Barclay James Harvest Album Portfolio

Barclay James Harvest Album Portfolio

A Concert for The People (Berlin)

Berlin UK album cover

LP: Polydor POLD 5052, July 1982
MC: Polydor, July 1982
CD: Polydor 800 026-2, May 1983
CD: Remaster with 2 extra tracks, Eclectic ECLCD 1050, 23rd October, 2006
Digipack CD (limited to 2,000 copies): Remaster with 2 extra tracks, Esoteric ECLEC 2217, 30th August, 2010

Side 1
Berlin (Les Holroyd)
Loving Is Easy (John Lees)
Mockingbird (John Lees)
Sip Of Wine (Les Holroyd)

Side 2
Nova Lepidoptera (John Lees)
In Memory Of The Martyrs (John Lees)
Life Is For Living (Les Holroyd)
Child Of The Universe (John Lees)
Hymn (John Lees)

Bonus tracks on remastered CD:
Love On The Line (Les Holroyd)
Rock 'N' Roll Lady (Les Holroyd)

Recording Details

Recording Dates:
Recorded on Saturday, August 30th, 1980 at a massive free open-air concert on the steps of the Reichstag, next to the Berlin Wall, using “Mobile One”.

Re-recorded and mixed at Strawberry Studios, Stockport

Barclay James Harvest, Martin Lawrence and Ian Southerington

Live Engineer:
Andy Rose


A simple photograph of the crowds gathered in front of the Reichstag on the afternoon of the concert.

Guest Musicians

John, Les and Mel were joined on the day by Kevin McAlea on keyboards, backing vocals and saxophone, and Colin Browne on keyboards, guitar, bass and backing vocals.


The official police count of the audience at this concert was 175,000 - however, being a free concert, there were obviously no ticket sales to count, and people would have come and gone all day. One estimate put the total attendance at a quarter of a million, but even allowing for some East Berliners listening behind the Berlin Wall, that's probably rather on the high side.

This concert was probably the single most important gig that BJH have ever done, so it was natural to want a live record to be made. Unfortunately, whilst the concert itself was a triumph, just about everything that could go wrong with the recording, did - there were loud buzzes and hums on the recording, John’s main guitar was damaged during the afternoon and was almost inaudible in the mix. The band reluctantly decided to record a lot of new overdubs at Strawberry, which is one reason that the LP didn’t appear until 1982. The album was first released in Germany in February 1982 as a limited edition 11-track version on the Polystar label, with “Love On The Line” and “Rock ‘N’ Roll Lady” as the extra tracks, and went straight to No.1. Subsequent releases in all formats have only the nine tracks listed above until the 2006 Eclectic and 2010 Esoteric remastered CDs, which have the German 11-track version (a different mix all the way through) in the original running order. One interesting anomaly is that whilst in Germany and most other countries the album was titled Berlin - A Concert For The People, the English version reverses the order, presumably to make it sound less Germanic!

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