Barclay James Harvest Album Portfolio

Barclay James Harvest Album Portfolio

Caught In The Light

Caught In The Light CD cover

CD: Polydor 519 303-2, 14th June, 1993
MC: Polydor 519 303-4, 14th June, 1993


Who Do We Think We Are (Les Holroyd)
Knoydart (John Lees)
Copii Romania (Les Holroyd)
Back To Earth (John Lees)
Cold War (Les Holroyd)
Forever Yesterday (John Lees)
The Great Unknown (Les Holroyd)
Spud-U-Like (John Lees)
Silver Wings (Les Holroyd)
Once More (John Lees)
A Matter Of Time (Les Holroyd)
Ballad Of Denshaw Mill (John Lees)



Recording Details

Recording Studios:
Digitally recorded (in spite of the misprint on the disc, which should read "DDD") at Friarmere Studios, Delph
Mastered at The Town House, London

Recording Dates:
December 1992 to April 1993

Producer:
Barclay James Harvest & Martin Lawrence

Engineer:
Martin Lawrence



Guest Musicians

Kevin McAlea on keyboards, Darren Tidsey assisted with programming.



Title

The album title was taken from Les's original lyrics for "Who Do We Think We Are", although, unfortunately, the opening verse of the song was dropped when it was recorded, even though it still appears in the lyric insert.



Sleeve

Taken from an original painting by Rodney Matthews, who has designed many album covers in the past including Asia's Aqua. Les is a fan of his work, and had a calender featuring his paintings, and it was his idea to commission Matthews after an earlier design didn't work out to everyone's satisfaction.


Who Do We Think We Are

Before the release of this album there was some debate about its length: a number of cuts were made to reduce the running time to an eventual 70 minutes, and the band omitted the first verse of this song when they recorded it. The song's theme is the destruction of planet earth by mankind, and the vocal effects on the chorus were achieved with vocoders, the devices popularised by Peter Frampton.

Lyrics:
All around we're caught in the light of a thousand suns
Riding the wind of eternal years
Watching the Earth die before our eyes
Hearing the world crying in our ears

We kill the trees, now there isn't any rainfall
And there's burning sand where the cornfields were before
We poison seas, pouring oil on troubled waters
And the air we breathe doesn't taste good any more

We kill the land 'till there isn't any food to eat
And we fire our guns and we're fighting all our wars
See the children die like a movie on the silver screen
Now the air we breathe doesn't taste good any more

Too bad, look at your life
We are sinking in the water
Turn back, look at the time
Cast adrift on the open sea
Once more into the night
Nothing left for your sons and your daughters
We're on our ship called Earth for all eternity

Too bad, look at your life
We are sinking in the water
Turn back, look at the time
Cast adrift on the open sea
Once more into the night
Nothing left for your sons and your daughters
We're on our ship called Earth for all eternity

All around we're travelling the universe
Do we believe there's someone watching over us
Can we be sure?
Who do we think we are?

(We are the chosen people
We are the chosen ones)

All around we're travelling the universe
Do we believe there's someone watching over us
Can we be sure?
Who do we think we are?

[Les Holroyd, © BJH Ltd/Handle Music Ltd]


Knoydart

Knoydart is a peninsula on the west coast of the Scottish highlands, and most of the lyrical references are to places on that peninsula. The first line of the lyrics should read "heading for Mallaig", a town from which the ferry crosses the Sound Of Sleat (the correct spelling) to Knoydart. Spanish John, Ladhar Bheinn, Kinloch Hourn and Inverie are all places on the peninsula. The "ugly bastards", to whom this song is dedicated, are a group of John's friends with whom he visited the place in question.

Lyrics:
On the road to nowhere, heading for Mallaig
I can feel the wild west highland breeze
Drive all my fears away
Through the raging Sound of Sleat
Safe on Spanish John
I can't wait for heaven's gate
It's paradise I'm looking on

Sky, nothing but blue sky all around
Sky, nothing but blue sky
Feel the silence calling all around
All around

Eagle high on Ladhar Bheinn
Heaven and hell beneath
Kinloch Hourn's where hell is born
And Nevis where the angels meet
Knoydart mends a broken heart
Heals a tortured soul
Brings new life to tired minds
And brightens eyes that look upon

Sky, nothing but blue sky all around
Sky, nothing but blue sky
Feel the silence calling all around
All around

Inverie, oh Inverie, ancient hearts of old
Ugly bastards one and all
We'll gather just to look upon

Sky, nothing but blue sky all around
Sky, nothing but blue sky
Feel the silence calling all around
All around

Sky, nothing but blue sky all around
Sky, nothing but blue sky
Feel the silence calling
Hear the silence calling
Feel the silence calling
All around
All around

[John Lees, © BJH Ltd/Handle Music Ltd]


Copii Romania

Les's favourite of his songs from Caught In The Light; The song concerns the plight of Romania following the break up of the Soviet block, and the English subtitle was "Children Of Romania". Les donated all his proceeds to the fund for the orphan children of Romania. Lautari are gypsy violinists, and "the mighty Karpatii" are the Carpathian mountains.

