BARCLAY JAMES HARVEST : THE BEST OF BARCLAY JAMES HARVEST
Label : Harvest
Released : 1977
Length : 42:55
Review (AllMusic) : Only the first four of Barclay James Harvest's albums were released on the Harvest label, so this 1977 compilation has a pretty limited selection to draw from. Even so, the compilers somehow managed to botch the job. For one thing, only two of the group's four great 1968 non-LP single sides (the B-side of the first single and the A-side of the second) are included; somehow forgetting "Early Morning," a sublime piece of gentle, acoustic psych-pop that's easily among the half-dozen or so best things BJH ever managed, is a crime, as is the lack of the similarly lovely "Mother Dear," from the self-titled 1970 debut. The selection is skewed toward the poppier songs of guitarist John Lees, thereby giving a rather distorted view of the band to those unfamiliar with the group's albums. Wisely, the album does end with the fan favorite "Moonwater," a lengthy Mahler-influenced piece of Romantic orchestral prog rock that epitomizes this side of Barclay James Harvest's musical personality. 1973's Early Morning Onwards is a much more satisfactory précis of the group's Harvest years, not least because it doesn't contain the terrible commercial move "Rock and Roll Woman."