Barclay James Harvest Discography

Barclay James Harvest Discography

'Early Morning' Parlophone label

''Early Morning''
      by Barclay James Harvest


26th April, 2008 -
the 40th Anniversary of the band's first single

Barclay James Harvest in 1968 By the beginning of 1968 Barclay James Harvest were ready to climb aboard the music business bandwagon, and so on 14th February, 1968, the band went into Chappell Studios in London’s Bond Street and recorded “Early Morning” from scratch, and in the same session overdubbed new vocals and a recorder solo onto an existing backing track of “Mr. Sunshine”, which had been recorded in Stockport.

Woolly: "'Early Morning'? Ah, that awakens something in me. Was it a gramophone record? Possibly in the Sixties?
NOW I remember! We had done a Strawberry Studios ( or somewhere ) demo of the song for the Granada TV exposé and then we were whisked down to Swinge-ing London to finish the job. Chappell Studios were an adjunct of the publishers of the same name. The session hasn't any great memories for me save for an incident wherein I was doubling the lead vocal. General round of applause for a perfect take ("It's amazingly close to the original!") - when in fact, I wasn't singing!"

Woolly had missed his cue for part of the second vocal take, so it wasn't altogether surprising that the others couldn't hear the difference between the original and the "two-track" version ...

John: We never wrote together, other than helping out on lyrics or joining songs together arrangement-wise, because our styles were so different. We only did it once - on “Early Morning”!"

The band had been much impressed with Procol Harum's "A Whiter Shade Of Pale", and aspired to produce something comparable in feeling:

Woolly: Whilst it was true we were moved to knock-together another "Whiter Shade Of Pale", it became another creature with its own distinct character. (Thank God we didn't use a Hammond!). Later, much later, I became aware of a play {entitled 'Early Morning'} of a somewhat scurrilous nature, also appearing in 1968. I have searched for this on the web without success."

Les Holroyd John Lees Woolly Wolstenholme Mel Pritchard

A deal was done with EMI's Parlophone label whereby the band paid their own recording costs, but Parlophone would release the single even though the band had not yet formally signed a contract with EMI. Jonathan Peel from the band's publishing company, Ardmore and Beechwood, brought the forthcoming release to the attention of a friend of his at the BBC, and one night at the beginning of April, the band were summoned to a meeting with their manager, John Crowther.

Radiogram - click to turn it up! John: "John Crowther invited us round, turned the radio on, and we were so shocked!" (Turn on the radiogram to find out why!) "He knew that it was going to be on Radio One, but we didn't. It was the most exciting thing for me - it really spurred me on, so I really wanted to make it and be a success as a songwriter. That one thing influenced my life more than anything else."

Woolly: John Crowther had gathered us together on a pretence of some sort and, at a flick of a switch, we heard ourselves broadcast to the World on the John Peel prog. It all goes downhill from there."

"Early Morning” was issued on 26th April, 1968, accompanied by this press release penned by one Max Clifford!

EMI's "Disc Facts leaflet also featured the fledgling band and their new single:

Whilst "Early Morning" wasn’t a hit, the response was encouraging and the reviews good. Most importantly, though, it laid down a marker for the English pastoral sound which would become one of the band's trademarks, and marked the beginning of an illustrious career which would continue in one form or another for more than forty years ...

Barclay James Harvest - Early Morning UK issue, A side (click for larger picture) Barclay James Harvest - Mr Sunshine UK issue, B side (click for larger picture) Barclay James Harvest - Early Morning UK promo issue, A side (click for larger picture) Barclay James Harvest - Early Morning blue US Sire issue (click for larger picture) Barclay James Harvest - Early Morning orange US Sire issue (click for larger picture)

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