Barclay James Harvest are an English rock band specialising in Symphonic/Melodic Rock with folk/progressive/classical influences. The band was founded in Saddleworth, a civil parish now in the Metropolitan Borough of Oldham, in September 1966 by John Lees, Les Holroyd, Stuart "Woolly" Wolstenholme, and Mel Pritchard (1948-2004). After signing with EMI's Parlophone in the UK for one single in early 1968, they moved to the more progressively inclined Harvest label. Their self-titled debut album was released in mid 1970 to positive reviews, but few sales. Their second album Once Again gained more favourable reviews, and the tour that followed was conducted with a full orchestra under the guidance of Robert John Godfrey.
In 1966 two R & B bands local to Oldham (UK) merged to form a blues outfit The Blues Keepers. With sponsorship from a local businessman (also their manager) they rented an 18th century farmhouse where they practised extensively, gradually moving towards a progressive rock style then beginning to emerge. On turning professional the name Barclay James Harvest was adopted, and the line-up stabilised as John Lees (guitars, vocals), Les Holroyd (bass, rhythm guitar, vocals), Stuart "Wooly" Wolstenholme (keyboards, vocals) and Mel Pritchard (drums). After releasing their first single in April 1968, the band joined the legendary progressive Harvest label, quickly expanding their musical horizons, chiefly by experimenting with longer evolving song structures and orchestrations…
BJH produced some of the most enduring music of the 1970’s and 1980’s. Founded in 1967 by John Lees, Woolly Wolstenholme, Les Holroyd & Mel Pritchard, the band recorded a string of classic albums that earned them large successes all over Europe and still command a great following to this day. It was from 1974, once signed to Polydor Records, that they enjoyed their greatest success touching on a variety of styles from Symphonic to Progressive to Melodic Rock - all of which is celebrated in this collection.
Excellent addition to any prog rock music collection
“Eyes of the Universe” offers some gorgeous prog moments very reminiscent of the best ALAN PARSONS PROJECT work.