BARCLAY JAMES HARVEST – Ring Of Changes [Remastered & Expanded] (2012)
One of my favorite albums of the first half of the ’80s, “Ring Of Changes”, by BARCLAY JAMES HARVEST, is being re-issued Remastered & Expanded by Esoteric Recordings in a deluxe digipak edition.
The band emerged in the seventies from the underground of the UK Prog scene.
Circa the end of the decade, Barclay James Harvest changed their musical orientation to a more Americanized AOR sound, and “Ring Of Changes” is the culmination of this transformation.
Just listen “Looking From The Outside”, a pure ’80s AOR tune plenty of stabbing synths and catchy rhythms. The guitar weaves reminds you Kansas.
“High Wire” is the album’s hardest rocker with a killer hook and a great bridge. The chorus melody hits you hard after a few listens, not unlike April Wine or Saga of the same era. Stunning track.
Two excellent lead singers in a band is a real pleasure: “Midnight Drug” is a tight, uptempo number but very melodic sung by John Lees, while “Waiting For The Right Time” finds Les Holroyd in ballad territory surrounded by synths and a great atmospheric backdrop for that liquid gold voice to weave around.
I’m sure many of you never heard Barclay James Harvest, and if this is your case you’re missing something good, really good.
“Ring Of Changes” was a major European success and featured several hit singles. One of them, the title track, is featured here as bonus, together with the never heard song “Blow Me Down” and the rare edited & remixed version of “Waiting For The Right Time”.
Barclay James Harvest has delivered high quality albums for more than 20 years, and “Ring Of Changes” is one the best, surely the more AOR oriented.
This ‘Remastered & Expanded’ is a jewel.
01. Fifties Child
02. Looking For The Outside
03. Teenage Heart
04. High Wire
05. Midnight Drug
06. Waiting For The Right Time
07. Just A Day Away (Forever Tomorrow)
08. Paraiso Dos Cavalos
09. Ring Of Changes
10. Blow Me Down [Bonus Track]
11. Waiting For The Right Time (Edit Remix version) [Bonus Track]
12. Ring Of Changes (Single version) [Bonus Track]
Les Holroyd / vocals, bass, guitars
John Lees / vocals, guitars
Mel Pritchard / drums, percussion
Bias Boshell / keyboards
Kevin McAlea / keyboards
Henry Morris / backing vocals
The New World Philharmonic Orchestra
BUY IT !