Get this crazy baby off my head!


Roy Harper

Roy Harper - Live At Les Cousins - 1996 - Blueprint

"Roy is one of the greatest English songwriters we've had, and people just don't realise it. And I really think that when they do we're going to have another top songwriter up there. He's brilliant." - Kate Bush

This tape sat in the vaults for years before it was officially released in 1996. The fact that it is so revelatory makes its unearthing all the more rewarding. This is the almost complete gig from an August of 1969 show that finds Roy Harper coming out of his Jansch-inspired, neo-Dylan period into his more progressive, acoustic one. At this stage, Harper had a flawless falsetto, which complemented his ever-increasing guitar acumen quite nicely. Both are put to good use on an early (and much faster) prototype for "Hors D'Oeuvres," a song which eventually showed up on 1971's Stormcock. Perhaps the best song is "McGoohan's Blues," a 19-minute epic which lacks the clumsy band arrangement that marred the album version. Harper and crowd seem in a mood (and mindset) typical for the period, and he even mentions that a certain James Page (whom he recently met) had shown an interest in learning his instrumental, "Blackpool." Harper then plays a seemingly perfect version of the song to restrained applause, only to chastise himself for mucking it up. This release shows Harper to be as talented as anyone from that period. It should be regarded as his only essential release, save possibly for his debut, from that era. © Brian Downing © 2011 Rovi Corporation. All Rights Reserved http://www.allmusic.com/album/live-at-les-cousins-r582867/review

Although recorded in August 1969, the tapes for this two CD set have languished, until recently, in EMI's dusty vaults. Around the time that Harper - the first of many tagged "the English Bob Dylan" - was singing his guts out in a cellar in Soho, the original was entertaining a slightly larger audience on the Isle of Wight. The London crowd got the better deal, and probably cheaper tickets, too, if the five bob quoted on the repro'd flyer is anything to go by. They even got to hear Harper's Dylan impression on North Country. For his fans, the album is an interesting snapshot of the developing transition from the early, if not innocent, short songs from the first brace of albums to the longer suites that would make Harper's name and see him through most of the Seventies. Fortunately, some of the between-song banter is also recorded and, as anyone who' seen him live will know, that's half the fun of his shows. The paucity of bootlegged live material from this era will ensure that the man's many admirers will devour this offering, but there is enough freshness captured on this disc, even after all these years, to tickle the ears of even the most jaded of non-believers. **** (four stars out of five). © Andy Mabbett 1996 © Brum Beat magazine, issue 186 (November 1996)

This album is a collection of very early Roy Harper songs recorded on 30/8/69 at Les Cousins Folk Cellar, Soho, London, England. It's an excellent album from one of the great unsung heroes of British folk rock. A man with a soft, unique singing style, and a hugely underrated guitarist. Although his musical influences include people like Huddie Leadbetter, Woody Guthrie, Miles Davis. and Josh White, Roy has always created his own unique style of British Folk Rock, for want of a better classification. His music can be very complex, and unmelodic, but there is a lot of talent embedded in his songs, and he is a hugely creative artist. It is hard to compare any other musician to him. His music has influenced many great artists, as diverse as Led Zeppelin, and Kate Bush. He has been backed by Paul McCartney, and many more influential artists throughout his long career. He also sung lead vocals on "Have a Cigar" on Pink Floyd's "Wish You Were Here" album. Roy Harper is a creative genius. Again, like so many other great artists, he still has not "hit the big time." But there again, to give him credit, he has never sold out to commercialism, and has never compromised his music. In 1982, his "Work Of Heart" album was voted the British Sunday Times 1982 Album Of The Year award, but awards don't always "put the bread on the table." In 2005, in London, Jimmy Page, a lifetime friend of Roy, presented him with the Mojo Hero Award on behalf of the influential Mojo magazine. Give his music a hearing. Listen to his stunningly original "Stormcock" and "Bullinamingvase" albums, and his great "One of Those Days in England" album, and buy his tremendous 1990 "Once" album, on which Dave Gilmour and Kate Bush play. Roy's "Work Of Heart" album is @ ROYHRP/WOHRead about @ Les Cousins folk and blues club @ LES COUSINS There's a terrific article about Roy Harper @ http://www.terrascope.co.uk/MyBackPages/harper.html


01. You Don't Need Money (6:22)
02. North Country (8:06)
03. Hors D'Oeuvres (6:17)
04. Blackpool (6:38)
05. She's The One (string change) (2:24)
06. She's The One (8:20)
07. Goldfish (5:11)
08. East Of The Sun (12:19)


