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Barclay James Harvest

Gone to Earth

Review by Gary Hill
This is the latest in a new series of re-issues. These things are so cool. They give you several different mixes of the album on three discs. The first disc is the original stereo mix of the album with four bonus tracks. The second CD is a new stereo mix of the main album. That one has two bonus tracks, one of them is one of the bonuses from the first CDs. The final disc is a DVD featuring a 5.1 surround sound mix. Overall, this is a classy set. Please note that since the second CD is virtually identical to the second one, I've used the same track reviews for the duplicate songs for the sake of consistency.
 
This review is available in book format (hardcover and paperback) in Music Street Journal: 2016  Volume 5 at lulu.com/strangesound.
Track by Track Review
Disc 1
Hymn

With religious lyrics, this is built on a folk prog song structure. It's fairly mellow, but grows to more rocking as it intensifies and works forward. The chord progression and other elements are fairly simple and straightforward. The layers of sound over the top contain the real magic and prog elements.

Love Is Like a Violin
Mellow guitar starts this one, too. Yet, it's less folk oriented and more rock based somehow. The cut builds out gradually from there as it moves forward and does take on more folk elements. Near the half way mark it powers out to more of a rocking jam. This is very classy stuff for sure. It drops back down from there to the earlier motif to carry forward.
Friend of Mine
Folk music, soft rock and prog elements all merge here. This has such a classic sound to it. It's energetic and a lot of fun.
Poor Man's Moody Blues
This slow and powerful ballad does resemble the Moody Blues in some ways. In fact, it has a lot in common with "Nights in White Satin." That said, it's not a rip off by any means. It's quite a pretty song and is very compelling.
Hard Hearted Woman
While this tune seems to rock out more than some of the rest, it still manages to be tastefully mellow. This thing has a very classic rock kind of tune. It's one of my favorites here in a lot of ways.
Sea of Tranquility

This is such a powerful piece of music. The prog really shines here. It's very symphonic and classical in terms of the arrangement. Yet, at the same time the basic song construction is very much in line with folk music. It's an evocative and poignant piece and another highlight.

Spirit on the Water
There are hints of The Beach Boys on this tune. It's a classy folky rocker. It builds nicely and has some intriguing changes built into it.
Leper's Song
One of the more decidedly rocking tunes here, this is strong. It has some great prog elements at play. It's one of the highlights of the disc.
Taking Me Higher
Folk, prog and some hints of the Beach Boys make up this cut. While it's tasty, it's not one of my favorites here.
Bonus Tracks
              

Lied

This is much more of a pure folk song, but the overlayers bring some rock and prog to the table. I don't like the vocals on this one at all, but it's a good song beyond that.

Our Kid's Kid
Imagine a mix of prog rock, The Allman Brothers and the band America. You'll be in the general territory of this cut. It's another classy number and step back up from the last one.
Hymn (Single Edit)
The first bonus track, this is a single version of the opening cut from the album. It works at least as well in this format as it did on the standard version.
Friend of Mine (Single Version)
And here we get another single version. This is solid, but not really a huge change.
Disc: 2
                  

Hymn

With religious lyrics, this is built on a folk prog song structure. It's fairly mellow, but grows to more rocking as it intensifies and works forward. The chord progression and other elements are fairly simple and straightforward. The layers of sound over the top contain the real magic and prog elements.

Love Is Like a Violin
Mellow guitar starts this one, too. Yet, it's less folk oriented and more rock based somehow. The cut builds out gradually from there as it moves forward and does take on more folk elements. Near the half way mark it powers out to more of a rocking jam. This is very classy stuff for sure. It drops back down from there to the earlier motif to carry forward.
Friend of Mine

Folk music, soft rock and prog elements all merge here. This has such a classic sound to it. It's energetic and a lot of fun.

Poor Man's Moody Blues
This slow and powerful ballad does resemble the Moody Blues in some ways. In fact, it has a lot in common with "Nights in White Satin." That said, it's not a rip off by any means. It's quite a pretty song and is very compelling.
Hard Hearted Woman
While this tune seems to rock out more than some of the rest, it still manages to be tastefully mellow. This thing has a very classic rock kind of tune. It's one of my favorites here in a lot of ways.
Sea of Tranquility
This is such a powerful piece of music. The prog really shines here. It's very symphonic and classical in terms of the arrangement. Yet, at the same time the basic song construction is very much in line with folk music. It's an evocative and poignant piece and another highlight.
Spirit on the Water
There are hints of The Beach Boys on this tune. It's a classy folky rocker. It builds nicely and has some intriguing changes built into it.
Leper's Song
One of the more decidedly rocking tunes here, this is strong. It has some great prog elements at play. It's one of the highlights of the disc.
Taking Me Higher
Folk, prog and some hints of the Beach Boys make up this cut. While it's tasty, it's not one of my favorites here.
Bonus Tracks
                             

Loving Is Easy (1977 Version)

I really dig this rocker. It's classy stuff for sure. I think it would have been a good addition to the album proper to bring a bit more straightahead rock to the mix.

Our Kid's Kid
Imagine a mix of prog rock, The Allman Brothers and the band America. You'll be in the general territory of this cut. It's another classy number and step back up from the last one.
 
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