Peter Steward's Web Site
JOHNNY OLSEN'S BJH PAGE
I recently began subscribing (totally free of charge) to the onelist organisation on Barclay James Harvest.
There I have met with like-minded people who love the music of this group. We have all become one happy family and that is due in no small amount to the work of Johnny Olsen from Norway.
Johnny has worked his way through every BJH song, giving them all gradings and placed them in order.
As a small thank you to Johnny I have reproduced his charming comments below (leaving the reviews exactly as they were written).
Johnny listed them in reverse order so that number one is his least favourite track and 226 his favourite.
I would publicly like to thank Johnny for the hours he put into this labour of love and for the fun that we have had reading the reviews.
Firstly I asked Johnny for a picture and you will see that above. Then I asked for some biographical notes and this is what he wrote.
Johnny Olsen, born back in 1956, married since 1977
to the same beautiful woman; having 4 kids living in a small
town just outside the capital of Norway.
Been a sworn fan of Barclay James Harvest since I first heard
them back in 1970, and having always since then treasured their
music, collecting their records.
Saw the band twice; in Oslo back in 73, and in Drammen 81,
two complete different, but equally important and enormous gigs.
The first one in front of 500 the second for 6000 audiences.
Pity they haven't been in Norway after that.
Also love aløl kinds of progressive symphonic rock from the
70's, and maybe most of all besides BJH: The Beatles, who were
the roots to all good music ever after.
Been a sworn fan of Barclay James Harvest since I first heard them back in 1970, and having always since then treasured their music, collecting their records.
Saw the band twice; in Oslo back in 73, and in Drammen 81, two complete different, but equally important and enormous gigs. The first one in front of 500 the second for 6000 audiences. Pity they haven't been in Norway after that.
Also love aløl kinds of progressive symphonic rock from the 70's, and maybe most of all besides BJH: The Beatles, who were the roots to all good music ever after.
Now for Johnny's list.
1)CHILDREN OF THE DISAPPEARED - 1997 In difference to most other BJH-songs, this is quite insignificant and a very little melodious song. The calypso-related rhythm that takes over after a couple of minutes does the song just more tragic. A strange "withdrawal" to a good guitar-solo makes the picture just more strange. The song doesn't "stick together" at all: FROM: RIVER OF DREAMS GRADE: 2,85 2)GOOD LOVE CHILD - 1970 Straight rocker from 1st album. Noisy, stressy and a bad melody. Best suitable as a B-side of a "middle-of-the-road"-single. Completely off the ordinary BJH-track as regards style. Thank God this is the opening-track of side B and not A. That would have been a tragedy to the sales-figures. FROM: BARCLAY JAMES HARVEST GRADE: 3,00 3)THANK YOU - 1972 Straight rocker from the bands least good album. Luckily they managed to "reorganize" in connection with the move to Polydor. Anyway a better melody than i.e. "Good love child". The song is "saved" by John's wonderful voice. Wooly's piano-"plucking" doesn't make the song any better. A floating organ or mellotron in the background would've made it far better. FROM: BABY JAMES HARVEST GRADE: 3,25 4)PANIC - 1987 Powerful intro with thundering bass and heavy guitar. Yet another straight rocker that because of it's compact sound is better than both "Thank you" and "Good love child". This is also because of the time-difference (15 years) between the productions. But the melody is also far better. FROM: FACE TO FACE GRADE: 3,40 5)DELPH TOWN MORN (LEES) - 1972 Another "weak" song from Baby James Harvest. Nice accoustic intro, but somewhat insignificant melody, with a "jumble" of instruments, winds, accoustic piano and the accoustic guitar. As usual a weak tune is saved by beautiful vocal. Terrible windarrangements. Not memorable at all. FROM: BABY JAMES HARVEST GRADE: 3,60 6)HOLD ON (HOLROYD) - 1984 A "split-up"melody; straight rocker; with "fussy" ladyvocal on refrain. "Bad" keyboards "rolling" in the background. A bad commercial try. A plus for John's guitar-solo. A somewhat "jolly" interlude after the solo with good keyboard-arrangement. Back to the noisy fuss after that. FROM: VICTIMS OF CIRCUMSTANCES GRADE: 3,75 7)BLUE JOHN'S BLUES (Lees) - 1971 Another somewhat "noisy" tune, but the kind of lazy tempo does the song listenable. Can't really say I like the accoustic piano playing(I've never did from anyone). The tubular bells is enjoyable. FROM: AND OTHER SHORT STORIES GRADE: 3,80 8)POOR BOY BLUES(Lees) - 1974 Barclay James Harvest goes country. Nice harmonies and melody, but too simple. If it hadn't been for Les and John's voices it could've been made by some "cheap" country-artist. Big credit for the vocal-parts. FROM: EVERYBODY'S EVERYBODY ELSE GRADE: 3,90 9)HOLD ON(live) (Holroyd) - 1988 This live-version is far more vital and faster than the studio-version from "Victims", and that "suits" the tune very well. It does the whole arrangement of the song more complete. And not the same "noisy" ladys choir on the refrain as on the studio-take. Almost like a completely new song. FROM: GLASNOST GRADE: 4,10 10)MILL BOYS (Lees) - 1974 As the natural continuation of "Poor boy blues"; same sound but far more "nice" melody. I miss some keyboard-harmonies. The whole arrangement is too "weak" and a steel-guitar doesn't "belong" in music by BJH. FROM: EVERYBODY'S EVERYBODY ELSE GRADE: 4,15 11)CRAZY CITY (Holroyd) - 1974 This live version is poorer than the studio-take. Much poorer keyboard-sound and the complete sound is bad, especially the vocal; it's simply "killed" by the backing. The guitar is not that aggressive as on the studio-version. FROM: LIVE GRADE: 4,25 12)CRAZY CITY (Holroyd) - 1974 Too noisy intro. The guitar almost sounds "ugly". Mel's keyboard does "shapen up" the sound. The vocal on the verse is on the contrary beautiful beside the accoustic guitar. The vocal harmonies are very good, but the song is totally too "split up". FROM: EVERYBODY'S EVERYBODY ELSE GRADE: 4,35 13)CRAZY CITY (Holroyd) - 1978 Much more speedy and fresh than both studio and earlier live take. Sound is, as the total "Live tapes"- album superb. Guitar and keyboards are far more perfect, both played and arranged than the other two. FROM: LIVE TAPES GRADE: 4,45 14)HARRY'S SONG (Lees) - 1971 Another halfaccoustic tune with accoustic guitar and piano. Somewhat "cut-up" song with some Elton John-touch. Unneccessary phasing on vocal. A bit "closed in" sound. Mel's drumming dominate, especially the cymbals. Good harmonies at the end. FROM: AND OTHER SHORT STORIES GRADE: 4,60 15)CHILD OF MAN (Lees) - 1972 Myctic sound and melody on this single-tune from 1972 Good double-guitar like Wishbone Ash. Funny changing rhythm where Mel is hard-working on the cowbell . The accoustic guitar and the fuzz-bass fits together as the hand-in-a-glove. FROM: EARLY MORNING ONWARDS GRADE: 5,05 16)THE IRON MAIDEN(Barclay James Harvest) - 1970 Pleasant tune with mellotron and bass-guitar as the distinctive instruments. Enjoyable guitar-playing by John. The melody itself is nice without being the real "BIG ONE". FROM: BARCLAY JAMES HARVEST GRADE: 5,10 17)ROCK AND ROLL WOMAN(Holroyd) - 1973(77) Good rocky guitar-intro on this tune originally released as a single in 73. Les' vocal is somewhat "racked", but very good harmonizing(as always) vocals on refrain. Also on verse in the middle. Second voice does the tune very listenable. FROM: Single and BEST OF VOLUME 1 GRADE: 5,15 18)DEATH OF A CITY (Lees) - 1981 Straight rocker which has a "springy" intro, going over to a nice melody. A kind of "awaitin'" throughout the song. Like it can't get "started" until it's over in a floating interlude. Very good harmonizing on the vocal. FROM: TURN OF THE TIDE GRADE: 5,25 19)THE JOKER (Holroyd/Lees) - 1973(77) This B-side of Rock and roll woman has a very pleasant guitar-intro before vocal breaks onto it and the rest falls in afterwards. A bit "heavy" drumming by Mel which makes the song a bit "tardy". Good double guitar-solo. And as usual: Plus for excellent vocal. FROM: Single and BEST OF VOLUME 1 GRADE: 5,30 20)SONG WITH NO MEANING(Holroyd) - 1971 Beautiful accoustic intro with cymbals and tablas. Instruments falls suitable into the song one by one. The muted guitar-solo by John breaks the "routine" of the song. And as usual: beautiful harmonizing of voices. FROM: AND OTHER SHORT STORIES GRADE: 5,40 21)CRAZY (OVER YOU) (Holroyd) - 1972 Pleasant guitar-intro that slides into the even more pleasant vocal-verse that's building up towards the refrain. Good song that raises above the average. The heavy fuzz-guitar in the background adds a spice to the sound. FROM: BABY JAMES HARVEST GRADE: 5,45 22)MIDNIGHT DRUG (Lees) - 1983 Another straight rocker with some mystic sound. The accoustic guitar and phasing synth fits well together. Not especially memorable melody, but again the arrangement of instruments is superb. FROM: RING OF CHANGES GRADE: 5,50 23)VICTIMS OF CIRCUMSTANCES(instrumental) - 1997 The only way this version could be useful for us, is listening to each instrument separately, but without the vocal the total "sound-picture" is to tiny. Only the piano playing a kind of "solo" and the lady-vocals on refrain seems totally misplaced without any other vocal. FROM: ENDLESS DREAM GRADE: 5,55 24)SKIN FLICKS - 1979 Great keyboard opening before sliding over to vocal wit light backing. Gentle melody with an arrangement that's kinda "funny" with a picking(it must be) bass guitar on higher strings. A bit split-up before entering of the "fanfare" in the middle of the song. After that some queer "calypso-rhythm" with tablas and some spacy keyboards + an accoustic guitar that fits in completely. Strange text which for me seems to be viewed from a man who's about to lose his pinup girl. Not of the deepest meaning to me. FROM: EYES OF THE UNIVERSE GRADE: 5,60 25)POOLS OF TEARS (Lees) - 1997 A bit traditional "pop-intro" which remains through the song. But even if the song is somewhat "plain" it's saved by a beautiful vocal(as ever) and the melody itself is really nice. Doesn't haveto say this but: beautiful harmony-vocal on refrain. Brilliant accoustic guitar-solo. FROM. RIVER OF DREAMS GRADE: 5,65 26)INSIDE MY NIGHTMARE (Lees) - 1984 Powerful rocker with suitable ladies-voices that fits to John's vocal. The funky keyboard-bass also makes the song very "frisky". The floating intro to the refrain is really atmospheric. Can anybody tell me what John means by the lyric??? FROM: VICTIMS OF CIRCUMSTANCES GRADE: 5,70 27)HIGHWIRE (Holroyd) - 1983 Grande keyboard-opening sliding over to Les' vocal with upbuilding backing. Nice synth laying behind. Refrain somewhat straight, but so much happening in the arrangement that the total is good. Groovy bass-sound throughout. FROM: RING OF CHANGES GRADE: 5,75 28)A TALE OF TWO SIXTIES (CLASSICS) (Lees) - 1978 Juicy guitar-opening until John's voice tunes down. Somewhat rhythmic background making the song a bit "jerky". Good melody without being glittering. The fuzzy guitar and the "spinetish" keyboards does the sound well. FROM: XII GRADE: 5,80 29)HIGHWAY OF FOOLS (Lees) - 1981 Powerful guitar-intro over to straight verse. The refrain is somewhat superb with the keyboard "ringing out". The interlude with guitar-solo is excellent. The song is varied and not boring at all! FROM: TURN OF THE TIDE GRADE: 5,85 30)LEPER'S SONG (Lees) - 1977 Powerful intro with guitar and keyboard-chords, before it goes into a juicy rhythm with great guitar-playing. Some funky rhythm marks the whole tune. A quite simple somng with a gigantic orchestration tha raises the whole picture of it. If I haven't misjudged the lyrics, it is about a man who's come to the end of a long life, top enter heaven on permanent basis? FROM: GONE TO EARTH GRADE: 5,90 31)MR SUNSHINE (Barclay James Harvest) - 1968(72) Quiet tune with beautiful intro backed with semi-accoustic guitar, tablas and flute. The B-side of their very first single were quite remarkable for a B-side in 68 to be. A somewhat oriental sound. The vocal-harmonizing were already at that stake excellent. FROM: Single and EARLY MORNING ONWARDS GRADE: 5,95 32)POLK STREET RAG (Lees) - 1976 Not that energetic opening as the better live-version. Far more gentle sound, but not that bad at all.In fact the echo-effects on the vocal is much more structured in studio. Wooly's keyboardsseems to be to muted. Can't get anything out of the lyrics. Does anybody know what the song is about? FROM: OCTOBERON GRADE: 6,00 33)BALL AND CHAIN (Barclay James Harvest) - 1971 Real laidback intro with juicy bass-playing and "jingling" guitar-solo. The vocal-sound differs completely from other early BJH-songs(who's singing here?? Help!!) This is a perfect example of an early "power-ballad". This song could even have been used by any of todays heavy-bands. Beautiful guitar-solo. FROM: ONCE AGAIN GRADE: 6,05 34)HAPPY OLD WORLD (Wolstenholme) - 1971 Wonderful vocal-intro by Wooly, with only his quiet organ and Les' bass behind it. Mel's drums just "crawls" in by the backdoor. Builds well up to the rafrain where the organ and drums are playing a vital part. A real atnospheric song where you can imagine sitting on a bench at sunset just enjoying life and look at the sun disappearing over the hill. FROM: ONCE AGAIN GRADE: 6,10 35)POLK STREET RAG (Lees) - 1977 As with all other songs on "Live tapes" this is far better than the original studio-version. Enormous intro with powerful guitar before the rhythm sets in fully. The vocal-sound with echo is glittering and Wooly's keyboards just remain perfectly in the background, but "pops out" from nothing to make the sound perfect. FROM: LIVE TAPES GRADE: 6,15 36)TURNING IN CIRCLES (Holroyd) - 1978 Funky guitar-opening and a thumping bass that breaks down the speakers if you play loud enough. The refrain is simply marvelous kwith a melody that goes straight into your spinal cord; breaks the funky verese completely. The organ-sound just fits perfectly. FROM: XII GRADE: 6,20 37)DOCTOR DOCTOR (Lees) - 1981 Funky bass and keyboards pushes in from the start. Funny inputs from synths from time to time, but the song is too "cut-up". The rhythm does not "stick together" at all. The bass should've turned over to a more straight run. The interlude, on the other hand, is great!! FROM: TURN OF THE TIDE GRADE: 6,25 38)SPUD-U-LIKE (Lees/Lawrence) - 1993 Funny opening with sound as a video-game before a straight rock rhythm moves in. The song itself is simple and sounds a bit "plastic", but in a way it catches me, especially the refrain with that"o-e-o-o". FROM: CAUGHT IN THE LIGHT GRADE: 6,27 39)FIFTIES CHILD (Lees) - 1983 Funny opening with strings building up in a great symphonic way. The band falls in perfectly while the violins left the "arena". A quite simple song, but oh so well built up with the strings coming back; filling out and making the sound perfect. FROM : RING OF CHANGES GRADE: 6,28 40)ONE HUNDRED THOUSAND SMILES (Holroyd) - 1972 Quiet intro with accoustic piano and drum-strokes before Les' gentle voice turns up filling out. John's fuzz-guitar lies adjusted in the background and raises to front into a terrific solo before falling back to the intro-style. Very nice melody, even if a bit simple arranged. Excellent double guitar-solo at end. FROM: BABY JAMES HARVEST GRADE: 6,30 41)SOMEONE THERE YOU KNOW(Barclay James Harvest) - 1971 Gentle intro with somewhat mute keyboards and "violin"-guitar(please help me with that expression in English. I know there is a certain form for playing guitart that style, but can't remember it), before building up for a short while. Quite a simple melody, but very varied and well built up. John's guitar sounds "heavy" and fuzzy as usual on refrain. Mel's drumming is very listenable itself(try listening to the song once more and only concentrate on the drums). FROM: AND OTHER SHORT STORIES GRADE: 6,35 42)BELIEVE IN ME (Holroyd) - 1976 Quiet intro with Les' voice and accoustic guitar, before rhythm sets in; simple, but catchy. An incredibly good melody that do not need more powerful arrangements to sound well, but the interlude where John and Wooly "pulls off" and those answering voices laying on top, is perfect. Glittering guitar-playing from John. FROM: OCTOBERON GRADE: 6,40 43)HARBOUR (Wolstenholme) - 1978 Here's a Wooly-song for a change. Quiet guitar-opening before Wooly's voice and a nice accoustic guitar take over. Very good melody in a gentle rhythm. Based very little on keyboards which is very strange as it's Wooly's song. A moody interlude with bass and choir-vocal by the boys. A very intelligent song, and extremely good. FROM: XII GRADE: 6,45 44)WAITING ON THE BORDERLINE (Holroyd) - 1981 Synth-chord opening + synthbass grooves and Les' vocal in a somewhat straight rocky rhythm. The vocal has a bit "closed" sound. The arrangement on this song is too simple to be characterized as very good. It never takes off, but not bad either......... FROM: TURN OF THE TIDE GRADE: 6,50 45)I'M LIKE A TRAIN (Holroyd) - 1981 Beautiful piano-intro before synths and Les' incredible voice joins in. The melody on verse is beautiful itself. The synth-"guitar" is perfectly fitting the song. The somewhat staccato interlude i sgreat; slides straight over to a rocky rhythm. Really great variation in song with answering vocal-part on end of teh interlude. FROM: TURN OF THE TIDE GRADE: 6,55 46)FRIEND OF MINE (Holroyd) - 1977 Sharp double-guitar intro, before a somewhat "countryish" rhythm sets in. A quite simple song, but the organ and not at least Les' vocal raises the song to higher stakes. A funny banjo at the end. FROM: GONE TO EARTH GRADE: 6,60 47)PRISONERS OF YOUR LOVE (Holroyd) - 1987 A somewhat "closed" opening with keyboards and harmony-voices, before straight rock-rhythm takes over. Though beautiful vocal-parts. Some moody keyboard-interlude. The song is a bit too "synthish". Should be better with a bass-guitar instead of the synth-bass. FROM: FACE TO FACE GRADE: 6,62 48)WATCHING YOU (Holroyd) - 1984 Nice "glockenspiel"-sound on opening before the synth-bass pushes into a funky "reggae"-rhythm. The song has not a very good melody and is too synthish. Should anyway make it on the dance-floor with thundering volume. FROM: VICTIMS OF CIRCUMSTANCES GRADE: 6,65 49)POOR WAGES (Barclay James Harvest) - 1969/72 The B-side of the "Brother Trush"-single is almost as good as the A-side. The guitar-sound was/is special. The melody is a really pretty one. Quite simple, but we're after all talkin' about 1969. It's not much to say about this short one, only that it IS GOOD. FROM: Single/EARLY MORNING ONWARDS GRADE: 6,67 50)ROCK AND ROLL LADY (Holroyd) - 1979 Light and gentle intro with a "singing" guitar-solo. Traditionally a melancholy melody from Les that really shows in front of the simple backing. This song reminds me(and Tim?) somewhat of Blue Oyster Cults "The reaper", but is far from that one in quality. Good song, but something's missing. Can't figure out what. FROM: EYES OF THE UNIVERSE GRADE: 6,70 51)CHEAP THE BULLET (Lees) - 1990 Heavy guitar-opening into a straight heavy rhythm on this single. A real pressure marks the song. Not as moody as it should be, and although it has a very good arrangement, it lacks something, that could've made it a hit-single. FROM: WELCOME TO THE SHOW GRADE: 6,75 52)FRIEND OF MINE (Holroyd) - 1997 This single-remix is not very unlike the album-version, but is a bit more "brushed up" with small effects to "fit" as a hit-single. Better than the studio-version on Gone to earth in all senses. FROM: ENDLESS DREAM GRADE: 6,77 53)SIP OF WINE (Holroyd) - 1982 This is a really springy tune from Les and the sound on the "Berlin"-album is excellent. A quite simple song, but as always Les' vocal-parts can raise an ordinary song to new heights. So lets drink to this one, and join Les drinking his wine(would've been something??) FROM: CONCERT FOR THE PEOPLE - BERLIN GRADE: 6,80 54)PSYCHEDELIC CHILD (Lees) - 1990 "Motor-cycle"-opening into real heavy guitar-riffs with a "howling sirene" in background. A somewhat mystic sound refering to the hippy-era naming "Greatful Dead, the Vietnam-war others in lyrics.- Real powerful song with John "shining" on the guitar. FROM: WELCOME TO THE SHOW GRADE: 7,00 55)I'M OVER YOU(Lees) - 1972 The B-side of Cild of man has a great reverb-guitar at intro that fades down to beautiful vocal backed with piano chords. A quiet song with a pretty melody. Not much to say except: It IS great!! FROM: Single/EARLY MORNING ONWARDS GRADE: 7,10 56)ALL MY LIFE (Holroyd) - 1987 Atmospheric start with groovy keyboard-bass and a "wellplucking" synth. Some mystic melody; a kind of "awaiting". You expect it to take off, but it keeps up the same rhythm. The synth-solo combined with the echo-voices keep up the atmosaheric mood. Good saxophone solo at end with even more "crashing" backing. FROM: FACE TO FACE GRADE: 7,15 57)ALONE IN THE NIGHT (Lees) - 1987 Wonderful accoustic intro with John's beautiful vocal and some synth-inputs here and there. As the rhythm sets in fully, you can get the real "kick" if you're not prepared. Grande instrumental-arrangement and a powerful guitar-solo. Somewhat heavy, but oh so well done. The accoustic part also turn up as an interlude. Great! Real moody lyrics! FROM: FACE TO FACE GRADE: 7,25 58)SONG FOR DYING (Barclay James Harvest) - 1971 Intro with accoustic piano and voice before guitar and rest rushes in by full force. John's fuzzy guitar gets a complete grip of your soul. Wooly's piano plays a vital part and makes a wonderful frame(it's me saying that!!) on the song. This is good!! FROM: ONCE AGAIN GRADE: 7,27 59)WAITING FOR THE RIGHT TIME (Holroyd) - 1983 Melody "sneakes" in as a crescendo. The lady-"do-do-ing"is creating a relaxed mood. A somewhat "awaitin'" rhythm backs up Les' melancholy vocal with choir filling up with harmony-chords. I really like the arrangement of this song. FROM: RING OF CHANGES GRADE: 7,30 60)STAND UP (Bolland/Bolland) - 1992 The only tune the band has recorded(as far as I know) without being written or co-written by one of the boys.A very powerful song from the Bollands, who also wrote "In the army now" some years ago.The refrain should be perfect for "crowd-singing" live. Really heavy stuff, and a bit "aside" of the boys' own material. FROM: STAND UP BUTTERFLY EP GRADE: 7,35 61)SIP OF WINE (Holroyd) - 1978 Gentle