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Gone to Earth

Fact File

Released 1977
Label Polydor
Catalogue Number 2442-148
Producer Barclay James Harvest/Davie Rohl
Recorded when: 1977
Recorded where: Strawberry Studios, Stockport

Track Listing

Track Title Time Written By Rating
1 Hymn John Lees 6.50
2 Love is Like A Violin John Lees 6.75
3 Friend of Mine Les Holroyd 6.50
4 Poor Man's Moody Blues John Lees 7.50
5 Hard Hearted Woman Les Holroyd 6.75
6 Sea of Tranquility Wooly Woolstenholme 7.00
7 Spirit on the Water Les Holroyd 6.75
8 Leper's Song John Lees 6.50
9 Taking Me Higher Les Holroyd 6.50
Total 60.75

Average Rating 6.75

Composer Songs Time Total Points Average
John Lees 4 27.25 6.81
Wooly Wolstenholme 1 7.00 7.00
Les Holroyd 4 26.50 6.62

Personal Review

Gone to Earth is generally looked upon as one of the best of BJH's albums. I have mixed feelings and some reservations about it, however.

The songs are solid without being exceptional, although the overall feel is one of reasonable togetherness.

Poor Man's Moody Blues is correctly and undeniably a BJH classic. Many also believe Hymn to be one of the most powerful songs written by John Lees. Here I have to disagree. I find it a slightly turgid and monotonous piece and certainly not one of his best.

The band's move away from classically inspired rock is once again shown by the fact that Wooly Woolstenholme contributed only one song.

Over the years I have felt that one of the band's weaknesses has always been an insistence that Messrs Holroyd and Lees should contribute an equal number of songs. This has often backfired and led to some weaker filler material.

Whilst saying that the album doesn't have any filler tracks there are some slightly less impressive pieces that for me prevent Gone to Earth from being a classic BJH album.

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