Barclay James Harvest – Once Again (Remastered 12″ Gatefold Vinyl Edition)


Remastered from the original master tapes and resplendent in a gatefold vinyl edition that faithfully reproduces the original 1971 release, once more the mellotron swells, the orchestra – the full orchestra, no less! – sweeps, and the melancholy weeps for Barclay James Harvest’s 1971 Norman Smith-produced album, Once Again. Widely regarded as a masterpiece, this album has seen numerous re-releases over the years (the most recent being the 3CD/Blu-Ray Remastered & Expanded Edition, also available through Cherry Red here), and it’s easy to understand why.

Rocking up to Abbey Road with an orchestra and an equally sizeable amount of ambition, it’s an album that stands strong even today, both musically and lyrically. The songs and their arrangements are adroitly woven, intricate and nuanced, the broad dynamic range explored and exploited throughout the album to marvellous musical effect. And though there is a darkness to the lyrics, they are, sadly, somewhat pertinent to our experience today, particularly the environmental protest song ‘Happy Old World’, which, were it written today – and if he was alive to do so – Wolstenholme need only add a line about dumping shit into the rivers and seas of the world. The anti-war ‘Song for Dying’, too, remains as poignant as it was in February 1971. And of course, there’s ‘Mocking Bird’. There may be numerous versions of this available already, but what you really need is a vinyl edition. This vinyl edition. Can’t hurt to buy it once again…

Words by Jason Guest

Track listing:

Side One:

  1. She Said
  2. Happy Old World
  3. Song for Dying
  4. Galadriel

Side Two:

  1. Mocking Bird
  2. Vanessa Simmons
  3. Ball and Chain
  4. Lady Loves