Friday 14 February Saturday 15 February Sunday 16 February Monday 17 February Tuesday 18 February Wednesday 19 February Thursday 20 February Friday 21 February Saturday 22 February Sunday 23 February Monday 24 February Tuesday 25 February Wednesday 26 February Thursday 27 February Friday 28 February Saturday 29 February Sunday 1 March Monday 2 March Tuesday 3 March Wednesday 4 March Thursday 5 March Friday 6 March Saturday 7 March Sunday 8 March Monday 9 March Tuesday 10 March Wednesday 11 March Thursday 12 March Friday 13 March Saturday 14 March Sunday 15 March Monday 16 March Tuesday 17 March Wednesday 18 March Thursday 19 March Friday 20 March Saturday 21 March Sunday 22 March Monday 23 March Tuesday 24 March Wednesday 25 March Thursday 26 March Friday 27 March Saturday 28 March Monday 30 March Tuesday 31 March Wednesday 1 April Thursday 2 April Friday 3 April Saturday 4 April Sunday 5 April Monday 6 April Tuesday 7 April BJH's early exploration of different sounds and styles was well behind them by , and in its place came some pretty standard fare.
The songs here are soft rock; Alan Parsons Project type compositions. There's no real progressive rock, even longer songs such as the title track have little variety or excitement to them.
Don't get me wrong, there are some good tracks here. On the down side though, "Highwire" is just pop, and tracks like "Fifties child" and "Looking for the outside" appear to include a drum machine for some reason. All the tracks are written by Les Holroyd or John Lees, but never together. Even if that in itself is not unusual, there are further indications here perhaps there that the two are heading in different directions.
Not a bad album, but far from the band's best. As always, songwriting is divided between John and Les with John's being overall the strongest, though neither have excelled themselves in choice of subject matter. A few love songs sit amongst more interesting topics but none are particularly hard-hitting. John's concerns are direct and personal: Paraiso Dos Cavalos is a story of a family holiday in the Algarve, nicely arranged in a very Moody Blues sort of way with orchestral instruments adding to the atmosphere; the excellent opener Fifties Child deals with lost innocence and ideals of the 50s generation, beginning with a lovely string quartet leading to full orchestra intro before the band joins in; most diverting is John's reflective Midnight Drug, supported by an understated chugging rhythm guitar pattern, an open letter to a friend who has lost his way, contrasting John's own life "Spending my days making natural highs" to the other's "Pouring your life in a glass of ice".
Les's tour de force is the wonderful title track Ring Of Changes which closes the album. Musically it is composed almost entirely of synths and drums, without a guitar in sight, but the arrangement is dynamic, beginning by tapping out 'ring of changes' in Morse code then building through each phase to a big uplifting everybody-join-in chorus.
Of the remainder, all of which are love songs, Les's three are disposable: synth driven Looking From The Outside is merely a pleasant pop tune, the rockier High Wire is let down by lack of production oomph and over-repetition of the chorus, while Waiting For The Right Time is another generic slow ballad with masses of soft string pads. John's are a little more memorable: Teenage Heart has a lovely lilt with one of those hummable tunes that get into the brain and stay there, while Just A Day Away is lively and tuneful in a foot tapping sort of way like country-rock.
Holroyd and Lees always had their own individual songwriting styles but the practicalities of working as a band gave them a common identity.
Ring Of Changes was the first album to suffer from a clear divergence, not only in songwriting and singing styles, but in working practices and approach to instrumentation, something that was to blight several later albums and became a root cause of their ultimate split in Here, John's songs are mostly driven by guitars, including the welcome sound of acoustic instruments on several, while Boshell's influence is most keenly felt on Les's songs, some of which contain little or no hint of any kind of input from John.
Despite an over-reliance on cheesy 80s new-agey synth arrangements on several songs, there are enough good songs to make the album very enjoyable. You can of course forget about prog music with "Ring Of Changes" but this is not new.
What you'll get here is boring soft pop music. Insipid for most of it the first two songs are truely difficult to bear. I cannot say that I am overwhelmed with joy when I listen to "Teenage Heart" : a dull acoustic song with some additional orchestrations that do not add anything necessary to this tune.
As usual, we'll get the attempt to a rocking number, but "High Wire" is the best? But the respite will be short : "Midnight Drug" is only interesting during the instrumental intro which sounds pretty much to "Manifesto" from Roxy.
The hypnotic beat is not bad after all. Do you want some folk and syrupous ballad? You'll get it with "Just A Day Away". Really poor. As will be "Paraiso Dos Cavalos" and its useless orchestrations but I do not like orchestrations, I admit. This album is BJH at their lows once again Ring Of Changes 8.
Teenage Heart 9. Cheeeek that out dude. Lead RIFFs:. Bad selection. Save Cancel. Really delete this comment? Yes No. Fifties Child. Just A Day Away forever Tomorrow. Looking From The Outside. Enjoy this album on Qobuz apps with your subscription Listen on Qobuz.
Your browser does not support the audio element. Copy the following link to share it Copy. You are currently listening to samples. Fifties Child. Looking From The Outside. Teenage Heart. High Wire. Midnight Drug. Waiting For The Right Time. Paraiso Dos Cavalos.Digitally remastered and expanded three disc (two CDs + NTSC/Region 0 DVD) edition of the classic gold selling album by Barclay James Harvest. Originally released at the end of October , the album was a big selling release for the band achieving Silver disc status in the UK and Gold in Germany.