BARCLAY JAMES HARVEST : BABY JAMES HARVEST
Label : Harvest / EMI
Length : 78:55
Released : 1972 / May 27, 2002 (reissue)
Review (ProgArchives) : This is a second miss in-a-row for Barclay James Harvest for the same exact reasons as their previous release. On top of that the official website clearly states that the whole of this album was written and recorded in a matter of four weeks which is not something to be proud of! The bands songwriting is all over the place ranging from rock & roll to classical music. The album kicks off with the rocker Crazy (Over You) which sounds a lot like In My Life from Time Honoured Ghosts. The whole rock & roll attitude doesn't really bother me that much until Thank You which is the only composition that I think a man of John Lee's great talent should be ashamed for even proposing to the rest of the band. Even Woolly Wolstenholme manages to go over the border with his Moonwater which sticks out like a sore thumb in comparison to the rest of the album. There is clearly a lot of potential on Baby James Harvest but since writing and recording was so rushed the end result is anything but satisfactory. I actually consider it to be a miracle that the band managed to compose and record a great track like Summer Soldier which incidentally also marks the only real band effort on this album. Eventually Barclay James Harvest ditched the orchestral arrangements and went for a rock band approach during the second half of the 70's which proved to be much more successful. I recommend to skip this album and go straight to Everyone Is Everybody Else.