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Progressive Rock CD Reviews

Barclay James Harvest

Time Honoured Ghosts - Expanded & Remastered 1CD/1DVD

Review by Gary Hill

Here we have an interesting release of Barclay James Harvest's sixth studio album. The CD has a bonus track, and the whole thing sounds great. The DVD includes both two mixes of the album in audio format, but even more interesting, it includes promotional films of several of the songs. You can think of these as early music videos. They are very professional, if perhaps a little primitive compared to what MTV got people used to seeing. All in all, this is quite a strong set.

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Track by Track Review
In My Life
A cool prog jam opens this. The cut works out to more of a folk rock  or mainstream arrangement. There are some intriguing twists and turns along the road. A section later takes on some cool symphonic angles during a balladic section.
Sweet Jesus
This is even more folk based. In fact, there aren't all that many prog elements at play here. That said, it's an effective piece of music.
This is an intriguing tune. it has a lot of Beatles titles serving as the bulk of the lyrics. The music has some nods to the band at times, too. Overall, this is more of a proggy mainstream rock tune. This is such a classy piece, if it seems a little "novelty" oriented.
The tones of this song are so strong. The piece has some amazing textures. It really conveys a melodic, mainstream vibe, while also espousing prog concepts. The instrumental closing segment in particular really soars, at times leaning toward space rock. This is one of the highlights here.
Beyond The Grave
A dramatic proggy texture brings this into being. As the keyboards come over the top of this it definitely makes me think of Yes. This is one of the most directly progressive rock oriented pieces of the album. It's also one of the highlights. This is so powerful.
Song For You
Dramatic symphonic prog jamming starts this one. The cut works out from there to a more mainstream 1970s rocker, but it still has plenty of prog in the mix, along with some definite Beatles-leanings.
Hymn For The Children
Now, this cut is much more pure folk music. It's a solid tune, but not the proggiest thing here.
Coming in dramatic and Beatles-like, this drops to a mellower movement that makes me think of "Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds" just a little. This has a great proggy sound, largely from the added layers of keyboards. The vocals at times remind me a little of the Bee Gees. This is an evocative and powerful song that's another highlight of the set. There are definitely some classical music references in the mix, and I love the more powered up sections of the number later.
One Night

I'm reminded of a proggier version of something the band America might have done. The vocal arrangement is classy, but then again, so is the instrumental one. The guitar solo is particularly tasty.

Bonus Track:
Child Of The Universe (1975 Alternate Recording)

Here we get another cool melodic prog tune. This is a case where the bonus is as good as the music on the album proper.

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