BARCLAY JAMES HARVEST – Ring Of Changes [Remastered & Expanded] (2012)

BARCLAY JAMES HARVEST - Ring Of Changes [Remastered & Expanded] (2012) mp3 download mediafire

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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.

Highly Recommended.

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

Guest musicians:

Bias Boshell / keyboards

Kevin McAlea / keyboards

Henry Morris / backing vocals

The New World Philharmonic Orchestra

BARCLAY JAMES HARVEST - Ring Of Changes [Remastered & Expanded] (2012) back cover

BUY IT !

www.cherryred.co.uk/esoteric-exd.asp?id=3685

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1 Response

  1. 1980-F says:

    I'd like to add a few words, since this is one of the albums I listened to a lot in my youth (probably one of the most heard albums in my life) and definitely is one of my favorites from the 80's, too.

    I agree, that this remastered edition is a jewel and a kind of dream come true, since this album was out of print for so many years. But I disagree with the description of the sound. But probably that's because this album doesn't fit in any category.

    So to give readers another view, here are my impressions:

    Yes, there are AOR-ish structures, especially in "High Wire" (which is a really great track), but the production in my eyes is very far away from SAGA or KANSAS – even in their deepest 80's phase. The synth sounds used in "High Wire" are similar to those TEARS FOR FEARS had on their debut album The Hurting" in songs like "Watch Me Bleed" or "Suffer The Children". "Waiting For The Right Time" always reminded me of 10CC's "I'm Not In Love" and the awesome title track has a 'prog mood', though it has a totally straight rhythm. "Just A Day Away" and "Paraiso dos cavalos" are folkish tunes (the latter one with a great orchestral arrangement). I think a better comparison for the overall sound would be THE ALAN PARSONS PROJECT or the softer tracks from 80's GENESIS.

    I'd describe this as a mixture of 70's Soft Rock, light AOR, early 80's Synth Pop and a touch of Prog. So indeed this mixture is quite unique and I can recommend this album to every fan of "good" music. Even after many listens you can still discover details like the proggy cymbal playing in "Fifties Child", which I had never noticed before.

    BJH developed a rockier/AOR sound with their following albums, especially on their 1987 release "Face To Face".

    Cheers

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