Lyrics:
Gone you sons of darkness
Gone you tyrants of old
From the land where we hear lautari playing
Here in the outfield of Europe
A cry for freedom was heard
Rang out to the world
And we all stood watching

Hold the light
Keep it burning so bright
For the children

Copii Romania
Must they live so long In the shadows
Copii Romania
Will we turn and say
Like many times before
We did not know?

Once there was a proud people
Filled with laughter and song
Could they feel something wrong
Through the air was blowing?
Here by the mighty Karpatii
The fight for freedom began
The fight for life still goes on
But no-one listens any more

Hold the light
Keep it burning so bright
For the children

Copii Romania
Must they live so long In the shadows
Copii Romania
Will we turn and say
Like many times before
We did not know?

[Les Holroyd, © BJH Ltd/Handle Music Ltd]


Back To Earth

A very personal song from John, written following the death of his father in 1992. John dedicated it not only to the loving memory of his father but also to all those who mourn for the loss of someone they love.

Lyrics:
I've been so sad since you went away
I've been so lost without you
I wanted to be there
I wanted to hold on and tell you
How much, how much I loved you

I never thought that this day would come
Never dreamed we'd have to part
And now that you're gone and there's only memories
It's left such a hole, hole in my heart

Whenever skies are cloudy and the raindrops fall
I pray that you'll be waiting to catch me when I fall
So many words that were left unsaid
So many things still to share
Amd through all the tears and all of the memories
I hope that you know how much I cared

If I could have you back I wouldnít waste a minute
A lifetime wasnít long enough, I needed you for ever
The love of a father, the friendship of a brother
You took a piece of me with you and it will never be returned
Until we meet again and things will be the same

Whenever skies are cloudy and the raindrops fall
I pray that you'll be waiting to catch me when I fall
I've been so sad since you went away
I've been so lost without you
I wanted to be there
I wanted to hold on and tell you
How much, how much I loved you

I never thought that this day would come
Never dreamed we'd have to part
And now that you're gone and there's only memories
It's left such a hole, hole in my heart

If I could have you back again I wouldnít waste a minute
A lifetime wasnít long enough, I needed you for ever

[John Lees, © BJH Ltd/Handle Music Ltd]


Cold War

Les dedicated this anti-war lament to his cousin Marguerette, living in the former Yugoslavia, at a time when the country was racked by a bitter civil war. The beautiful classical guitar at the end of song was played by Les, who told us that it was his first instrument, before he took up the bass. More, please!

Lyrics:
Born in a cold war
Opened up my eyes
See the bombers riding
Dark against the sky

Fly like an eagle
Carried on the wind
See our hearts are broken
So many lives are gone
Waiting for this dream to end

We're not alone
We'll live on forever
They echo the songs
Of the partisans

Don't be afraid
We're heading for glory
The fears of the past
Bring tears of today

Nothing's going to change

Cold is the winter
Chills you to the bone
Praying for the silence
Will the morning come?

Out on the border
Lost without a friend
Searching for a reason
The battle rages on
Waiting for this dream to end

We're not alone
We'll live on forever
They echo the songs
Of the partisans

Don't be afraid
We're heading for glory
The fears of the past
Bring tears of today

Nothing's going to change

[Les Holroyd, © BJH Ltd/Handle Music Ltd]


Forever Yesterday

Johnís historical song concerns the shameful history of the Highland clearances. In the 19th century the Scottish highlanders were mostly tenant farmers, using the traditional runrig system, whereby each farmer had several non-contiguous strips of land. Their absentee landlords were content as long as the land was unsuitable for more profitable use. However, new breeds of sheep such as the black-faced Lintons and Great Cheviots were capable of surviving on the bleak highland hillsides, and the landowners saw the chance of huge profits. The farmers were unceremoniously evicted, often by force, and a large number went to the New World. John Morrison (Murdo) and Neil Morrison, who are credited with the inspiration for the song, used to live on Knoydart, and it was whilst John Lees was there on holiday that the history of the clearances first came to his attention.

"Forever Yesterday" was another victim of the misguided attempt to shorten the album, when the coda, featuring a particularly fine guitar solo, was excised from the CD, although, unaccountably, left on the cassette issue. A German promo-only CD-single does include the full 7:10 version, which also appeared later on the compilation CD, Endless Dream.

