What does it sound like?:
Soft Rock with occasional folky elements. If you like Northern charm and mellotrons please apply within.
What does it all *mean*?
This is a 3 disc clamshell box celebrating Barclay James Harvest’s third LP “And Other Short Stories”. It contains 2 CDs and a multi-region DVD, The first CD contains the original slightly dodgy mix of the album, the second has a very good new remix. Both CDs have a plethora of bonus tracks including excellent BBC sessions and some demos and alternate mixes. The DVD contains a new dedicated 5.1 mix of the album and hi resolution versions of the CD material. For this review I was only given access to MP3 files of the CD material so I am unable to comment on the surround mix. However, I must say that the new stereo mix is a huge improvement on the original released mix. “And Other Short Stories” was the band’s second album of 1971 and I can only suppose that time was short as the previous album “Once Again” suffered no such problems. The best songs here are Medicine Man, The Poet and After The Day. There is some filler on offer too.
I own the original vinyl. The new mix on Cd 2 really improves an LP I have overlooked as years go by. BJH were a very popular draw on the UK college circuit between 1979 and 1974. I saw them a number of times at Kingston Polytechnic for 50 new pence a throw and they were always very enjoyable. You couldn’t help liking them somehow. John Lees’ fluid lead guitar playing and Wooly Wolstenhome’s atmospheric mellotron were the heart of their sound, but they could rock out too. If they had a fault it was perhaps their generosity to each other as they shared the song writing perhaps a little too equally. They boasted two good singers in Lees and Wolstenholme though and they always came over as four charming young men from Oldham.
Goes well with…
The Moody Blues, early post Syd Barrett Pink Floyd and anything quintessentially English.
Friday August 28th.
Might suit people who like…
Mellotrons, a touch of whimsy, cream teas and lightly orchestrated rock tunes.