Octoberon

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Octoberon
Studio album by Barclay James Harvest
Released 1 October 1976
Recorded Summer 1976
Studio Strawberry Studios, Marquee Studios
Genre Progressive rock, art rock, symphonic rock
Length 45:07
Label Polydor
Producer Barclay James Harvest
Barclay James Harvest chronology
Time Honoured Ghosts
(1975)
Octoberon
(1976)
Gone to Earth
(1977)

Octoberon is the seventh album by Barclay James Harvest, released in 1976. In 2003 a remastered CD was issued with five bonus tracks. In 2017 a 3-disc CD/DVD special edition was released. This features new stereo and surround mixes in addition to the remastered originals, plus the 2003 bonus tracks, one new bonus track, and two videos.

Critical reception

Professional ratings
Review scores
Source Rating
AllMusic 3/5 stars[1]
Sounds 3/5 stars[2]

In the UK music magazine Sounds, Tim Lott expressed his frustration with the album, saying, "Unfortunately, Octoberon is no major departure from [their] disappointing formula. But despite that, there are some fine, imaginative moments which point once again to the never-fulfilled potential."[2] A review of the album, appearing in a January 1977 issue of Billboard magazine, said that Octoberon "has delivered an extremely accessible spacey-but-lyrical LP in the most popular style of Pink Floyd or Yes. There is nothing harsh or cultish about this music."[3] In another mixed review, AllMusic's Paul Collins wrote that Octoberon lacks the harmonies evident in the band's earlier records, and that the album is "not up to the level of their best work, but worth a listen for fans."[1]

Track listing

  1. "The World Goes On" (Les Holroyd) – 6:29
  2. "May Day" (John Lees) – 8:00
  3. "Ra" (Woolly Wolstenholme) – 7:21
  4. "Rock 'n' Roll Star" (Holroyd) – 5:18
  5. "Polk Street Rag" (Lees) – 5:39
  6. "Believe in Me" (Holroyd) – 4:24
  7. "Suicide?" (Lees) – 7:56

2003 remastered CD

As above, plus:
      8. "Rock 'n' Roll Star" (early mix) - 4:53
      9. "Polk Street Rag" (first mix) 5:30
      10. "Ra" (fist mix)
      11. "Rock 'n' Roll Star" (version recorded at Marquee Studios)
      12. "Suicide?" (first mix)

2017 remastered 3-disc set

Disc One (CD)

Tracks 1-7 as above, plus:
      8. "Rock 'n' Roll Star" (first mix) - 4:53
      9. "Polk Street Rag" (early mix) 5:30
      10. "Ra" (early mix)
      11. "Suicide?" (early mix)
N.B. These appear to be the same mixes as tracks 8-10 & 12 on the 2003 CD, although the descriptions "first mix" and "early mix" have been swapped.

Disc Two (CD)

New stereo mixes of Tracks 1-7 as above, plus:
      8. "Rock 'n' Roll Star" (Marquee Studios version for Top of the Pops)
      9. "May Day" (alternate intro version)

Disc Three (DVD)

Audio content:
Three mixes of tracks 1-7 as above, plus track 9 on Disc Two: 5.1 surround mix, 96kHz/24-bit new and original stereo mixes.
Video content:

  1. "Rock 'n' Roll Star"
  2. "The World Goes On"

(Polydor promotional films as broadcast on The Old Grey Whistle Test, 1 March 1977)

Personnel

  • John Lees - acoustic and electric guitars, vocals, harmonies
  • Wolly Wolstenholme - keyboards, vocals
  • Les Holroyd - bass, acoustic guitar, vocals, harmonies
  • Mel Pritchard - drums, percussion

Charts

Chart (1976) Peak
position
UK Albums (OCC)[4] 19
German Albums[5] 40
US Billboard 200[6] 174

References

  1. ^ a b Collins, Paul. "Barclay James Harvest - 'Octoberon'". AllMusic. Retrieved 18 October 2017. 
  2. ^ a b Lott, Tim (2 October 1976). "Squelch into Octoberon". Sounds. p. 29. 
  3. ^ "Top Album Picks". Billboard. Vol. 89 no. 3. 22 January 1977. p. 112. ISSN 0006-2510. 
  4. ^ "Official Albums Chart Top 100". Official Charts Company. Retrieved 18 October 2017.
  5. ^ "Barclay James Harvest - 'Octoberon'". ultratop.be (in Dutch). Hung Medien. Retrieved 18 October 2017. 
  6. ^ "Chart History - Barclay James Harvest". Billboard. Retrieved 18 October 2017. 
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