01. McGoohan's Blues (19:48)
02. Feeling All The Saturday (3:09)
03. Zengem (1:20)
04. Che (6:29)
05. Davey (8:53)
06. I Hate The White Man (10:38)
07. Goodbye (10:33)
08. Tom Tiddler's Ground (edit) (4:47)

All songs composed by Roy Harper except "North Country" by Bob Dylan. Roy Harper - Guitar, Vocals


"Harper is a terrific songwriter," said one-time manager Peter Jenner, ''But a bit crazy, like all the best people. The great problem for him was seeing all these people who'd nicked his licks doing so much better than he did. People like Jethro Tull, Led Zeppelin and, to some extent, Roger Waters." Roy Harper was born on 12 June a long time ago in Rusholme, Manchester. His step-mother, a devout Jehovah's Witness, instilled in him a little more than hatred of religion. When not battling with his parents, or fighting at school, he listened to a lot of blues. "Remember, this was a world that was still ethnically separated. I was thirteen and ignorant of the social situation in America, but I felt these records were better than what my own culture was turning out." At 14, he formed a group, De Boys, with his brothers David and Harry. At 15, home life became too much and he left, lying about his age to join the RAF, where he performed skiffle at camp concerts and ultimately suffered a self-induced nervous breakdown that let to committal in Lancaster Moor Mental Institute. After a beating (for dressing without permission) Harper escaped in his pyjamas through a bathroom window. Some weeks later, in London he was arrested and jailed for trying to climb the clock tower at St. Pancras Station and sundry other misadventures. During 1964, after getting out of prison, he busked in North Africa, Europe and London for a year, then graduated to the folk clubs. ''I spent most of my time being thrown out of folk clubs for not being Nana Mouskouri." In 1966 a small indie label gave him the chance to record 'The Sophisticated Beggar' (Strike), which included 'Committed', a song celebrating his mental condition. The album attracted not only favourable reviews but also the attention of the larger Columbia Records, for whom he quickly recorded 'Come Out Fighting Ghengis Smith' (Columbia) in 1967. "Some of my songs start out nice and suburban," he said concisely summing up its mood, "and suddenly swing violently across to anarchy". When the more considered 'Folkjokeopus' (Liberty) appeared in 1969, he was already gaining a reputation as an artist who refused to compromise. "When I go to the States", he speculated, "I'm gonna sit in front of the audience and sing 'I Hate the White Man' knowing that probably someone in the audience will get up and aim a gun at my head but, unless you can put your blood on the streets, you're not worth what you're saying". With Harper's reputation growing, Pink Floyd's manager Peter Jenner signed him to a long-term deal with EMI's 'underground' subsidiary, Harvest. 'Flat Baroque and Berserk' (Harvest), from 1970, featured contributions from The Nice, and included the aforementioned 'I Hate the White Man', now a Harper classic, plus 'Another Day', covered many years later by This Mortal Coil, Kate Bush & Peter Gabriel. 1970 also saw the tribute 'Hats off to Harper' on the album Led Zeppelin III, written by life-long friend Jimmy Page. 1971 brought 'Stormcock' (Harvest), a more mature work given added distinction by sympathetic, evocative string arrangements from David Bedford. Harper also found the time to write the script and music for the socio-realistic film 'Made', in which he starred opposite Carol White. "They wanted somebody who had something more than just a pop singer. There was an incredible list of guys auditioned, starting with Marc Bolan, Kris Kristofferson, Tony Joe White... it's a very strange project," he revealed. "I became very ill in late '71 and it put paid to my momentum. By the time I got better and got my wind back, it was 1975." The problem was a rare congenital circulatory disorder (multiple pulmonary arterio-venus fistuli, veins and arteries joined in the lungs). "I can't sing more than half a song without getting terrible pains," he explained to one interviewer. Ever since he's been running one and half mile a day, it hasn't bothered him much though! In a subsequent interview he recalled that "I was given seven years to live when I was 31, and then the doctor came back to my bedside a fortnight later and said 'I think I'm wrong'. It's been that sort of situation ever since." The association with Harvest continued through 'Lifemask' (1973) and 'Valentine' (1974) and on February 14 (Valentine's Day) 1974, Harper played the now legendary gig at London's Rainbow, backed by Jimmy Page, Keith Moon and Ronnie Lane. Soon after, he formed the band Trigger, and supported Pink Floyd at the 1975 Knebworth Festival. In the same year Harper's vocals were heard on Pink Floyd's 'Wish You Were Here' album, singing 'Have a Cigar'. Roger Waters explained, ''A lot of people think I can't