What does it sound like?:
It’s the turn of this 1972 effort, the band’s fourth album, to be given the deluxe reissue treatment, in this case an all encompassing four cds plus a bluray. To be honest, this isn’t an album I listen to very much, and it wouldn’t make my top five from their catalogue. Nonetheless, what we get is a remaster of the original album, including the bonus tracks from the 2002 reissue, plus a new stereo mix that adds an early demo of Moonwater plus one further previously unreleased song. For me, this is the sound of a band still very much finding its feet and looking for a clear direction in which to move forward, and so producing such an extensive set for what is really quite a nondescript album is perhaps rather stretching things a bit. Many of the songs are quite bland and haven’t aged that well on the whole, although a couple – the orchestral epic Moonwater and Delph Town Morn – stand out from the crowd and are head and shoulders above the rest, as are the non album singles Child of Man and Medicine Man. Discs 3 and 4 comprise a performance from November 1972, to mark the album’s release, for Radio One’s ‘In Concert’ programme, the band being accompanied by a full symphony orchestra for the occasion. We get both the mono and stereo versions of this broadcast on separate cds, which seems a little excessive, but there you go. Having said that, this segment is actually the highlight of the whole box – a fine performance mixing songs from the new album with crowd favourites such as Galadriel and Mockingbird. The bluray provides a 5.1 mix of all the material on the second cd, plus a video of Thank You from the OGWT in January 1973. A decent informative and illustrated booklet rounds off the set. Definitely one for the BJH completist, but with 55 tracks it very nicely rounds off the band’s time on the Harvest label.
What does it all *mean*?
Their best years still lay ahead of them, with the likes of Time Honoured Ghosts, Octoberon and Gone To Earth.
Goes well with…
Remembering those days and this somewhat unfashionable and now largely forgotten band that never quite made it to the top table, here in the UK at least, and who these days are really just a footnote in the grand history of rock – was it all really over 50 years ago!
Might suit people who like…
Other BJH albums, gentle vaguely prog influenced sounds.