phased guitar starts before the rest crashes in, and so cool down to Les' usual pretty melody. The refrain is good with the organ backing up the vocal. It doesn't really take off, but in all senses this is a nice song, and even better than the live-version from Berlin. FROM: XII GRADE: 7,37 62)LITTLE LAPWING (Holroyd) - 1971 Very quiet accoustic opening with guitar and some winds and keyboard. The harmony-song is simply perfect. The orchestration is beautifully done. The sudden rhythmic takeover just bumps in , wakening you up from your "drifting away". Some funny horn-popins as solo part at the end makes the conclusion of a beautiful song a bit confusing. FROM: AND OTHER SHORT STORIES GRADE: 7,39 63)ALONE IN THE NIGHT (Lees) - 1988 The live-issue of this song is even more powerful than the studio-version. Mel's "rolling" on the toms is really thundering, and John's guitar really takes off. The keyboard lies as a perfect "fillup" vaugely behind. FROM: GLASNOST GRADE: 7,40 64)FOLLOWING ME (Holroyd) - 1987 Springy rhythm all away from the start. Sound a bit like "Life is for living", but isn't that good. I really like the rhythmic keyboards in the background, and the massive sound as John's guitar falls in with heavy chords. Building up towards a gigantic mass of sound in the instrumental interlude. Les' voice is as always perfect. FROM: FACE TO FACE GRADE: 7,42 65)THE LIFE YOU LEAD (Holroyd) - 1990 Moody intro on keyboards and Les' traditional soft ballad-voice even bring the mood to something complete. Some odd way to open an album with a song like that, as the openings usually are amore powerful song. But this one is simply beautiful. The song build up against a glittering guitar-solo. FROM: WELCOME TO THE SHOW GRADE: 7,45 66)CAPRICORN (Lees) - 1979 Nice guitar-intro accompanied with John's voice in a beautiful melody.Drums and bass fall into a simple rhythm, before the keyboard joins to build up with beautiful sound to a massive refrain; before back to the more "laidback" verse. Totally a wonderful song: FROM: EYES OF THE UNIVERSE GRADE: 7,47 67)OUR KID'S KID (Lees) - 1996 Somewhat countryish rhythm at start with John's fuzzy guitar on top. Cools down to a more accoustic verse with a somewhat Lindisfarne- feeling with "mandoline". A very "light" song with a nice melody. Woolly plays the organ "pleasantly" in the background. FROM: ENDLESS DREAM GRADE: 7,48 68)THE POET (Wolstenholme) - 1971 Wonderful orchestration on intro with string-ensemble until Woolys gentle voice ads in as the ultimate "solo-instrument". This song is simply a "classical work" without anything else than the BJH- orchestra's string, the oboe, the flute and Wooly's voice. Beautiful. FROM: AND OTHER SHORT STORIES GRADE: 7,50 69)VICTIMS OF CIRCUMSTANCES (Holroyd) - 1984 The song has some very long "intro" where the rhythm only strikes on fourth beat in one bar and at one in the next: It loosens a bit in the refrain. Some nice synth-inputs and "piano-rolling" that moves in and fades again. Ther verses are too long. The ssynth-solo is beautiful, especially if you turn up your volume. The whole song is too long and "suffers" of that 4 + 1 rhythm. FROM: VICTIMS OF CIRCUMSTANCES GRADE: 7,52 70)ALONE IN THE NIGHT (Lees) - 1992 Magnificent keyboard-opening + guitar, and John's voice. More "alive" than the studio-take. This live-version from Town & Country Club, London in 92 is powerful as h****, and smashes your head in, if you use headphones. I sure would have liked to experienced this one live. The audience creates an even more liveful frame. FROM: STAND UP-BUTTERFLY GRADE: 7,55 71)LOOKING FROM THE OUTSIDE (Holroyd) - 1983 "Jumpy" wah wah-synth in start on top of a "shadowish" guitar. A somewhat awaitin' rhythm on the verse. The refrain is better, and here has Les used the real bass-guitar; thanks for that. Keeps the song from being all "plastic". FROM: RING OF CHANGES GRADE 7,58 72)TAKING SOME TIME ON (Lees) - 1970 Sharp guitar-opening before the thundering bass, tambourine and stick bumps in together with heavy drumming. Very much based on guitars. The rhythm reminds me somewhat of Who's "Magic bus", even this is far more heavy. FROM: BARCLAY JAMES HARVEST GRADE: 7,60 73)KNOYDART (Lees) - 1993 More straight forward song with guitar-solo-intro. The song has a "mysterious" melody and lyric is about the Scottish highland and a peninsula called; yes "Knoydart"; a strange name anyway. The melody itself is nice, but the song isn't too varied. Not much happening in the arrangement throughout. FROM: CAUGHT IN THE LIGHT GRADE: 7,62 74)TEENAGE HEART (Lees) - 1983 Nice accoustic intro with "do-do vocal" before the synthish "water-bass" joins. Jolly synth inputs in both speakers all the time. This has also a sort of "awaitin'" rhythm that don't take off completely. The song is too, say, "floating". FROM: RING OF CHANGES GRADE: 7,65 75)ALL RIGHT DOWN GET BOOGIE (Lees) - 1979 Fast song with a stressy rhythm, as the name declares, but the instrumentation is very clear and well arranged. The guitar's really brilliant and makes this song a "heavy disco-song". FROM: EYES OF THE UNIVERSE GRADE: 7,70 76)WELCOME TO THE SHOW (Holroyd) - 1990 Pickin' intro with clinging guitars before the straight rhythm set the standard. Nice melody on verse. Not really much to say except that the song is very relaxed and good. Great guitar-solo!! FROM: WELCOME TO THE SHOW GRADE: 7,73 77)REBEL WOMAN ( Lees) - 1984 Heavy opening with guitar-riff before a pushy rhythm with a great synth-plucking behind moves in. The refrain is no less than "GRANDE". Straight song but very, very powerful and great. The organ-sound in the background fills the sound-picture completely. The "stormy" interlude can't be better!! FROM: VICTIMS OF CIRCUMSTANCES GRADE: 7,75 78)RIVER OF DREAMS (Lees) - 1997 Laidback intro with accoustic guitar and organ, somewhat strange but it slides directly over to, shall I say, "usual" verse with accoustic guitar and nice vocal. And then the rhythm; the straight rhythm. OK song, but not that perfect. FROM: RIVER OF DREAMS GRADE: 7,77 79)AFRICAN (Lees) - 1987 Quiet opening with some "african" drums and flutes before John give the guitar some shock-chords, and the thumping rhythm bumps in. The guitar-playing on this song is really "compact" some heavy riffs placed discreet in the background. The keyboard-arrangement sounds like winds. Would possibly been perfect with a live brass- band instaed; which John probably would have done recording it today. FROM: FACE TO FACE GRADE: 7,80 80)BROTHER TRUSH (Barclay James Harvest) - 1969 This IS a great song. The single from 69 did deserve a much better destiny than it got back then. The quiet verse-intro that slips over into the beautiful refrain about the banks of the sunshine is really beautiful. Wooly's organ in the background gives the song almost a "sacred" ceremonious sound. FROM: Single/EARLY MORNING ONWARDS GRADE: 7,85 81)AFRICAN (Lees) - 1988 Not that "african" opening as the studio-take, but wow!! It takes off when the rhythm-section breaks. The speed is far more pushy than the studio. And John's guitar-riffs are even more heavy. Mel treat the electronic drums with great precission, but I would prefered the accoustic set here. FROM: GLASNOST GRADE: 7,90 82)DO YOU BELIEVE IN DREAMS (Holroyd) - 1997 A somewhat Harrison-ish guitar-intro, continuing with a "beatlish" vocal-part (although more "syntish"). Wonderful atmosphere; good sound and great arrangement, and of course, excellent vocal!!! FROM: RIVER OF DREAMS GRADE: 7,95 83)SHE SAID (Lees) - 1974 This live-version is far more noisier than the more perfect studio- take. I've said it before, but I can repeat: I can't quite accept the sound on the "Live"-album. The instruments do kill the vocals, and the vocals have always been the bands finest and most important "instrument". No this is deffinitively not as good as the 3 year older studio-take. FROM: LIVE GRADE: 7,97 84)JUST A DAY AWAY (Lees) - 1983 Nice accoustic opening with the usual beautiful melody on top. This song is very, very nice although it has a bit country-mark. It can remind me of something by Bellamy Brothers or that style. The "trumpet" on the refrain gives me an "acapulco-feeling", whatever that might be??? (Took the expression out of the air). NICE! FROM: RING OF CHANGES GRADE: 8,00 85)LOVE ON THE LINE (Holroyd) - 1988 Fast rocky tune with that powerful synth-opening. The speed is much higher than on the studio-version, and here the accoustic piano is playing a major part. The harmony vocal is very beautiful, but I kinda like the more relaxed studio-version better. FROM: GLASNOST GRADE: 8,05 86)BACK TO EARTH (Lees) - 1993 Here we've got Art's favourite with a really spacy keyboard-opening with cymbals as the only rhythm. A really nice melody from John, but why should they use the synth-bass here??? It makes the song sound more "plastic". Would have been far more "back to earth" with Les on real bass as in the old days. FROM: CAUGHT IN THE LIGHT GRADE: 8,07 87)SHADES OF B HILL(Lees) - 1980(90) Strange tune in somewhat laidback rockballad style. Sounds a bit like Dave Edmunds. The rhythm box makes the tune funny. Totally different from everything else by the group. This should deffinitely been a single-hit in the mid 70's in competition with among others Alvin Stardust and Mud. Unfortunately the song was released some 5 years too late. A glittering echo guitar-solo. This is really great folks!! FROM: Single and ALONE WE FLY GRADE: 8,10 88)VANESSA SIMMONS ( Lees) - 1971 This is John'song: An extremely quiet opening with two accoustic guitars backing John's mild voice. A beautiful song, but I kinda miss for instance the mellotron in background. This must be considered as plain ballad. The vocal-part is "goosebumping". FROM: ONCE AGAIN GRADE: 8,12 89)SUMMER SOLDIER (Lees) - 1972 "Ponderous" opening with double fuzz-guitar and heavy drums. Calm's down to atmospheric mellotron-part with phased vocal. This song is very "dramatic" arranged with big variations. The lyrics is written inspired of the conflict in Northern Ireland. Mel's drumming is well worth listening to alone. FROM: BABY JAMES HARVEST GRADE: 8,15 90)LOVE ON THE LINE (Holroyd) - 1979 The sharp synth-opening is great before some powerful chords smashes in. This is a really "funky" song with both rock and disco- beat. The sound and speed is far more perfect than the live-issue 9 years later. The musikal arrangement is perfect , and balance between the instruments simply glowes!! FROM: EYES OF THE UNIVERSE GRADE: 8,20 91)BLOW ME DOWN (Lees/Pritchard) - 1990 A somewhat psychedelic intro with guitar and synth playing as s sitar. The tablas in the background makes it even more "eastern". Mysterious melody from the "strange" combination John and Mel, a kind of "awaitin'". The synth is playing a vital part on this song. A heavy interlude makes a good break in the song. FROM: ALONE WE FLY GRADE: 8,23 92)URSULA(THE SWANSEA SONG (Barclay James Harvest) - 1971 Beautiful semi-accoustic melody with mellotron playing a major role. Rhythm only played on tablas and other light cymbales. Therefore the mellotron-"orchestration" seem even more wonderful. Wooly's voice makes a perfect job. FROM: AND OTHER SHORT STORIES GRADE: 8,25 93)SPIRIT ON THE WATER (Holroyd) - 1977 Slow catchy rhythm