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Barclay James Harvest were formed in 1966 and released their eponymous debut album in 1970. In 1971 they were fusing Rock and Classical music on Once Again and Barclay James Harvest And Other Short Stories. After failing to live up to EMI's expectations with Baby James Harvest (1972) the band were dropped by EMI and signed by Polydor. Everyone Is Everyone Else revived the group's fortunes in 1974 and by the end of the year they charted for the first time with Barclay James Harvest Live. The albums Time Honoured Ghosts (1975) and Octoberon (1976) enabled the band to make valuable inroads abroad. Their further studio albums Gone To Earth (1977) and XII (1978) were well recieved, but by 1979, vocalist and keyboardist Stewart 'Wooly' Wolstenholme left due to "musical differences".

Their next album, Starry Eyed Angel (1979) showcased their more accessible side. Then, Turn The Tide (1981) prepared the ground for the live in Berlin A Concert For The People (1982), which reached No. 1 in Germany. Later, accessible releases Ring Of Changes (1983) and Victims Of Circumstance (1984) both nudged the Top 40 before Face To Face (1987) marked a return to the 'traditional' BJH sound. Later in that year, the band became the first Western outfit to perform at an open-air concert in East Berlin's Treptower Park.

There was another long lay-off before Welcome To The Show (1990). The release on the band's 25th birthday, Best Of Barclay James Harvest, (1992) was followed a year later by Caught In The Light, which didn't please Polydor, who dropped them from their UK roster.

By March 1995, after a prolonged legal battle with former arranger Robert John Godfrey (mastermind behind cult sensation The Enid) was finally settled, they recorded 1997's River Of Dreams.

Sources: Nova Lepidoptera

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