Colin Logue

Here come the Punks

Excerpt from Progressive Rock Unmasked

Barclay James Harvest would see out the seventies with the release of Eyes of the Universe (1979), their first album as a trio (albeit supplemented in the studio by keyboardist Kevin McAlea).

By this time the musical landscape was changing with the advent of Punk. This had little effect on BJHs music but, they, along with many other bands, were subject to considerable hostility. Virtuoso music was the subject of ridicule. Some excellent Prog bands simply abandoned performance entirely. Many did not have the will or resources for a prolonged battle but the Punk movement would soon evaporate leaving only those whose musical and lyrical skills belied their alignment with Punk. From the plethora of Punk bands emerged a core with more accessible music. Some still perform, tour and record.

Another battle was looming for BJH. Robert Godfrey would almost accomplish what Punk failed to do and spell the end of the band. Robert Godfrey had befriended BJH in the late sixties and for some two years became a ‘fifth member’ or part-time collaborator, (depending on which story one believes). His undisputed impact would result in a series of protracted and costly court battles between Godfrey and BJH some years later but the undercurrent of tension was evident from this time.