from start with another melancholic melody from Les' pen. The backing arrangement isn't too prominent, and the beautiful vocal is allowed to dominate the song. The quiet interlude with guitar and synth is a brilliant break in the song; before back to the beautiful verse. FROM: GONE TO EARTH GRADE: 8,27 94)SUMMER SOLDIER (Lees) - 1974 The song itself is very nice, but I can't quite like the intro as the mellotron is somewhat too "sharp". But it's great when it tones down and Woolly stars playing theme from "Jerusalem". But John's verse- vocal is beautiful. On this song I return to Mel's drumming. He's simply "rolling" the drums.Just listen!! A very varied song that changes all the time. FROM: LIVE GRADE: 8,30 95)LADY LOVES (Lees ) - 1971 This is something completely different from all other early songs. A slow quiet song where John almost sounds like a relaxed Mark Bolan?? The floating guitar in the background, and the accoustic piano creates a sound that's really "wide" with Alan Parsons jaws- harp "playin'" inbetween them. Very nice, and as I said; very different. FROM: ONCE AGAIN GRADE: 8,32 96)SEE ME SEE YOU (Lees) - 1974 Quiet and melancholy song with a real laidback rhythm. The mellotron backs the song perfectly, that has a "building" guitar part. The verse has simply a beautiful melody. The balance between the instruments is perfect. FROM: EVERYBODY'S EVERYBODY ELSE GRADE: 8,35 97)SIDESHOW (Lees) - 1984 Wonderful intro with semi-accoustic guitar and strings + of course a beautiful vocal. Suddenly a pushy straight rhythm bumps in, and some inputs from the synth. And the refrain; glittering melody. The arrangement of the whole song is perfect. FROM: VICTIMS OF CIRCUMSTANCES GRADE: 8,37 98)THE GREAT 1974 MINING DISDASTER (Lees) - 1974 The quiet piano-opening is great and while John's vocal enters + the drums and bass, the balance and sound is perfect(for a change on the "Live" album). The harmony vocal is glittering! Especially the refrain with the 3 voices on the top of eachother. This is definitively one of the best tracks on "Live", both because of itself, and because it has excellent sound, Maybe that's because it's so relaxed?? FROM: LIVE GRADE: 8,40 99)MOONWATER (Wolstenholme) - 1972 This is Wooly's work alone, together with the BJH-orchestra. A beautiful orchestral work which must be looked upon as a classical composition. The orchestration is really nice and the mood is "total". It was originally meant that the three others shoul've added their part of instruments, but things turned out that the first tapes were unplayable so Wooly went back in studio finished his masterpiece on his own. FROM: BABY JAMES HARVEST GRADE: 8,43 100)SPERRATUS (Lees) - 1979 Gentle opening with sharp guitars before John ease it all down in front of a beautiful playing synth that spreads more and more, until the backing bumps in fully and blow your head off with an incredible violence; until you fell completely to the ground enjoying the quietness again. This song has an incredible mood. FROM: EYES OF THE UNIVERSE GRADE: 8,45 101)LOVING IS EASY (Lees) - 1982 Much more speedy opening than the studio-version, and therefore not that "groove"; more "light" to say. But the sound is much better with some "reverb" on. The organ is not that conspicious, but that's NOT an advantage. To a change a live-version is poorer than the studio-take. FROM: CONCERT FOR THE PEOPLE GRADE: 8,43 102)THE GREAT 1974 MINING DISASTER (Lees) - 1974 The whole melody is based on BG's song from 67. But Johns "arrangement" is much more melancholy and relaxed. This is a real politicaly based song rewritten aiming on the big miner's conflict back in 74. Beautifully done. FROM: EVERYBODY'S EVERYBODY ELSE GRADE: 8,45 103)BACK IN THE GAME (Holroyd) - 1997 Wonderful orchestral opening and the suddenly, rhythmic accoustic guitar and more guitar+bass. A perfect continuation. The awaitin melody on verse fits perfect. Ths sound on the song is outstanding. The vocal itself is glowing!!! Even this one could remind me of "The Reaper" from BOC. FROM: RIVER OF DREAMS GRADE: 8,47 104)SHE SAID (Lees) - 1971 Powerful opening with mellotron and heavy backing; really laidback. John's playing with his guitar behind his own voice. Builds up to a gigantic refrain where Mel's drumming is very,very brilliant. And just play the song again, concentrating on Les' bass-playing. Perfect!! This song really has a "soul". FROM: ONCE AGAIN GRADE: 8,48 105)AFRICAN NIGHTS (Holroyd) - 1990 Intro with sounds from the "African jungle", moody synth-chords, before the "vibraphone" takes over with marracas-rhythm and a floating "waterbass". A special mood lays over this song. An "awaitin'" rhythm without no drums on the first half. After that Mel simply "lets himself loose" and makes some brilliant work on the whole set. FROM: WELCOME TO THE SHOW GRADE: 8,60 106)LADY MACBETH (Lees) - 1990 A strange string-"piano-intro" together with some "chinese" drums and cymbals. John sings beautifully and synth is "playing around" the melody. The second-vocal is ingenious. It takes almost half the song before the rhythm "bashes" in, and Johns guitar sounds like Mike Oldfield(compliment). FROM: WELCOME TO THE SHOW GRADE: 8,85 107)LOVING IS EASY ( Lees) - 1978 The groovy rhythm pushes in immediately with the "squealing" synth and heavy organ. The atmosphere on this song is very special. It intends to be a gloomy, tight and "heavy" melody, but turns as well out to be a very melodic affair. The sound is a bit "locked up". FROM: XII GRADE: 8,90 108)LOVING IS EASY (Lees) - 1996 Powerful bassy intro with "squealing" synths and a heavy Deep Purplish hammond-organ and John's guitar rolling. This single- version is somewhat sharper than the album-version on "XII" with some rewritten lyrics to "fit" the BBC. Some nice synth-inputs sounding like pan-pipes allthrough. Not bad at all. FROM: ENDLESS DREAM GRADE: 8,95 109)STREETS OF SAN FRANSISCO (Lees) - 1978 Quiet accoustic intro with mouth organ before the string ensemble pushes in and backs a melody that's amazing good. The arrangement on this song is simply excellent!! Never noticed the song before as this, but this is GOOD!! FROM: XII GRADE: 9,00 110)YESTERDAY'S HEROES (Holroyd) - 1997 Atmospheric intro with the beating guitars and floating synth. Oh, THAT GROOVE! Heavy, heavy! The double vocal even get the mood to taker off completely. Awaitin' and grande!! Until .. BANG!! The straight rhythm gets your feet stompin'!!! FROM: RIVER OF DREAMS GRADE: 9,10 111)MEDICINE MAN (Lees) - 1974 In comparision to the orchestral sturio-version the heavy opening on the "Live"-version is rather "ugly". OK, Woolly's mellotron creates an excellent mood, but I don't fancy to hear this beautiful song being torn up like that, made into a kind of violent "heavy- metal hymn". But in a sense it is charming if you view it as a totally different song. But far from quality of studio. Credit for Mel's drumming again. FROM: LIVE GRADE: 9,15 112)TURN THE KEY (Holroyd) - 1987 Juicy intro with heavy bass and "plucky" synth. The melody itself isn't bad, but I think this song sound a bit "cut-to-pieces". It has some very nice synth inputs and the vocal-parts reminds me very much of Yes and Jon Anderson. The interlude with that "lady-voice" -synth is somewhat brilliant. This could definitively been made by one of my other big favourites; as said: Yes. FROM: FACE TO FACE GRADE: 9,20 113)MR E (Lees) - 1997 Accoustic guitar on intro sets the standard of a good song before John enters, and thereafter a real funky syntish rhythm. Nice synth-harmonies lays behind on refrain. The accoustic guitar continues in the background throughout, while another accoustic guitar "plucks" the backing-solo. Ringeling synth-inputs make the song even more evocative. Real heavy guitar-solo breaks the quietness of the song perfectly. FROM: RIVER OF DREAMS GRADE: 9,25 114)HYMN FOR THE CHILDREN (Lees) - 1975 For the very first time we pick out "Time honoured ghosts" from the shelf. And guess why? This album is almost perfect. And this song is no exception. The wonderful guitar-intro that falls into a laidback rhythm and even later somewhat more "rocky" rhythm, makes the arrangement excellent. John's vocal-part and a wonderful melody makes it very close to the truth. Beautiful lyrics against racism. FROM: TIME HONOURED GHOSTS GRADE: 9,30 115)PAPER WINGS (Holroyd/Pritchard) - 1974 This live-version has a bit more tender opening and the sound is much poorer on the mellotron than on the studio-version. The effects isn't here either with the "shivering" echo-guitar. The instruments isn't that good mixed together as on the studio-take. Well played of course, but .no; the studio-take on Everybody's everybody else is much better. FROM: LIVE GRADE: 9,35 116)SAY YOU'LL STAY (Holroyd) - 1984 Great synth-intro like "Life is for living". The vocal-inputs on verse and the octavial vocal on refrain is excellent. The thumping bass and cymbals make the song building into a glittering interlude where the drums and a "freezing" synth-solo take the song to new heights. The interlude with wonderful harmony-vocal and "string"-arrangement is very "intelligent". Great song! FROM: VICTIMS OF CIRCUMSTANCES GRADE: 9,38 117)THE SONG(THEY LOVE TO SING) (Holroyd) - 1979 "Jumpy" keyboard-opening sets the standard right away, and as Les' voice turns up you may get your goosebumps from first tone. Bass and the rest joins one by one before a gigantic wall of sound frames the refrain. MASSIVE! FROM: EYES OF THE UNIVERSE GRADE: 9,40 118)GIVING IT UP (Holroyd) - 1978 Incredibly quiet opening that builds up very slowly with accoustic guitars and "voice"-harmonies. Les has as always created a beautiful melody that sets the mood. Drums fall in perfect and so do the electric guitar by John. The guitar-solo on interlude is clear and wonderful. FROM: XII GRADE: 9,45 119)SWEET JESUS (Holroyd) - 1975 Les' wonderful voice and an accoustic guitar open this beautiful song before Woolly's nie organ and the rest goes along. The guitar-solo from John is wonderful. It seems to me that the lyrics is about a man who's tired of his old life and addresses Jesus to help him leading him to a better "road". FROM: TIME HONOURED GHOSTS GRADE: 9,50 120)NEGATIVE EARTH (Holroyd/Pritchard) - 1974 This live-version has not that good funky intro as the studio-take. The backing is more powerful and Wolly's using the accoustic piano. The mellotron-part is of the same quality as the studio. So is Les' vocal-ppart, but IMO this is a tiny bit less good than the studio-take. FROM: LIVE GRADE: 9,52 121)MAY DAY (Lees) - 1976 Guitar-plucking on intro on top of fuzzy guitar is nice. Can't quite approve the vocal on verse with that phaser that twist John's voice. The refrain is far better. In any sense this is a good song, pretty much based on John's guitar-playing. Woolly's organ fills heavily out the refrain. Interlude with orchestral synth and heavy break, is phenomenal and banging! The changing rhythm after that with Mel rolling on snaredrum is great!! The choir part at the end is gigantic and raises the song at least 0,5 points alone, after that somewhat "fumbling" phased start. If this part had been a song of it's own, it would certainly have been a 10! FROM: OCTOBERON GRADE: 9,55 122)NEGATIVE EARTH (Holroyd/Pritchard) - 