BARCLAY JAMES HARVEST : ONCE AGAIN
Label : Harvest
Length : 61:07
Released : 1971 / May 27, 2002 (reissue)
Review (AllMusic) : The band's follow-up still finds it working very much in the vein of orchestral rock, largely driven by Stewart Wooly Wolstenholme's keyboards and the presence of the London Symphony Orchestra. The reach of the music exceeds the grasp of the lyrics, though - they lack the cold oracularity of Peter Sinfield or the allusive cleverness of Peter Gabriel. Still, there's some fine compositions here. "She Said" turns upon a keening opening Mellotron riff to develop into a slow-four dirge. "Song for Dying" shows off the band's fine ability at vocal harmonies, while the later concert standard, "Mocking Bird," shows a dramatic evolution from pensive acoustic guitar to a full-blown orchestral attack.
Review (Wikipedia) : Once Again was the second album released by Barclay James Harvest, in early 1971. It is generally regarded as one of their strongest efforts, featuring powerful, epic tracks such as "Song For Dying", "She Said", and "Mocking Bird", one of their best known songs. As was the case with their other early albums, it was recorded with a full orchestra. On the track "Galadriel", Lees played John Lennon's Epiphone Casino guitar, an event later recounted in a song on the band's 1990 album Welcome To The Show titled "John Lennon's Guitar". In an interview with Songfacts, Keith Damone (official biographer of Barclay James Harvest with his wife Monika) said John Lees wrote "Mocking Bird" back in 1968 while he was living with the parents of his future wife, Olwen. The song is based on a musical phrase from "Pools Of Blue", which he wrote around the same time. In the Q & Mojo Classic Special Edition ‘’Pink Floyd & The Story of Prog Rock’’, the album came #39 in its list of "40 Cosmic Rock Albums". Once Again was remastered and reissued by Harvest in 2002 with several bonus tracks. The cover is designed by Latimer Reeves and based on an enlarged section of the design for the debut album. The full effect can only be obtained by opening out the original gatefold sleeve, so later reissues such as the 'Fame' release which came in single sleeves rather defeat the object. The inside of the gatefold contains very little information and no lyrics, although the full lyrics are given after the description of each song on this page.