Lyrics:
Talk about a loser, I was just about to go
When someone grabbed me by the arm, a man I did not know
He said he'd been a drover, a member of the clan
With runrig in his very soul and nowhere left to stand

Now me I'm just a highland boy and cottar was my trade
He'd seen me at Kildoanan when the black-face came to stay
He'd oatcakes and he'd whisky and one foot in the grave
For us it's over
Bitter tears began to fall as whisky tore away the years
From the straths and the braes
Forever yesterday

The royal George it was that brought the Countess to our door
She wanted us to leave the hills for crofts upon the moor
She took our piece of paradise and left us on the shore
For us it's over
Bitter tears began to fall as whisky tore away the years
From the straths and the braes
Forever yesterday

They cleared the clans from Strathnavar, the heart of Sutherland
They cleared us from our highland homes by ship to foreign glens
There's Linton and there's Cheviot and red deer on the bens
For us it's over, over, over, my friend

[John Lees, © BJH Ltd/Handle Music Ltd]


The Great Unknown

A churchy-sounding keyboard sets the scene for this reflective song about love and growing older, before the guitar and drums burst in for the second half. Some beautiful vocal variations and vocoders complete the effect.

Lyrics:
All lovers in the night
Look up and see the dawn
Reach out into the light
Before you travel on

All you have to do is smile for me
Lonely days will disappear

All lovers of the world
We thought we had it all
Reach out and touch someone
Across the great unknown

All you have to do is smile for me
Lonely nights will disappear

Promises are soon forgotten
Watch them falling one by one
Nothing stays the same forever
See the years go on and on they fly

We'll wait for the day
Changing our ways
All over the world
Reach out for someone
All over the world

All you have to do is smile for me
Lonely nights will disappear
All of my life

Lovers of the world...

[Les Holroyd, © BJH Ltd/Handle Music Ltd]


Spud-U-Like

Subtitled "David's Rock Song", the man in question being David Walker of Handle Artists, BJH's management company. The song is some years old, but it was Martin Lawrence who persuaded John to finish it and record it for this album. As well as being the name of a chain of fast-food restaurants, specialising in jacket potatoes, "Spud-U-Like" is also a video game, hence the rather unusual title for a song which unfavourably compares the superficiality of video games with the more lasting pleasures of rock and roll.

Lyrics:
Super mean machine
Taking over all the kids you've ever seen
Locked into the screen
Jabbing at the buttons like they're in a dream
Don't want a Mega drive
Just give me spud-u-like
And lots of records that'll make me scream
Give me the radio playing all the songs I know
Don't want no Gameboy just a rock and roll

Oh a oh give me a radio
Don't want a Gameboy just rock and roll
Oh a oh give me a radio
Don't want a system that ain't got no soul

Virtual reality taking over grown ups like you've never seen
Locked into the screen
Simulated mass-destruction oh so clean
Don't want a Mega drive
Just give me spud-u-like
And lots of records that'll make me scream
Give me the radio playing all the songs I know
Don't want no Gameboy just a rock and roll

Oh a oh give me a radio
Don't want a Gameboy just rock and roll
Oh a oh give me a radio
Don't want a system that's not rock and roll
Oh a oh give me a radio
Don't want a Gameboy just rock and roll
Oh a oh give me a radio
Don't want a system that ain't got no soul

Kids grow up to be
Simulation junkies when the game's for real
Don't want no C.T.V. when they're pushing all the buttons
And the game's for free
Don't give me a Mega drive
Just give me spud-u-like
And lots of music that'll make me scream
No mean machine in my dreams
I need you, radio
I want you, radio
I need you, radio
I want you for the things you do
No more Gameboy just want rock and roll
No more Top Gun just want rock and roll
No more smart bombs just want rock and roll
No more Gameboy just want rock and roll

Oh a oh give me a radio
Don't want a Gameboy just rock and roll
Oh a oh give me a radio
Don't want a system that's not rock and roll
Oh a oh give me a radio
Don't want a Gameboy just rock and roll
Oh a oh give me a radio
Don't want a system that ain't got no soul
Oh a oh give me a radio
Don't want smart bombs just rock and roll
Oh a oh give me a radio
Don't want a system that's not rock and roll

[John Lees, © BJH Ltd/Handle Music Ltd]


Silver Wings

Les described Caught In The Light as "a very personal album", and this certainly falls into that category, all too successfully capturing the anguish caused by the end of a relationship in a beautiful but bittersweet song. With the benefit of hindsight, it could also be read as a commentary on the difficult patch which the band themselves were going through at the time, although thatís probably to read more into it than the composer intended.