1974 A laidback funky intro with el-piano and sharp guitar-ads, turns perfectly over to a mellotron-based refrain, and switches back to that funky rhythm. This unique composer- constellation where Mel was teamed up with Les did really function. A wonderful guitar-solo by John. This IS a beautiful song abouth the Apollo 13-trip back in 70, that could have ended in a tragedy. FROM: EVERYBODY'S EVERYBODY ELSE GRADE: 9,58 123)I'VE GOT A FEELING (Holroyd) - 1984 A real nice intro with keyboard-harmonies.The verse is simply wonderful in best Holroyd-style. The quiet keyboard- backing is perfect. Harmony vocals from second verse is beautiful. The "accoustic-guitar"-plucking on keyboard fits in perfectly. But again I miss the real bass-guitar instead of the synth-bass.Anyway, overall a beautiful song. FROM: VICTIMS OF CIRCUMSTANCES GRADE: 9,60 124)I'VE GOT A FEELING (Holroyd) - 1996 In differ to the album-version, the 7"-version has a beautiful saxophone solo on the intro, simply put on to the original arrangement. Very similar to the album-version elsewhere, except for the saxophone that turns up one more time. The harmony-vocal is excellent and might give you a few goose- bumps here and there. FROM: ENDLESS DREAM GRADE: 9,63 125)(TOOK ME)SO LONG (Holroyd) - 1997 Quiet intro with Mel riding his tom-toms and Les sings beautifully on top of the synth-harmonies. And as the accoustic guitar joins you may get the "freeze" up your spinal nerves. This is a beautiful melody with somewhat mysterious "awaitinF" rhythm. The guitar- solo in the middle is wonderful. The octavial dual-song after about 3 " minutes is ingenious. FROM: RIVER OF DREAMS GRADE: 9,68 126)PLAY TO THE WORLD (Holroyd) - 1996 The beautiful intro with strings is ovewhelming. As beautiful as it can be before the cymbal "counts in" the band. The guitar "sings" beautifully on the "second" intro. And when Les starts singing the atmosphere is vtotalv. The echo on the vocal makes it even better. Melody's really beautiful. FROM: ENDLESS DREAM GRADE: 9,70 127)PAPER WINGS (Holroyd/Pritchard) - 1974 Drums roll into heavily mellotron-based intro with John's guitar on top.The echo on guitar is nice. Les sings a beautiful melody beside accoustic guitar, mellotron and synth. The mood on this song is remarkable "touchy". Just listen to the drumming on this again Mel simply "flys" over his skins, "rollin' and tumblin'". FROM: EVERYBODY'S EVERYBODY ELSE GRADE: 9,73 128)MEDICINE MAN (Lees) - 1996 As the "Live"-album version this is a bit too heavy for me compared to the studio-verson on "Other short stories". But the sound on this original single-issue is far better than the other live-take. It sounds even more massive and complete, and that makes it very listenable after all. I've said it several times before; just listen to Mel's drumming. A simple enjoyment(says a bass-player: me). FROM: ENDLESS DREAM GRADE: 9,75 129)BERLIN (Holroyd) - 1978 The quiet piano-intro is good. A really slow and laidback song with a beautiful melody by Les. The guitar-plucking is pleasantly placed in the background. Glockenspiel creates a very special atmosphere from the second verse together with the "strings" that lays behind throughout. FROM: XII GRADE: 9,78 130)WHERE DO WE GO (Holroyd) - 1990 Moody intro with choirish organ/synth and the accoustic guitar + Les' vocal, beautifully performed as ever on a melody melancholy and wonderful. When all instruments are settled the song goes powerful and heavy along; a bit cut up, but great. The saxophonesolo is brilliant. FROM: WELCOME TO THE SHOW GRADE: 9,80 131)LOVE'S LIKE A VIOLIN (Lees) - 1977 Starts quietly with only guitar until John's voice and some very gentle strings joins. The melody on verse is wonderul, and the oboe between the two verses vreates a wonderful mood. Builds up perfectly against the more upspeed refrain that breaks completely and perfectly before it returns to the quietness of the oboe and strings. FROM: GONE TO EARTH GRADE: 9,83 132)HOW DO YOU FEEL NOW? (Lees) - 1981 Nice acccoustic piano-intro with chimes ringling behind, when John's vocal joins the piano on first verse. The "cello-synth" on second verse is beautifully placed on top. The refrain with even more cello-strings added is beautiful, and when the saxophone joins you can get goosebumps all over. Reminds me of Andy MacKay of Roxy Music. Magnificent!! The synth- harmonies after the solo gives me even more "bumps"!! FROM: TURN OF THE TIDE GRADE: 9,85 133)RA (Wolstenholme) - 1976 The synth-intro is gigantic. Here Woolly opens all "locks", until John and Les smashes in by full force. This is symphonic and from my opinion this must be where Woolly wanted to og late 70's as he departed. His beautiful vocal in front of the wonderful organ is perfect. The melody itself is not that memorable as you can hardly remember it after having listened, but the arrangement is perfect. John's guitar-solo is brilliant. FROM: OCTOBERON GRADE: 9,87 134)AFTER THE DAY (Lees) - 1974 The intro on this is far too "muddy". Well played, but as I've said several times before, it's the sound and the mixing that are not perfect here. Only the silent vocal-part is good, but it seems to me that John sings without the right feeling here. The song itself is beautiful, but the mellotron is too prominent to a change and makes the song a bit "cold". FROM: LIVE GRADE: 9,90 135)MOTHER DEAR (Barclay James Harvest) - 1970 OH!! The quiet string-intro with the accoustic guitar is simply beautiful together with John's voice. The mood in the song is great. It could have been made by one of the great accoustic groups from the early 70's, Magna Carta. I can't help it, but I simply love live strings on records. By the way; this is one of the first songs John wrote. FROM: BARCLAY JAMES HARVEST GRADE: 9,95 136)FOR YOUR LOVE (Lees) - 1984 Incredibly quiet opening with vocal and occasional piano before the ladies join John with harmonies and afterwards some powerful chords chock you. A beautiful song with a quite simple arrangement that really emphasizes John's voice. The guitar-solo on interlude is perfect before an awful lot of strings take over completely; before they all join forces; John, the ladies, the piano, the strings and the band. FROM: VICTIMS OF CIRCUMSTANCES GRADE: 10,00 137)MAESTOSO (Wolstenholme) - 1996 Magnificent intro reminding me of some movie-theme with thundering drums and clinging synth. Calms down to the beautiful vocal-part. As usual Woolly's melody is a bit "difficult" to obtain and not going straight to your memory, but they are so symphonic that they can't hardly be better. The quiet accoustic piano interlude is beautiful with the strings behind, and John's fuzzy guitar simply "sings". The song has a name that fits perfectly. IT IS "Maestoso", a musikal expression that means "powerful and heavy". FROM: ENDLESS DREAM GRADE: 10,05 138)THE SUN WILL NEVER SHINE (B.J.H.) - 1970 Another real quiet song with good basswork from Les at the beginning. The refrain is wonderful with a beautiful melody and John's traditional early fuzz-guitar, building up to a climax and falls back to the quiet verse. This is Woolly's song, and it's one of his very best. FROM: BARCLAY JAMES HARVEST GRADE: 10,10 139)HE SAID LOVE (Lees) - 1987 The fanfare-synth intro is gigantic with the accoustic guitar. A bit standard upbuilding with beautiful vocal-melody upon accoustic guitars. Could be like "Hymn" or "Nova L", but refrain is pretty compact and rides a heavy wave with that synthi bass and drums. The grove is pretty high here. FROM: FACE TO FACE GRADE: 10,13 140)COLD WAR (Holroyd) - 1993 Increasing spacy pluckin' on keyboard at intro on top of the chords. Then Les falls in with a beautiful and touchy melody. So comes the rolling basss in the background before it thunders in by full force. It's powerfull as hell and on this song the synthbass suits very well.Quiet down in the middle to build up once again, and hereFs some wonderful pickin' on accoustic guitar. The song is a bit as I call "awaitin'", but as I said, quite powerful. And melody is beautiful. FROM: CAUGHT IN THE LIGHT GRADE: 10,15 141)BERLIN (Holroyd) - 1988 Distrorted clock-intro creates a "doomy" mood, before the piano and cymbals creates the more quiet melancholy mood. The piano plays a very important part on this version that is quite better than the "XII"-issue 10 years earlier. The whistling from the audience on quiet parts doesn't hurt at all. FROM: GLASNOST GRADE: 10,17 142)PARAISO DOS CAVALOS (Lees) - 1983 Extremely beautiful intro with the oboe,harp, belltree and accoustic guitar, as John's vocal joins together with the 12-string guitar and some thunderstrokes by th etimpany. The orchestra in the background makes a perfect sound and oh so liveful, not using the usual synths. Grande, Grandissimo!!!! Actually I've never noticed the beauty of this song until now!!! FROM: RING OF CHANGES GRADE: 10,20 143)NOVA LEPIDOPTERA (Lees) - 1982 Intro quiet like the original studio with the outer-space blips, beeps and bubbling, before that shock-chord that wakes you from your eternal sleep, breaks through. I could have wished John's voice a bit more in front compared to the piano. It drowns a bit. The piano is too loud also compared to the rest of the keyboards. Interlude with guitar-solo is perfect. Just a tiny bit behind the studio-version. FROM: CONCERT FOR THE PEOPLE GRADE: 10,25 144)THE CLOSED SHOP (Lees) - 1978 Starts with marching drums and "flutes" as from the Scottish highlands, before they ad the accordion-like synth which g ives me a somewhat "french" feeling. The song reminds me a bit of Nazareths "Glencoe massacre" from Exercises back in 71. Nice harmony-vocal throughout. Oh how I love that "marching" part. Powerful interlude with synth-solo. FROM: XII GRADE: 10,27 145)NOVA LEPIDOPTERA (Lees) - 1978 Starting with signals from outer space while riding through the nebula Nova Lepidoptera, before that huge chord brings us to that slow pleasant rhythm with piano and John singing a beautiful melody. The "string"-synth is discreetly placed behind and bass+drums are where they should be. As usual Mel is "playin'", and I mean playing his drums as they were a kind of keyboard, not only beating them. Double guitar-solo on interlude is powerful. FROM: XII GRADE: 10,30 146)BERLIN (Holroyd) - 1982 Clock-intro not that liveful as the "Glasnost"-issue from 88, and this version is a bit slower, but may have more soul and nerve as Les puts more spirit and passion into the vocal. Piano more hidden behind strings and rhythm moreover. Even if the Glasnost-issue is great, this is even better. FROM: CONCERT FOR THE PEOPLE GRADE: 10,35 147)LIFE IS FOR LIVING (Holroyd) - 1996 Same powerful rocky intro as the original on "Turn of the tide", but more "staccatto" and you can simply hear that this mix isn't that copious as that one. This single-mix was the original take, and the album-mix was improved. But all in all not that big difference. FROM: ENDLESS DREAM GRADE: 10,40 148)SEA OF TRANQUILITY (Wolstenholme) - 1977 Woolly's only contribution to "Gone to earth" opens with his own organ and strings. Very,very quiet and as usual he sings with passion. It's so fragile!!! Suddenly builds up with thundering bass and drums, and the wonderful strings filling up the complete sound-picture