Barclay James Harvest -
Victims Of Circumstance

(CD 2012, 59:40, 71:04, Esoteric Recordings, ECLEC 22330)

The tracks:
  1- Sideshow(4:56)
  2- Hold On(4:25)
  3- Rebel Woman(4:24)
  4- Say You'll Stay(3:54)
  5- For Your Love(5:30)
  6- Victims Of Circumstance(6:00)
  7- Inside My Nightmare(4:31)
  8- Watching You(4:36)
  9- I've Got A Feeling(6:08)
Bonus tracks:
10- Victims Of Circumstance(6:01)
11- I've Got A Feeling(5:23)
12- Victims Of Circumstance(3:52)
  1- Rebel Woman(5:24)
  2- Waiting For The Right Time(7:05)
  3- I've Got A Feeling(7:06)
  4- Rock n Roll Lady(5:06)
  5- Paraiso Dos Cavalos(6:28)
  6- Victims Of Circumstance(6:42)
  7- Life Is For Living(4:09)
  8- For Your Love(8:39)
  9- Poor Man's Moody Blues(7:09)
10- Child Of The Universe(7:21)
11- Hymn(5:20)

Barclay James Harvest Website        Cherry Red Records

Victims Of Circumstance, originally recorded in 1984, is the second re-released album of Barclay James Harvest (BJH). I wonder why Esoteric Recordings didn't consider to re-release their really good albums from the seventies! On albums from that era you can find classic BJH songs like In My Life, Titles, Child Of The Universe, Poor Man's Moody Blues, Suicide, Crazy City or Hymn. But again, just like on Ring Of Changes (see review), this album only contains rather dull pop songs, which are really unworthy of the great old BJH!

On Victims Of Circumstance the band even decided to add female background vocals to all the songs. Both these vocals and the songs itself make this the most commercial BJH album ever! I'm sorry to say that songs like Sideshow, Say You'll Stay, Inside My Nightmare or I've Got A Feeling will never belong to my favourite songs of BJH as they are far too mellow, boring and predictable. Hold On and Rebel Woman are reasonable songs, but they still cannot compete with the old BJH songs. The second CD, recorded live at the Wembley Arena on the 13th October of 1984, contains Poor Man's Moody Blues, Child Of The Universe and Hymn which are three classic BJH songs and really great to listen to, except for the female background vocals. The remainder of this live album contains songs from Victims Of Circumstance and Ring Of Changes. Again this is certainly no classic BJH album for me!

**+ Martien Koolen (edited by Peter Willemsen)

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