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Number 243

Barclay James Harvest - And Other Short Stories (Harvest SHVL 794)

In the early 1970s I was attracted to just about everything on the Harvest record label, EMI's Progressive Rock imprint, which included such signings as Roy Harper, Deep Purple, The Move, The Edgar Broughton Band and Third Ear Band, not to mention the most successful signing Pink Floyd. It sort of stood to reason then that the band that had the brand in their name would feature heavily in my record collection. The band were formed in Oldham in the mid-1960s by John Lees, Les Holroyd, Stuart 'Woolly' Wolstenholme and Mel Pritchard and released a series of albums that would divide the critics, some believing the band to be a poor man's Moody Blues, in fact the band actually wrote a song with that title which appeared on their 1977 LP GONE TO EARTH. This album has all the hallmarks of what we came to expect from a good prog rock album; the mellotron, the orchestral arrangements, the distorted guitars and the acoustic touches here and there.