perfectly. Massive and glittering the whole song from one end to another. FROM: GONE TO EARTH GRADE: 10,43 149)MEDICINE MAN (Lees) - 1971 The orchestral intro is perfectly beautiful and as John ads his accoustic guitar and his voice, it really builds up. Wonderful effects with a rattle rolls from one speaker to another.I simply adore the orchestral arrangement. It makes the song incredibly mighty with the horns and violins. It makes me freeze deep down my spinal nerves. FROM: ONCE AGAIN GRADE: 10,45 150)IF LOVE IS KING (Lees) - 1990 Juicy guitar-intro with heavy bass and "plucky" synth + thundering drums. Wow, this IS groovy!! The melancholy melody does fit perfectly in along with that complete groove. And the guitar-sound that's answering the vocal and plays the solo is glittering! The choir- synth that's placed in the background fills the sound to the rim. Heavy, heavy!!! FROM: WELCOME TO THE SHOW GRADE: 10,50 151)THE GREAT UNKNOWN (Holroyd) - 1993 Closed keyboard-chords with chimes and cymbal with brushes at intro, when Mel sing as beautiful as usual on first verses. The enters a rolling synthbass. A very quiet song until it sets in after about 2 minutes of playing. The wonderful backing with ringling synths and echo-song in front, is great. FROM: CAUGHT IN THE LIGHT GRADE; 10,53 152)HARD HEARTED WOMAN (Holroyd) - 1977 Somewhat split-up guitar-intro, but as the verse set in, the picture is complete. A wonderful melody with that oooh so fragile vocal by Les abd his bass playin' somewhat funky in the background. Crystal clear percussion-parts from Mel and Woolly's organ is as usual very important. The interlude is as well spilt up as the intro, and guitar-solo is a bit "blunt". FROM: GONE TO EARTH GRADE: 10,55 153)GUITAR BLUES (Lees) - 1987 Nice accoustic opening with string-synth andsmall "blipping" rhythm on synth. But it builds up with more juicy chords before guitar, bass and drums simply crash in. The guitar-solo goes straight to your heart. The melody is maybe a bit hard to memorize by first time of listening, but my oh my how wonderful it is, besides that the arrangement is incredibly heavenly. FROM: FACE TO FACE GRADE: 10,57 154)WHEN THE WORLD IS WOKEN (B.J.H) - 1970 Incredibly nice opening with a working bass, a Procol Harum- like Hammond-organ, and the orchestra discreetly placed behind. This is actually Les' song and his vocal is perfect and the sound on the song is so beautiful!! The trumpets and strings does it irresistible. It bewitches you completely. The song is so symphonic and the balance between the band and orchestra is brilliant! FROM: BARCLAY JAMES HARVEST GRADE: 10,60 155)ON THE WINGS OF LOVE (Holroyd) - 1988 Nice intro with synth and cymbals + piano. Very,very good melody building up beside those instruments. As I only have the vinyl-issue of "Face to face" I cannot compare with the studio-version, but why in h..... wasn't this one on the 12" album??????Mystery!! Cause this gets upon most of the other songs on that album. In any way; this version does. Great string-synths althrough + excellent guitar-solo. FROM: GLASNOST GRADE: 10,62 156)LIFE IS FOR LIVING (Holroyd) - 1981 I love that rocky opening with drums and echo-synth + Les singing a melody that goes straight to your heart. And the arrangement gets more and more copious all the time. And the lyrics: It's as true as it can be "Life is for living and living is free". The ringling interlude is a beautiful break of it all. FROM: TURN OF THE TIDE GRADE: 10,65 157)THE WORLD GOES ON (Holroyd) - 1976 Accoustic intro with guitar-chords and Les' voice alone. Strings join in second verse. The refrain is beautiful with the strings that really takes off in the background. As the band rolls in the song becomes perfect. Suddenly they break in and the rhythm and arrangement if perfect. John's guitar solo makes me freeze deep down inside. And they all og together; bass, drums, piano, voice, orchestra; everybody"hand-in-hand" joint against the light at the end of the dark tunnel,; where the "world goes on". Heavenly played!!! FROM: OCTOBERON GRADE: 10,68 158)IN MY LIFE (Lees) - 1975 Frisky guitar-intro on funky background, where Les rolls the bass. The verse is very melancholy with the Hammond laying constantly and monotone in the background. Very nice melody and a song with a certain "soul". The interlude is so quiet and nice and so fragile with the "choir" in the background. Great!! Building slowly up against the funky verse-rhythm. FROM: TIME HONOURED GHOSTS GRADE: 10,70 159)MEDICINE MAN (Lees) - 1988 Introduction this version is gigantic. The synth-intro is far better than the old, plain guitar-intro. This creates a mystified atmos- phere which is so heavy, so heavy, and so symphonic. Wow!! This is powerful!!! The definitively best version of Medicine man the boys made. Guitar-solo is so perfect played, and Mel's "drum-rolling" makes thunder in hell sounds like peas falling down on a kitchen-table. FROM: GLASNOST GRADE: 10,75 160)SONG FOR YOU (Holroyd) - 1975 Powerful guitar-chords on intro as organis rolling in, with cymbals and bass are "jingling" along. Then it all rolls in with an incredibly beautiful violence. It's a kind of upbuilding, while Les sings the verses with only hard striking chords and rolling drums thundering in the background. To a change this is no melancholy from Les, until!!yes!..it had to come!..the beautiful interlude with the accoustic piano and the string-synths in the background. Oooh, what a break!! Wonderful!! FROM: TIME HONOURED GHOSTS GRADE: 10,80 161)GALADRIEL (Lees) - 1971 Nice fingerplaying on guitar on intro with mellotron pleasantly in background. The melody is wonderful and the orchestra plays a vital part. The song is so perfect that it makes goosebumps all over you. The song is played on John Lennon's guitar that he used on the Abbey Road roof playing Let it be(so says the notes). The title is brought out from Tolkien's "Lord of the rings". What more can you say than: Brilliant!! FROM: ONCE AGAIN GRADE: 10,85 162)DARK NOW MY SKY (Barclay James Harvest) - 1970 A mystic intro with monotone timpani and strings. This is actually John's classical masterpiece. The orchestral arrangement builds up perfectly against the bands sudden entry. John's fuzzy guitar- solo upon Woolly's grand piano is heavenly listening to. Les' heavy bass rolls down under together with Mel's drum-rolling. Beautiful!!!! For those who loves classical music(as me) this IS a masterpiece. As Keith says, the song was based on a book called the "Silent spring" by Rachel Carson. FROM: BARCLAY JAMES HARVEST GRADE: 10,90 163)FOR NO ONE (Lees) - 1974 As with most of the material on "Live" , I think the guitar is too "muddy", so is the intro here. The mellotron is though perfect. The guitar is too heavy on it's chords and John's voice drowns in the wall of sound, and is lacking treble. The song itself is beautiful, but this live-version is fading in comparision to the studio-version. FROM: LIVE GRADE: 10,95 164)AFTER THE DAY (Lees) - 1972 Powerful intro sliding over directly from "The poet". Mel uses the timpani rolling heavily before the "oboe" plays a wonderful melody taken over by John singing an even more beautiful melody. The singing guitars is discreetely placed in background. As usual back in the "older days" the fuzzy guitar plays a vital part. The atmosphere on the song is great varied from the quietness to the dramatic instrumental part with heavy riffs and "heavy" harmonies on keyboard. FROM: AND OTHER SHORT STORIES GRADE: 10,97 165)LIFE IS FOR LIVING (Holroyd) - 1982 A much more "sonorous" intro with real live sound, and more speed. But not those upbuilding sounds as the studio-take from the album. But as the band rolls in it's real powerful. And synths are really beautiful played. And once again; Mel you are doing a wonderful job on kettles!! Brilliant!! FROM: CONCERT FOR THE PEOPLE GRADE: 11,00 166)HARD HEARTED WOMAN (Holroyd) - 1978 Rocky intro with guitar and organ hand-in-hand. A bit heavy although the melody on verse is beautiful. The refrain is extremely nice with that harmony-vocal and "answering" organ. The whole song is somewhat funky. Great guitar solo. FROM: LIVE TAPES GRADE: 11,02 167)BACK TO THE WALL (Holroyd) - 1981 Atmospheric, funky intro with synth-inputs that's completely perfect. The bass + drums just walks away with the funky piano making the rhythm. A beautiful melody sung real pleasantly laidback by Les and a wonderful harmony-vocal on refrain. The synth-solo in interlude is "goosebumping" and extremely good. A locked up sound that fits the song very well. FROM: TURN OF THE TIDE GRADE: 11,05 168)IN SEARCH OF ENGLAND (Wolstenholme) - 1978 Beautiful synth-intro moving into the piano-part with "strings" behind. Woolly sings beautifully on top. And then comes it all; in best Woolly-tradition. Symphonic as h....!!! As usual a melody that not bangs into your memory right away, from Woolly, but if you like classical music, youre bound to love Woollys songs as well. This is so pompous and huge!!! FROM: XII GRADE: 11,08 169)HALFWAY TO FREEDOM (Holroyd) -1990 Wonderful intro as ever from Les with echo-voice and guitar. When the rhythm bumps in with thundering forces with a synth- bass roaring in the background and heavy drums from Mel, it really takes off. I love the complete sound of this song. Its like thunder through the speakers. FROM: WELCOME TO THE SHOW GRADE: 11,10 170)PLAY TO THE WORLD (Holroyd) - 1979 Great classical synth-opening which goes straight to your spinal nerve system, sliding over to that striking piano with the bit "closed" guitar-solo on top, and the phased synth behind. A long, but oh so well done intro. Les echo-vocal is simply brilliant. The sound on this song is glittering. Just listen to it loud in earphones. Could be taken out of "Live tapes"!! Orchestration is wonderful!! Thundering saxophone-solo at end. FROM: EYES OF THE UNIVERSE GRADE: 11,12 171)THREE WEEKS TO DESPAIR (Lees) 1997 Very gentle laidback intro with wah-wah guitar and nice chords. The water-bass fits perfectly behind Johns beautiful singing, a bit hoarse and phased. This song is as created for tight dancing with the one you love. Les vocal-inputs behind is goosebumping. A very hidden saxophone-solo behind the talkin voices on the interlude. Funny! FROM: RIVER OF DREAMS GRADE: 11,15 172)LIFE IS FOR LIVING (Holroyd) 1992 The song is as created to be played live, with that intro. It simply invites people to join and clap and stomp feets, along with the bassdrum, cynmbals and singing synth. I would certainly have been at that gig, cause this is GREAT, and Les is really doing a glittering vocal-job. Definitively the best ever version of the song. Powerful and brilliant!! FROM: STAND UP BUTTERFLY GRADE: 11,18 173)ECHOES AND SHADOWS (Holroyd) 1981 Spooky piano-rolling on intro until string-chords joins, filling out beautifully. The vocal-intro with synths is wonderful, upbuilding. Glittering melody based very much on synths. The refrain is outstanding and beautiful, with Les being answered by the synth-chords. Melancholy song as usual, and I ADORE THEM!!! FROM: TURN OF THE TIDE GRADE: 11,20 174)MOCKINGBIRD (Barclay James Harvest) 1974 The intro is great here, and is not affected of the overall bad sound on this album. Somehow Johns voice isnt that