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Articles Home » 1993 Articles » Barclay James Harvest - 1993 Caught In The Light
Barclay James Harvest - 1993 Caught In The Light

ARTIST: Barclay James Harvest
ALBUM: Caught In The Light
LABEL: Polydor
SERIAL: 519 303 2
YEAR: 1993


LINEUP: John Lees - guitars, vocals * Les Holroyd - bass, vocals * Woolley Wolstenholme - keyboards, vocals * Mel Pritchard - drums

TRACK LISTING: 01 Who Do We Think We Are? * 02 Knoydart * 03 Copii Romania * 04 Back To Earth * 05 Cold War * 06 Forever Yesterday * 07 The Great Unknown * 08 Spud-U-Like * 09 Silver Wings * 10 Once More * 11 A Matter Of Time * 12 Ballad Of Denshaw Mill


Barclay James Harvest, a name forever associated with British progressive rock that early on was labeled 'the poor man's Moody Blues' by one hopeless critic, created some of the most accessible music of the genre. While Genesis and Yes were beavering away on concepts and 15 minute epics, Barclay James Harvest took a more song-oriented approach, much like Supertramp, Electric Light Orchestra and yes The Moody Blues. In light of the groups musical direction, many progressive fans - with the exception of the group's first couple albums which included the involvement of The Enid's Robert John Godfrey, BJH were nothing more than a pop band with prog leanings. None of this mattered in Germany were the band were huge commodity and able to fill that countries biggest concert halls. Over the years BJH have released a catalog of wondrous music, so as a GD contributor it was a difficult choice which album to pick for review knowing many of our readers are unfamiliar with the band, so let's start with a later work and one of their best.

The Songs
'Caught In The Light' is a very keyboard based album, giving the music a light, airy and dare I say 'cosmic' feel to the entire affair much like the Rodney Matthews art that graces the cover. In keeping with the BJH tradition you will not find songs about sex, fast cars and faster women, but more themes based on relationships as on 'The Great Unknown' and 'Silver Wings' to current events important at the time the album was recorded with 'Cold War' to history with 'Copii Romania' and 'Forever Yesterday'. Musical references can be drawn to Alan Parsons Project, Keats and late period Al Stewart, but really Barclay James Harvest had a sound all their own creating sound pictures for the mind and food for the soul.

In Summary
It seems Polydor records didn't have much faith in the record and promptly dropped the band from their roster. Nothing lasts forever I suppose but it was a tragic statement on the state of music in 1993 and it would be the last studio album to feature drummer Mel Pritchard who passed away from a heart attack in 2004.

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#1 | jeffduran on November 29 2007 23:27:03
I am glad they are represented here in some capacity. 'Love On The Line' is a classic song from 1979-80 and some of they're 80's releases touched on AOR. Always surprised they are not respected or talked about much here in the states anyway. Thumbs Up
#2 | AOR Lee on February 04 2012 13:08:04
Caught In The Light was my introduction to BJH. One copy arrived at the cd store I was working at in Port Elizabeth, South Africa. The cover really does match the music, Eric got this spot on. Probably not easy to get nowdays but worth the hunt to get this ethereal classic.
#3 | swazi on March 08 2012 09:56:55
My introduction to BJH actually took place 1980 in Windhoek, Namibia, where I went to school for one year. Someone brought the LP 'Gone to Earth' to the boarding house and we played this thing to death. Remember the song 'Hymn' ?
#4 | Eric on March 08 2012 12:54:08
A lot of BJH fans think 'Gone To Earth is their best. Undecided myself, but a terrific album.
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