Polydor 1988 / Esoteric 2013
Going over The Wall: the second Berlin coming of British heroes restored to all its original hope and glory.
Giving a Russian title to an album recorded in German capital might be misleading, yet it perfectly caught a moment in time, when the divided country was getting closer to reunification, and BJH provided a musical bridge across the border. Unlike their previous Berlin endeavor, on July 14th, 1987, the band played in the east part of the city, then a GDR territory, and did it quite safe, what with the people’s loving their songs and dance beats beaming across the culturally thinning wall. The weight and momentum being gained as the show progressed, with “Mockingbird” as its microcosm, this reissue spans the whole of it, six additional pieces included, and in the correct running order to make it a fantastic live document.
Now it starts properly with a moving wave of “Nova Lepidoptera” with John Lees’ guitar flight to swing the stylistic and temporal pendulum back and forth, from the early monument of “Poor Man’s Moody Blues” and “Medicine Man”, absent from the group’s repertoire for a decade, to no less than six songs from the then-new “Face To Face” LP, the harmonies and riffs of “Alone In The Night” most amazing in the stage setting. Mel Pritchard’s percussion in “Hold On” from "Victims Of Circumstance" switches the groove into the discotheque mode, and it stays on even when it comes to such politically loaded tracks as the romantic “Berlin” or taut “African”, to lights up the gently rocking “Life Is For Living” and “Love On The Line”, up to the sway of “Loving Is Easy”, while the sparkling “Turn The Key” takes a proggy turn and “Kiev” soars to the sun showing the way to “Child Of The Universe”.
One of the best concerts in BJH’s canon, “Glasnost” has stood the test of time better than its title and preserves the band at their zenith.