good. Looks like hes about to cough anytime(?). As usual Woollys mellotron is perfect and Les bassplayin is quiet anc nice and rollin. Mels cymbalwork is magnificent!! FROM: LIVE GRADE: 11,22 175)ROCK AND ROLL STAR (Holroyd) 1976 Sneakin intro with walkin bass and keyboards until the disco-guitar joins. An incrdibly brilliant song, and the closest BJH got to the mid-70s disco-wave, singing about the boy filled with dreams and hopes to be a big rock star. Why didnt they release this as a single?? It would for sure been a Top10 hit. The nice vocals touches your heart deep down inside. And the guitar-solo reminds me pretty much of Eagles One of these nights FROM: OCTOBERON GRADE: 11,25 176)THE TIME OF OUR LIVES (Holroyd) 1997 Synth on intro catches your attention immediately, to wake up before Les starts singing his usual beautiful melancholy way. An incredibly moody intro before the accoustic guitar sets the speed and the standard for the rest of the song. As the rest bursts in, you have really good feeling being relaxed. The rest is pure enjoyment. The guitar-solo is as sent from heaven. WOW, that sound!! Without doubt the best song on ROD and a perfect conclussion of the album. FROM: RIVER OF DREAMS GRADE: 11,27 177)BEYOND THE GRAVE (Wolstenholme) 1975 A dramatic day of judgement-intro with rolling drums and bass/guitar-ascent, and the symphonic keyboards, before the verse enters beautifully with Woolly singing in front of the wonderful hammond-organ, choir and string-synths. Beautiful and dramatic, and symphonic as always while Woolly was songwriting. FROM: TIME HONOURED GHOSTS GRADE: 11,30 178)CHILD OF THE UNIVERSE (Lees) 1996 A tame synth at the beginning, and this take is of much poorer qualitey than the original on Everybodys everybody else. The song itself is one of the finest ever made, but ths sound on this take is too closed. The bass is maybe too prominent, but Les does a brilliant play here. The choir-synth on refrain i swonderful. Nice difference from the original take, the instrumental part with enormous gravity and weight. FROM: ENDLESS DREAM GRADE: 11,32 179)ITS A MATTER OF TIME (Holroyd) 1993 Slow rocky intro with nice guitar-solo high up in the air. And as usual, to say, here comes Les wonderful melancholy melody. Even that fact; its a powerful song with juicy chords and drums behind the beautiful melody. The middle part with that staccatto guitar wandering straight over to the heavy guitar-solo and further to the synth is as plucked from heavens harps. FROM: CAUGHT IN THE LIGHT GRADE: 11,35 180)WHO DO WE THINK WE ARE (Holroyd) 1993 A kind of heavy intro with symphonic strings playin around bass and guitar-pluking. The melody is somewhat plaintive melancholy and a bit awaitin. The refrain is stunning with that wonderful vocal. The forever wandering guitar never rests.A perfect opening-track of a great album! FROM: CAUGHT IN THE LIGHT GRADE: 11,38 181)MOCKINGBIRD (Barclay James Harvest) 1982 To a change the intro is done on piano instead of guitar, as in the older days. Its a kind of neat. The rhythm is a bit too upspeed and the singing isnt that pasionate. But were dealing with a modern version and I guess it should sound like this in 82. I do prefer the original and the 78-version, and I do miss the guitar!!! Anyway, great synth-playing. FROM: CONCERT FOR THE PEOPLE GRADE: 11,40 182)RING OF CHANGES (Holroyd) 1983 Title song of the album starts with nice space-synths and some plucky bass-playing, before Les start singing this beautiful upbuilding melody with the continuation of the space-synths in background, moving from speaker to speaker. The octavial vocal with inputs from ladies is very,very,very nice. The song is definitively number one of the album with same neme. Gets more and more powerful as the refrain rolls on with great effects. FROM: RING OF CHANGES GRADE: 11,43 183)RING OF CHANGES (Holroyd) 1996 This single-mix is much more compact and heavy with bangin synth drums and not that floating synths. More funky, to say. And not so floating vocal by Les. But I believe this was better for a single. The arrangement is not that SAKRAL as the album-mix, but, my oh my, this do crash your ears if you turn up your amplifier. Great vocal-mix on interlude-verse. In its way, one tiny grade better than the original. FROM: ENDLESS DREAM GRADE: 11,45 184)FOR NO ONE (Lees) 1974 The mellotron-intro with Johns guitar on top is wonderful on this glittering song. The melody is beautiful and John lays all his soul into it and makes us a few goosebumps here and there. The laidback rhythm is perfect and imagine holding your dear one tight and danceing in the late hours with only candles making the light,hm.........! FROM: EVERYBODYS EVERYBODY ELSE GRADE: 11,47 185)KIEV (Holroyd) 1988 Wonderful intro with the straight rhythm and the balalaika. The sound on this live-version is even better than Face to Face-issue. But there is something missing here compared to that one. I cannot put my finger on what it is, but maybe the total arrangement is not that good. But what do I say??? I compare with the almost perfect, and thats not fair, cause this is great too!! FROM: GLASNOST GRADE: 11,50 186)CHILD OF THE UNIVERSE (Lees) 1982 This live-version isnt as good as on the Live Tapes. First the sound isnt that brilliant, and it seems to me that John doesnt get into the spirit of the song that he used to do earlier. And its easy to see how the band misses Woolly here. The keyboard-parts are tame in comparission. The refrain is glittering, but totally there is something missing here. FROM: CONCERT FOR THE PEOPLE GRADE: 11,52 187)ONE NIGHT (Lees) 1975 This song is so quiet and beautiful with that relaxed rhythm and organ backinf the beautiful melody. And the lyrics is so true!! Everybody do need somebody to love and care about. Cant be said clearer.The song itself is quite simple, but it has a soul that cant hardly be competed. Wonderful guitar-playing on solo-verse. FROM: TIME HONOURED GHOSTS GRADE: 11,55 188)ONE NIGHT (Lees) 1978 More speedy this live-issue, but that doesnt hurt at all. The beautiful organs still the same and Johns guitar-playing is even better than on THG. I must draw comparissions to Matthew Fischer and early Procol Harum as regards the organ . Incredible sound! The harmony vocal that lays behind makes a perfect frame of it all. Because of the sound rating a tiny bit better than the studio-version. FROM: LIVE TAPES GRADE: 11,58 189)JOHN LENNONS GUITAR (Lees) 1990 Heavenly string-intro sounding like a symphony-orchestra tuning their instruments before piano and John take over. Lyric is special itself about how John got to play Big-Johns guitar. Wonderful harmony-voices. And Claire; heres to you: Johns singing I remember it well, so did you..the first time.(well guess that everybody else wonders what Claire remembered so well..shall we tell them Claire?LOL Maybe tomorrow?). Well back to the song; the symphonic inputs are definitively inspired by late Beatles, and its great; perfectly great; on a great song. FROM: WELCOME TO THE SHOW GRADE: 11,60 190)SILVER WINGS (Holroyd) 1993 Another beautiful opening with piano and wonderful vocal-melody. And Les does just what he would do; this IS as beautiful as ever and couldve been made back in those melancholy 70s. This love song is really well written, and is about a broken relationship. Teardrippin??? Yes; definitively!! FROM: CAUGHT IN THE LIGHT GRADE: 11,62 191)GALADRIEL ( Lees) 1974 Here we have a perfect one(for a change) from Live. The song itself if beautiful, but here the sound is wonderful with balance between Johns voice and the instruments behind, being perfect. Even if we have band instruments instead of real orchestra, the arrangement fits perfectly. FROM: LIVE GRADE: 11,65 192)CHILD OF THE UNIVERSE (Lees) 1974 The original starts with the jingling accoustic piano; loud and clear. The instrumentation is glittering and Johns vocal is perfect. The refrain have some stormy inputs which gets it take off. Ive actually never noticed until now how great part Woollys piano has in this masterpiece. So has his synths. This studio-version is gigantic and powerful. Wow!!!It takes off completely!! FROM: EVERYBODYS EVERYBODY ELSE GRADE: 11,68 193)SUICIDE? (Lees) 1976 Wonderful guitar-intro with strings perfectly placed behind. The verse with two accoustic guitars, piano and voice is marvelous. Just listen to the song carefully, and youll find a lot of effects and inputs hidden, especially the guitar that rolls up and down in the right channel. The lyrics is also a piece of art itself. FROM: OCTOBERON GRADE: 11,70 194)FOR NO ONE (Lees) 1978 Heres live and live it is from the very first tone. Incredibly much better than the 4 years older live-take from Live. The sound here is as Ive been stating several times before perfect, and the balance between the instruments and the voice is perfect!! The guitar is much more clear here, even being as heavy as it has to be. FROM: LIVE TAPES GRADE: 11,72 195)MOCKINGBIRD (Barclay James Harvest) 1978 4 years had a lot to say back in the 70s both as regards the sound and perfection. Ive said it before and the sound on Live tapes was/is perfect. Johns singing here is maybe too withdrawn and pleasant? The instrumentation is perfect!! How many times I wish I was on that concert; cant be counted. Of course its hard to compete the orchestral original version on Once again, but.its very,very close!! FROM: LIVE TAPES GRADE: 11,75 196)TAKING ME HIGHER (Holroyd) 1977 Quiet beautiful intro with accoustic piano and Les voice., when bass suddenly crashes in with powerful heaviness. The melody is extremely beautiful with magnificent vocal-parts and an almost sacred mood. A love song that could pretty much been the second last song in a gig going straight over to for instance Poor mans moody blues to fulfill the romance. Wonderful!! FROM: GONE TO EARTH GRADE: 11,78 197)HYMN (Lees) 1988 One of the finest songs ever made is always glittering no matter what version youre listening to, and this 88s is noexception, although its not so fantasitic as the one on Live tapes, which is extreme. As all later livetakes, they're not sung with the same passion as back in the older days. But what can possibly be a better way to conclude a concert than with this?? FROM: GLASNOST GRADE: 11,80 198)JOHN LENNONS GUITAR (Lees) 1996 Heres the live-version from Town & County Club, from 92, and the synth-intro here is perfect! And that vocal John perform!!! Stunning!! And the second by Les!! Same! My oh my, those boys must have been in perfect shape and mood at that memorable gig. Wish I was there: Any of you out there who were?? The song itself is very,very special, both by lyrics and by atmosphere. FROM: ENDLESS DREAM GRADE: 11,83 199))ROCK AND ROLL STAR (Holroyd) 1978 The intro on this song is as atmospheric as heaven itself with that holdback keyboards and funky/heavy guitar, before the disco-rhythm takes over, sounding ten times sharper than Eagles. The power of this song is incredible. Even being a laidback song, it strikes you as hell in your midriff with its beauty and vitality, and not at least crystal-clear sound. FROM: LIVE TAPES GRADE: 11,85 200)MOCKINGBIRD (Barclay James Harvest) 1971 One of the greatest songs ever made. The upbuilding intro with Johns quiet guitar and Les