The debut self-titled release from Barclay James Harvest ranks as one of the finest albums of the early prog era, yet has remained an unsung classic outside of their loyal following. Trailing the psychedelic frenzy of the late 60’s and aiming toward a pop grandeur blended with the rock underground, the post flower power grooves have now been remixed in surround for the first time. Available as a limited edition 3 CD and 1 DVD edition from Esoteric Records, high resolution enthusiasts should expect the DVD to contain at least 96kHz / 24-bit editions in both stereo and surround, simply based on previous multi-channel reissues by the group. We know for sure that the DVD will contain the 5.1 mix of the entire album, and the rest is speculation at this time.
Produced by Norman Smith, who also is famed for his work with Pink Floyd, their debut release was dominated by the epic 12-minute “Dark Now My Sky.” But other symphonic progressive tracks including “The Iron Maiden,” “When the World Was Woken,” along with the more rock based tracks such as “Taking Some Time On” and “Good Love Child” established BJH as one of Britain's most unique groups. The expanded reissue reviewed here is newly re-mastered from the original master tapes and contains an additional 33 bonus tracks drawn from the new 5.1 surround sound & stereo mixes created from the original multi-track master tapes, plus some 1968 and 1971 BBC radio sessions, their singles “Early Morning, Brother Thrush” and “Taking Some Time On,” plus a previously hard to find Woolly Wolstenholme solo demo from 1969 of “The Sun Will Never Shine.” The DVD also includes the 1968 short film “Mr. Sunshine,” and the box includes posters, photo book, and plenty more for fans to sift through.