The band was founded in Saddleworth, a civil parish now in the Metropolitan Borough of Oldham, in 1966 by John Lees, Les Holroyd, Stuart “Woolly” Wolstenholme and Mel Pritchard (1948-2004).
After early success in the UK with their second album Once Again, the band broke into the mainstream European market with their 1977 set Gone to Earth.
Woolly Wolstenholme – whose mellotron playing was a trademark of the band’s sound in the 70s – left in 1979. Woolly pursued a short solo career fronting Maestoso before retiring from the music business to pursue farming.
The remaining three members continued. At the height of their success they played a free concert in front of the Reichstag in Berlin (Germany), with an estimated attendance of 250,000 people (30 August 1980). They were also the first Western rock band to play an open-air concert in pre-Glasnost East Germany, playing in Treptower Park, East Berlin on 14 July 1987 to a 170,000+ audience.
The band continued as a threesome, with regular guest musicians supporting, until 1998. Some 1990s albums were released under the abbreviated name BJH.
In 1998, musical differences in the band saw the three members agree to take a sabbatical. John Lees subsequently released an album mixing new songs and BJH classics, entitled “Nexus”, under the band name “Barclay James Harvest through the eyes of John Lees”. Woolly Wolstenholme played in (and composed for) this band, subsequently resurrecting Maestoso to record and tour with new material, as well as back-catalogue favourites. Les Holroyd and Mel Pritchard teamed up to record under the name “Barclay James Harvest featuring Les Holroyd”. Lees and Wolstenholme recently (2006/7) toured under the slightly modified band title “John Lees’ Barclay James Harvest”
Mel Pritchard died suddenly of a heart attack in early 2004.
All three “derivatives” of the original Barclay James Harvest lineup continue to record and tour, and enjoy ongoing popularity, particularly in Germany, France and Switzerland.
Barclay James Harvest Studio and Live Albums 1970-1997
* Barclay James Harvest, 1970
* Once Again, 1971
* Barclay James Harvest and other short stories, 1971
* Baby James Harvest, 1972
* LIVE, (live) 1974
* Everyone Is Everybody Else, 1974
* Time Honoured Ghosts, 1975
* Octoberon, 1976
* Gone To Earth, 1977
* Live Tapes, (live) 1978
* XII, 1978
* Eyes Of The Universe, 1979
* Turn Of The Tide, 1981
* Berlin - A Concert For The People (live), 1982
* Ring Of Changes, 1983
* Victims Of Circumstance, 1984
* Face To Face, 1987
* Glasnost, (live) 1988
* Welcome To The Show, 1990
* Caught In The Light, 1993
* River Of Dreams, 1997
* BBC In Concert 1972, 2002
Editado por abrancoalmeida em Mar 8 2008, 2h42
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