What does it sound like?:
Barclay James Harvest’s first, eponymous album – originally released on the Harvest label (not necessarily named after them, despite some information even in the booklet to this reissue) in 1970, and already reissued in remastered form in 2002 with bonus tracks under the title “Their First Album”. It’s now being made available as a four disc set – three CDs and a DVD. The CDs feature the original mix of the album, a new mix for 2018, and bonus tracks (several previously unreleased) including single A and B-sides, BBC Radio sessions and one original Woolly Wolstenholme demo (of Dark Now My Sky).
The DVD contains a brand new 5.1 surround mix of the album, the original stereo mix, some of the additional tracks and a short 1968 film called “Mr Sunshine” which features Early Morning, Washing The Dishes and Mr Sunshine.
There’s also a comprehensive and well illustrated 68 page booklet to accompany the sounds.
The newly remastered original mix is crisp, and compares favourably to both the original release and the 2002 reissue. The 2018 mix brings some of the subtleties contained in the music more to the fore, as well as extending some of the tracks from the original version and, as I’ve not heard the 5.1 surround mix, augurs well for this.
The additional material is, inevitably, something of a mixed bag. It’s great to hear the contemporaneous singles and other studio recordings. The BBC archive material is – as to be expected – of mixed audio quality, and of course all in mono, but still interesting for the hardened BJH fan.
What does it all *mean*?
That the excellent Esoteric label have, once again, done a sterling job of reinvigorating an old master.
Goes well with…
The smell of patchouli oil and something interesting to drink.
Might suit people who like…
Classic British rock of the late 1960s and early 1970s, great musicianship and a definite hippy-tinge to the words and music.