Barclay James Harvest was formed in Oldham in the summer of 1967, releasing a one-off single "early Morning" through EMI's Parlophone in April 1968, this lead to a full contract and the band becoming one of the first signings to the legendary Harvest label (also home to Pink Floyd & Deep Purple). From the very beginning, BJH had experimented with musical ideas, going beyond the traditional guitar, bass and drums format to utilise a Mellotron to simulate the sound of an orchestra. Albums such as Barclay James Harvest, the seminal albums Once Again and Barclay James Harvest and Other Short Stories and ambitious live performances with their own orchestra gained the group a loyal following in Europe. Signing to Polydor Records in 1974, BJH built on their fan base still further with the albums Everyone Is Everybody Else, Barclay James Harvest Live, a double album which became their first UK chart album, Time Honoured Ghosts in 1975 (recorded in San Francisco by Neil Young producer Elliot Mazer) and Octoberon .
In 2015, John Lees' Barclay James Harvest take to the concert stage once more, featuring John Lees (vocals, guitars), Craig Fletcher (vocals, bass), Jez Smith (keyboards, vocals) and Kevin Whitehead (drums, percussion).