Lees, John - A Major Fancy

Year of Release: 1999
Label: Eagle Records
Catalog Number: n/a
Format: CD
Total Time: 50:20:00

At a certain point in the "life" of Barclay James Harvest, some of the members found it fit to concentrate on solo albums. Guitarist/singer John Lees recorded the album A Major Fancy in 1972, but due to the change of record companies it took him until 1977 before the album was finally released. The success of punk music at the time meant that the album disappeared as silently as it had come.

Recorded in the prestigious Abbey Road studios, John Lees decided there and then not to use any of his BJH stalwarts. Instead he asked some members of the Pretty Things, Eric Stewart and Kevin Godley both from 10 CC and Rod Argent (ex-Zombies and well respected in his own right). Lees found that his collaboration within the structure of the band was rather restricted, that the band had found their own formula that made it very difficult to leave that particular "path". However, John Lees had tons of songs that he couldn't introduce to the band. One of these tracks was "Hymn," a song which, later on, would become the biggest selling product of the band's history!

A Major Fancy includes eleven superb compositions which sound refreshing and varied. Some nice interludes during "Witburg Night," where 'tubular bells' perform the melody of the Beatles classic "Day Tripper." In the meantime BJH had moved from Harvest to Polydor. Whilst their album Everyone Is Everybody Else sold very well, John Lees was given another opportunity to record more solo material. He chose the Eagles song "Best Of My Love," and "Please Be With Me," which he had noticed on Eric Clapton's 461 Ocean Boulevard." These ballads were alternated with the rocky "You Can't Get It." The latter became the flip for the single "Best Of My Love" which was regarded by the press and radio as a very good single indeed. However those who invested in the future of Barclay James Harvest were not too keen about the media suddenly being so keen about some John Lees solo product which could result in the breaking up of the band! The record died quietly and there was never a second solo album. In fact, it's on this CD that you can hear "Please Be With Me" for the very first time, whilst the other two songs were only available as singles, run in a limited number. These now sell at around ?20 a piece. A Major Fancy is a dated product from a renowned artist and performer but certainly an album which can not be missed in any Barclay James Harvest collection.

Untitled N? 1 - Heritage (7:55) / Child Of The Universe (6:17) / Kes (A Major Fancy) (2:33) / Untitled N? 2 (3:52) / Sweet Faced Jane (5:05) / Witburg Night (5:48) / Long Ships (5:21) / Untitled N? 3 (5:03) / Please Be With Me* (2:49) / Best Of My Love* (3:40) / You Can't Get It* (3:57)

John Lees - vocals, guitars
Wally Allen - bass and production
Skip Allen - drums
Gordon Edwards - piano
Graham Preskett - violin and arrangement
Guests Eric Stewart, Kevin Godley, Rod Argent

Musicians on bonus tracks*
John Lees - vocals, guitar
Les Holroyd - bass
B. J. Cole - slide guitar
Mike Moran - piano

A Major Fancy (1977/1999)

Genre: Progressive Rock

Origin UK

Added: January 1st 2000
Reviewer: John "Bobo" Bollenberg

Hits: 917
Language: english


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