltd.




Patriots

I always wanted to write something Elgarian, and this is as close as I got. Generally I was pleased with the outcome, save for a few manic drum breaks!


Lyrics:

In the news it said the waters will subside.
We saw the pages full of faces with no names.
In a doorway, see the remnants of an age,
Their ragged souls tired out of playing in our games.
Wrong or right,
In black and white,
We see their plight.

We who stand and wait still serve,
On us you can rely.
We are the blind, we are the dumb,
And in our hundreds we will come.
Though we'll never say a word,
Like patriots we'll die.

Bless the hero in his death so glorious
And those who honoured him and took him to his grave.
Yet there is no glory road that's long enough
To take the millions, unknown to us, unsaved.
Wrong or right.
In black and white,
We see their flight.

We who stand and wait still serve.
On us you can rely.
We are the blind, we are the dumb,
And in our hundreds we will come.
Though we'll never say a word,
Like patriots we'll die.

Stuart J. Wolstenholme
© 1979 St. Annes Music Ltd.




Gates Of Heaven (14/18)

"Heroes led by donkeys". Long-standing song about the futility of the First Big One, rejected on several occasions for BJH albums.


Lyrics:

Seventeen years, no older then,
We were sold by our country, betrayed.
Foolish youth put his armour on
And the weight of the errors they made.
How they sang at the sight of us leaving,
Some with tears in their eyes;
But they sent us to die!

At the Gates of Heaven we heard sweeter sounds.
At the Gates of Heaven we heard sweeter sounds.
At the Gates of Heaven we heard sweeter sounds.

Fitful sleep on the battlefield
Shot with dreams of some far summer's day.
In the darkness no thunderflash
Could awaken our souls where they lay.
How we sang on the night of our leaving,
How they waved us goodbye;
But they sent us to die!

At the Gates of Heaven we heard sweeter sounds.
At the Gates of Heaven we heard sweeter sounds.
At the Gates of Heaven we heard sweeter sounds.

Stuart J. Wolstenholme
© 1979 St. Annes Music Ltd.




American Excess

Have a nice day! Arrrghh!


Lyrics:

Somebody told me that our lives would never change;
In a one-horse occupation we'd be riding out the range
For two years at the most, or 'til we ran right off the coast
And the world looked on in envy as they watched our bodies roast.

American Excess can't buy you peace.

On the seventh day of landing I was shaking at the knees
In some motel/hotel/no-tell where you do just what you please,
So I put my hands together and I prayed that it would stop,
But he looked just like a hangman getting ready for the drop.

American Excess can't buy you peace.
American Excess can't buy you peace.

Stuart J. Wolstenholme
© 1979 St. Annes Music Ltd.




Mæstoso - A Hymn In the Roof Of The World

My Magnum Opus. In incubation for 11 years and changing a little in every year. The original concept of the pointlessness of national endeavour and the ultimate triumph of humanity now sounds naive and idealistic - but it fits the music! Perhaps the most tempting to re-mix, but of course only as an experiment!


Lyrics:

It's so strange that I should meet you
Here upon the highest point of earth;
It's safe to say we've proved our worth
In others' eyes today;
And the flags that we both hold
Are altogether vain and meaningless.
These standards that we've strived to bless,
It's time we threw away.

We should fall upon our knees
And thank sweet God we are alive.
Sweet God we are alive.
Sweet God we are alive!

All across the face of earth
The clouds are gathering to hide the ways of man.
There is no earthly plan
Up here at Heaven's door,
And the air is pure enough
To wipe away all doubts of innocence.
Repent! Rejoice! Make recompense
For now and evermore.

We should fall upon our knees
And thank sweet God we are alive.
Sweet God we are alive.
Sweet God we are alive!

Stuart J. Wolstenholme
© 1979 St. Annes Music Ltd.




Waveform

Sometimes you have to shoot the drummer and do something distinctly un-Rock & Roll. As usual I wrote a song that was impossible for me to sing, and the final chord, with the bass in the dominant, ended things with a comma rather than a full stop.


Lyrics:

I heard the waveform, wide-eyed, newly born.
I felt the sunlight, it shone upon an eager son, unworn.
And trusting in some gentle force,
It seemed the easiest to let life take its course.
When I awoke and looked around,
I saw the only way it's taking me is down.

I saw the sunset, washed out, blown down hard.
I felt the wind fall still, decay, the last, the unplayed card.
I didn't have the time to dream.
I found it tough enough to take part in the scheme
Where what you take is all you get.
Still the point of it eluded me... and yet

I felt the earth smile

Deep.

Stuart J. Wolstenholme
© 1979 St. Annes Music Ltd.




Bonus tracks on Eclectic CD remaster:

Even The Night (live in Vienna, February 1982)

The end of the affair? Exquisite torture.


Lyrics:

We've said it all, there's nothing worth saying.
It's hard telling truth from the lies.
We played the game, but the dice just weren't shaking.
Like a spark going out in your eyes,
It's not a man nor a beast but it dies
And it looks like our water's run dry.

Yet even the night is brighter than most.
Even the stars look fine
And even if we have to give up the ghost.
I think tonight will shine.

I take the blame. It was all my idea,
Suggesting we meet one more time
And pouring out words and boring each other
In our final performance tonight.
Perhaps I'm not saying it right.
It must be something they put in the wine.

Even the night is brighter than most.
Even the stars look fine
And even if we have to give up the ghost,
I think tonight will shine and shine and shine...

Stuart J. Wolstenholme
© 1981




Has To Be A Reason (live in Vienna, February 1982)

("Road Life")

This, and the two other songs recorded at my final studio session ("Too Much, Too Loud, Too Late" and "Deceivers All") gradually came to have sub-titles reflecting my feelings: "Road Life" on touring, "Studio Life" buried alive! and "Low Life" an oblique comment on Polydor and their broken promises, lies and lack of support.


Lyrics:

Another sleepless night for me,
Not knowing now what I should be,
But I will be back again,
Though I can't say how or when.

Another sleepless, starless night
And I'm lying here trying to make things right.
If I'd gone another way,
Would I be crazier today?

There has to be a reason for it all
Has to be somebody who can take the strain,
Has to be a number I can call,
Has to be somebody who can ease the pain.

Another night, another town
And I'm looking up what's going down,
Content to spend my time
Drowning in your wine,

But it's another night and another place
And I'm pleased enough to know one face.
If it's lonely at the top,
I say it's harder when you drop.

There has to be a reason for it all,
Has to be somebody who can take the strain.
Has to be a number I can call.
Has to be somebody who can ease the pain.

There has to be a reason...

Stuart J. Wolstenholme
© 1981


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