Lyrics:
Did we take away the daylight from our life?
Dreams are over, faded with the night
We've been here so long, didn't we see the way
Love grown cold as ice melted with the rain

After all these years
Can't believe it's true
Is it really over
After all that we've been through?
I need you here
To take away the pain
I just want to be with you again

Did you see the way
We broke the things we made
Gone forever, never be the same
Torn away on "silver wings"
Love like lightning ended in the rain
After all this time
You're still the only one
Can't be over, all we've said and done

I need you back
To take away the pain
I just want to be with you again

I need you back
To take away the pain
I just want to be with you again

[Les Holroyd, © BJH Ltd/Handle Music Ltd]


Once More

Apart from the obvious rewriting of "Mocking Bird", this song also quotes musically from "Galadriel" and mentions "Pools Of Blue", which was written at the same time. Recorded at a time when doubt had been cast on the authorship of "Mocking Bird", this was Johnís way of proving its pedigree.

Lyrics:
With these arms I'll hold you
Let my love enfold you
Please don't cry
Night and day forever
Rain, sea, surf, sand, clouds then sun will shine

Born in the spirit of love
You took flight
Soaring so high and so free
No-one can stop you
You'll always be heard
Our hearts know the truth

In pools of blue I found you
Let my love surround you
Gave you life
From that day forever
Rain, sea, surf, sand, clouds then sun will shine

Born in the spirit of love
You took flight
Soaring so high and so free
No-one can stop you
You'll always be heard
Our hearts know the truth

Born in the spirit of love
You took flight
Soaring so high and so free
No-one can stop you
You'll always be heard
They'll never kill the mockingbird
She'll fly free

[John Lees, © BJH Ltd/Handle Music Ltd]


A Matter Of Time

Les returns to the subject of a relationship where all is not well. This is the one song of Les's from this album which has been performed live.

Lyrics:
It's a matter of time before we know
If you follow the signs, let your feelings show
Oh babe, you've got nothing to lose

We can talk for a while and that's all right
I can see in your eyes what you feel inside
You don't know what you've been doing
Leave me standing here
We are on the edge of reality

We've gone too far
Not the way that it's meant to be
It's a matter of time
It's just a matter of time

It's a matter of time before we say
We got out of line looking for the way
Oh babe, you've got something to hide

You can stay for a while and that's all right
I see in your smile what you feel tonight
You don't know what you've been doing
Leave us standing here
We are on the edge of reality

We've gone too far
Not the way that it's meant to be
It's a matter of time
It's just a matter of time

Are you really looking for someone
Who'll turn you on
And always be around you?

Take another look and you will see
That I will be waiting
It's a matter of time
It's a matter of time
Oh babe, it's just a matter of time

[Les Holroyd, © BJH Ltd/Handle Music Ltd]


Ballad Of Denshaw Mill

This song is based on a Saddleworth legend which has its basis in fact. Denshaw Mill was a woollen mill which operated until the late 1880s, and was already derelict by the time of the first war, when the events described in the song took place. The line "a hole as rotten as ever fouled the green earth" is from a verse by local poet Ammon Wrigley, and the area is part of the Friarmere division of Saddleworth, known locally as the Darkside. Harold McKlintock, to whose memory the song is dedicated, was an old friend and neighbour, and a source of inspiration to John when he wrote the song, which was first presented for inclusion on Ring Of Changes - and rejected.

Lyrics:
On a cold starry night in the winter time
Stood three old men by a mill pond in the moonlight
And they spoke of their young men in the front line
How they all wished them home for the Christmas time
As they spoke from the east came a bright light
And it sparkled like pure gold in their sad eyes
And an angel came down on Denshaw Mill
Spreading her light all around on the Darkside

Are you blind can you not see
Do you think that it's me who deceives?
He promised to be there if you believe, to carry you home

A hole as rotten as ever fouled the green earth
Was this old mill in its day, spoke the angel
Yet there's many a poor boy in foreign climes
Who would think this old mill now a palace fine

As she spoke from the mill there came laughter
Came the warm sounds of their young men like a summer breeze
And they rose in the night like fire bright
Spreading their light all around on the Darkside

Are you blind can you not see
Do you think that it's me who deceives?
He promised to be there if you believe, to carry you home

No-one knows what became of the bonny lads
Posted missing, lost in action in a far land
Fools and heroes, gallant men, now side by side
With the old men who believed they came home that night
To the warmth of their homes at Christmas time
To the peace of their homes at Christmas time

[John Lees, © BJH Ltd/Handle Music Ltd]


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