Barclay James Harvest - Caught In The Light

Barclay James Harvest – Caught In The Light

82 / 100

‘Caught In The Light’ is a very keyboard based album, giving Barclay James Harvest’s music a light, airy and dare I say ‘cosmic’ feel to the entire affair.

Written by: Eric

ARTIST: Barclay James Harvest
ALBUM: Caught In The Light
LABEL: Polydor
SERIAL: 519 303 2
YEAR: 1993
CD REISSUE: Discogs Reissue List

LINEUP: John Lees – guitars, vocals * Les Holroyd – bass, vocals * Woolley Wolstenholme – keyboards, vocals * Mel Pritchard – drums

TRACK LISTING: 01 Who Do We Think We Are? * 02 Knoydart * 03 Copii Romania * 04 Back To Earth * 05 Cold War * 06 Forever Yesterday * 07 The Great Unknown * 08 Spud-U-Like * 09 Silver Wings * 10 Once More * 11 A Matter Of Time * 12 Ballad Of Denshaw Mill



Barclay James Harvest, a name forever associated with British progressive rock that early on was labeled ‘the poor man’s Moody Blues‘ by one hopeless critic, created some of the most accessible music of the genre. While Genesis and Yes were beavering away on concepts and 15 minute epics, Barclay James Harvest took a more song-oriented approach, much like Supertramp, Electric Light Orchestra and yes The Moody Blues.

In light of the groups musical direction, many progressive fans, with the exception of the group’s first couple albums which included the involvement of The Enid‘s Robert John Godfrey, Barclay James Harvest were nothing more than a pop band with prog leanings. None of this mattered in Germany where the band were huge commodity and able to fill that countries biggest concert halls.

Over the years BJH have released a catalog of wondrous music, so as a GDM contributor it was a difficult choice which album to pick for review knowing many of our readers are unfamiliar with the band, so let’s start with a later work and one of their best.

The Songs

‘Caught In The Light’ is a very keyboard based album, giving Barclay James Harvest’s music a light, airy and dare I say ‘cosmic’ feel to the entire affair much like the Rodney Matthews art that graces the cover. In keeping with the Barclay James Harvest tradition you will not find songs about sex, fast cars and faster women, but more themes based on relationships.

For instance, this can be heard on tracks such as ‘The Great Unknown’ and ‘Silver Wings’, then they move onto current events important at the time the album was recorded with ‘Cold War’ to history with ‘Copii Romania’ and ‘Forever Yesterday’. Musical references can be drawn to Alan Parsons Project, Keats and late period Al Stewart, but really Barclay James Harvest had a sound all of their own creating sound pictures for the mind and food for the soul.

In Summary

It seems Polydor Records didn’t have much faith in the record and promptly dropped Barclay James Harvest from their roster. Nothing lasts forever I suppose but it was a tragic statement on the state of music in 1993 and it would be the last studio album to feature drummer Mel Pritchard who passed away from a heart attack in 2004.

Barclay James Harvest on Video

Entire Album (Select Tracks)

Playlist: Barclay James Harvest Caught in the light
Watch this playlist on YouTube

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