bass making the only background, cant hardly be any better. The song is building up all the time to culiminate with the gigantic final with rolling drums and squealing guitars, to craasah down to the quietness like in the opening. But inbetween the orchestra and Mels input on rhythm-instruments as rattle, tambourine + + has been making a perfect frame on a perfect song. Those who doesnt like this one cant exist!! I remember hearing this at the end of the first concert in Oslo back in 73. Made my hair rasing against the roof. The song was originally written by John in 68 when he met his future wife Olwen. FROM: ONCE AGAIN GRADE: 11,88 201)ONCE MORE (Lees) 1993 Mockingbird part 2 is a wonderful piece of music. Of course not that perfect as the original, but not far from it, cause the melody is very nice. The synth-sound is extremely nice sounding like gigantic pan-pipes blowing, and the harmony-vocal is perfect. Its something melancholy sad over this melody that gets a hold of you completely. And the guitar at the end reminds you really of Mockingbird. Wait a second!! This IS better than the original!! A tiny,tiny bit. Freezing!! FROM: CAUGHT IN THE LIGHT GRADE: 11,90 202)POOR MANS MOODY BLUES (Lees) 1988 A bit unorthodox opening with powerful synths over to the significant bass, a bit cut-up and staccatto. And not that good sound on vocal as on Live tapes. But a beautiful melody cant be destroyed. And heres some wonderful strings behind , that makes the song even more beautiful together with the piano. FROM: GLASNOST GRADE: 11,92 203)KIEV (Holroyd) 1987 The balalaika-intro is beautiful, and as the vocal sets in, youre simply knocked out by the beauty of this song. Heavy straight rhythm with synth-inputs is simple, but very,very suitable, not killing the beautiful melody. The solo-interlude do continue the beauty. Credit to glittering piano-play. FROM: FACE TO FACE GRADE: 11,95 207)SUICIDE? (Lees) 1978 Wow, so crystal clear intro with John handling his guitar as if it was a woman, nice and gentle, caring. Woollys string-synth is beautiful, and Les pluckin on the bass is very,very light and perfect. The last part of the song is pretty vital and a bit heavier, but still very,very gentle. FROM: LIVE TAPES GRADE: 11,98 208)TITLES (arr.Lees) 1975 BJH goes Beatles, and that in a way that mr Lennon up there would be proud of. The first time I ever heard this song the hairs simply raised on my head. John have by this made an incredibly intelligent collection of stanzas from the Fab Four(my favs no 1; BJH is no 2)I think this sounds like it came from heaven, so its a good question of a thought if not John (Lennon) is sitting up there singing this for akk the other stars who aint with us anymore. Simply wonderful, the sound, the instrumentation, the arrangement; the whole song!!! FROM: TIME HONOURED GHOSTS GRADE: 12,00 209)IN MEMORY OF THE MARTYRS (Lees) 1981 That tardy synth-solo on intro is as atmospheric as it can be with those harpsichord-chords onside. And so the accoustic guitar with wonderful vocal and a rolling synth behind. This song should be the final song in a gig with people standing up with litten lighters in the air. The whole song is building up all the time and is very,very beautiful. And the final is as powerful as hell FROM: TURN OF THE TIDE GRADE: 12,02 210)HYMN (Lees) - 1982 Imagine this song in front of 250.000 Germans!! Freezing!! The opening is as good as both studio and "Live tapes"-version. But when everything fall in you can clearly hear that the sound on this album is far from the "Live tapes"-sound. Anyhow I got goosebumps all over every time I hear this song. Although I dont like that "Yeah!"-howling, it goes straight to your nerve- system as the huge crowd answers. Imagine that "ocean" of people with their lit lighters up in the air. Enormous!!! FROM: CONCERT FOR THE PEOPLE GRADE: 12,05 211)JONATHAN (Holroyd) - 1974 Wonderful quiet opening with only the accoustic guitar and Les voice, and Woollys extremely pleasant mellotron and keyboards fills out, until bass and drums join, in a very gentle rhythm which easily would be perfect dancing to late, late night. The interlude with the phased echo-vocal and keyboard-pluckin and bass-inputs is incredibly beautiful. This song is simply almost perfect!! FROM: TIME HONOURED GHOSTS GRADE: 12,08 212)TAKING ME HIGHER (Holroyd) - 1978 Ooooh, so complete moody. Gentle vocal-intro with piano + bass and strings thereafter. This is fragile until John ads his sharp guitar-plucking. And as he sets in his solo I got so relaxed listening to it. And when they ad the rhythm agaist the end its all perfect.. FROM: LIVE TAPES GRADE: 12,10 213)FOREVER YESTERDAY (Lees) - 1993 Beautiful song, beautiful sound, beautiful performance.The only thing that differs from the "original" later put on "Endless dream" (see below) is the guitar-solo part at the end. (For everything else; see below.) FROM: CAUGHT IN THE LIGHT GRADE: 12,13 214)FOREVER YESTERDAY (Lees) - 1996 Another beautiful piano/vocal-intro on a perfect melody. And so the "accordion" and "strings" join and a wonderful two-part vocal takes your breath away completely. The atmosphere on the song is so warm that you get hot all over. The only difference from the CITL-version is the length with the guitar-solo part at the end, and that one is "goosebumping". FROM: ENDLESS DREAM GRADE: 12,15 215)MOON GIRL (Holroyd) - 1975 Powerful intro with a singing guitar-solo and Woollys organ as driving force......until......that incredibly beautiful verse with Les singing only beside the wandering melancholy synth-tones. Mel rolls the snare-drum discreet in background as it was a war- march from the American civil war. What a beautiful melody this is. I got goose-bumps all over whilst listening to it. The outro with the wandering synth-solo and all around it, couldnt possibly been better. FROM: TIME HONOURED GHOSTS GRADE: 12,18 216)JONATHAN (Holroyd) - 1978 Emotional and atmospheric start on this live-issue that is more sonourus than the original, and Woollys keyboard plays a vital part on this with inputs that really give life to the song. The interlude is even more beautiful than on the original. Ouch!! This is extremely great!! FROM: LIVE TAPES GRADE: 12,20 217)IN MEMORY OF THE MARTYRS (Lees) - 1982 How I love the intro on this song!! It goes straight through the spinal-nerves, before the accoustic guitar and vocal join. The echo on vocal from time to time is just perfect. Then the drums sneak in by "marching" snare and bumping bass-drum. And as the bass thunders in, the situation is complete. A totally beautiful song dedicated to Johns cousin Philip John Ireland, killed on the road in Germany, and also dedicated to all those Germans who offered their lives attempting to escape cross the Berlin-wall. FROM: CONCERT FOR THE PEOPLE GRADE: 12,23 218)HYMN (Lees) - 1977 One of the real big ones. The accoustic intro with Johns vocal is something that puts you into a mood of melancholy, and as the bass and organ join, its getting real sacred and ponderous, and more and more mighty as the "strings" joins. The partsinging vocal is wonderful. The biggest wish I have is to experience this one played live in a huge old church or cathedral. The finish is some of the mightiest there is on record. FROM: GONE TO EARTH GRADE: 12,25 219)POOR MANS MOODY BLUES (Lees) - 1992 This one is even better than the Glasnost-version. Its more sonourus and lively. And the string-synth behind vreates almost a "Live tapes"-sound. So its only one thing to say: almost perfect!! FROM: STAND UP BUTTERFLY GRADE: 12,28 220)COPII ROMANIA (Holroyd) - 1993 This is a song that touches your soul deepest inside. The lyrics about the poor children of Romania and that complete wonderful melody Les has created, makes you freeze all over. Cant hardly be better.A mood that cant be copied. And as you now understand; this is Les' best song ever;IMO. FROM: CAUGHT IN THE LIGHT GRADE: 12,30 221)CHILD OF THE UNIVERSE (Lees) - 1978 If the studio-version is perfect, this is brilliant!!!!! The intro here is a masterpiece of itself. Woollys playing with the synths and Mel crashes and rolls his "kettles" before the squealing synth- crescendo bang in by full forces, and then down to a wonderful, beautiful, fantastic vocal-verse. The sound on this song is the most perfect ever made on any record. A highlight almost without any comparision!!. FROM: LIVE TAPES GRADE: 12,32 222)POOR MANS MOODY BLUES (Lees) - 1977 This is definitively one of my all time favourites. Sure "Nights in white satin" is a beautiful song, but it fades compared with this one. The melody is so beautiful that its almost impossible to compete it(only one above). The orchestration here is brilliant. The guitar-solo on interlude in front of the accoustic one is simply so atmospheric as............I simply ran out of words. Just listen and enjoy yourselves, floks. FROM: GONE TO EARTH GRADE: 12,35 223)HYMN (Lees) -1978 Ive said it before: a pefect conclusion of a perfect gig, and this song will always be perfect. This is though the most fantastic version recorded of the song. The long accoustic vocal-intro is as perfect as it can be, and when the organ and drum join, the audience are clapping, singing and waving their lighters; can you see it??(just close your eyes). The second vocal by Les mis completely wonderful. This song has everything, and luckily(?) we have no "yeah"s at the end here, only grande mellotron and strings. FROM: LIVE TAPES GRADE: 12,38 224)EARLY MORNING (Barclay James Harvest) - 1968/72 THIS IS PERFECT!!SIMPLY PERFECT!!Ive possibly said it before, but imagine youre high up in the Norwegian mountains (or the Alps or Rockies), getting up in the very early morning; its so cold that the air is standing completely still; you, outside the log cabin viewing the white snow-desert, sparkling crystals, and the sun which is about to climb over the peaks................... The mellotron on start sets this imagination in operation; its so cold, but still so warm, the atmosphere on this song. To be recorded back in 68 this was miles ahead its own time as regards the musical style. Should have made it to the top all over the world. Shame it didnt!!!! FROM: SINGLE/EARLY MORNING ONW.GRADE: 12,40 225)POOR MANS MOODY BLUES (Lees) - 1978 This song and especially this version means so much to me that it almost brings tears to my eyes. Its quite impossible to create anything more perfect than this. Everythings perfect; the sound, the spirit, the timing; everything. Nothing more to say: Enjoy it. This lyrics my favourite. FROM: LIVE TAPES GRADE: 12,45 226)BALLAD OF DENSHAW MILL (Lees) - 1993 Gigantic symphonic opening sounding as bagpipes upon a huge number of strings and sounds from that old mill popin in from time to time. Wonderful vocal-part thereafter with that wandering synth. My G....., how John is singing here. It goes straight to the spines. Its some of the most beautiful song-parts Ive ever heard. And that sound!!!! Perfecto!!!!!! I really applaud this song. You dont miss the bass and drums here at all. The marching drum at the end creates a wonderful frame. Ive simply ran out of superlatives here. And that solo gives you completely nervous breakdown. Beautifull!!!!!MARVELOUS!!!!!!!!THE BEST!!!!! FROM: CAUGHT IN THE LIGHT GRADE: 12,50