sing. I find it hard to pitch... and Roy Harper was recording his own album in another EMI studio at the time, and he's a mate, and we thought he could probably do a job on it.'' He did. 1974 was rounded out with 'Flashes from the Archives of Oblivion' (Harvest), the definitive Harper live double set, including material from the Rainbow gig, the infamous naughty cover and musical contributions from Ian Anderson of Jethro Tull. The 1975 album 'HQ' (Harvest) featured Trigger, with Harper again aided and abetted by Bedford's orchestral arrangements, plus the Grimethorpe Colliery Band on 'When an Old Cricketer Leaves the Crease'. ''I found it necessary in the last couple of years to boost the Englishness that's around... re-iterate my own Anglo-Saxonness. Old Cricketer is one of the fruits of that.'' With things once more looking good for him, Harper collapsed on stage during the 'HQ' tour, due to a combination of excesses. Fortunately, an excellent compilation, 'Harper 1970-1975' (Harvest), kept his name in front of the public whilst he was out of action and introduced him to many new fans. In 1976 Harper bought a farm in Hereford and, the following year, was back at full operating efficiency with 'Bullinamingvase' (Harvest). This classic included vocal contributions from Paul and Linda McCartney on 'One of those Days in England', the nearest Harper ever came to a hit single. ''That was a very good period for me. Then I made another record, as a quick follow-up, which the record company and I began to argue about. The argument went on for three years, so I lost my momentum again.'' That album, 'Commercial Breaks', was never released although much of it did turn up later on the compilation 'Loony On The Bus' (Awareness). This was also the era when Harper found himself the victim of unfortunate business deals and "ended up owing my house to the bank. Barclays bank, Hayes, Middlesex, to be exact." He was obliged to sell the farm. In 1980 came Harper's acclaimed album 'The Unknown Soldier' (Harvest) which included 'You', a duet with Kate Bush, who has claimed Harper as one of her major inspirations. On the cover of her 'Never For Ever' album, she thanked him for 'holding onto the poet in his music'. With the Harvest deal at an end Harper formed his own label in 1982, and recorded 'Work Of Heart' (Public) which was chosen by the Sunday Times as album of the year. Harper's liaison with Awareness Records began in 1985 with 'Born in Captivity' (Awareness) which included the acoustic demos for 'Work of Heart', and marked the beginning of a comprehensive programme of re-issuing of earlier releases alongside inspiring new work. 1985 also saw 'Whatever Happened to Jugula' (Beggar's Banquet), a collaboration with Jimmy Page, which made the Top 20 and revitalised Harper's career. ''There's only one man I know who could be a virtuoso on both (acoustic and electric) and that's Page'' said Harper of his old friend. Harper re-signed to EMI in 1986, a typically Harperesque love-hate relationship which resulted in the double live album 'In Between Every Line' (EMI), and 1988's 'Descendants of Smith' (EMI) which he describes as ''Partially a creature of the recording company, EMI. I hate the first track, but, if the acoustic version had been put on and Desert Island changed to what it was originally was, plus one or two other little changes, it would be one of my best records. It's over-recorded and produced.'' 1990 Roy returned to Awareness to make the blistering powerful album 'Once' (Awareness), with contributions form Dave Gilmour and Kate Bush. The album restored to Harper the status of his most successful years, with almost unanimously favourable reviews and a renewed interest from the media. Asked, in the wake of 'Once', if emotional turmoil was a fertile breeding ground for musical creativity, Harper replied with typical candour, ''I've never known anything but emotional turmoil... I go from day to day in a kind of frenzied state. I can't wait to do this, that and the other." In 1991 Roy's son Nick became a part of the touring entourage. Having accompanied Roy on the 1988 'Descendants Of Smith' tour, and at other sporadic gigs, he brought a new dimension to the concerts with his elegant and intricate guitar playing. 1992 and 'Once' is succeeded by 'Death Or Glory?' (Awareness), Harper's most intensely personal, emotional and dynamic album in years. Perhaps ever. The album dealt with a traumatic ending of a nine year relationship which caused Harper to look at himself again, take apart some of his pieces and put them back together after a fashion. He still doesn't know if it's the right fashion, but he feels stronger. 1993 and again without a record company in the UK, Roy secured the rights back to all his albums and set up the label SCIENCE FRICTION. First to come out of this venture was the re-issue of 'Flat Baroque and Berserk', in the form of a limited edition CD in a presentation box, each individually signed, and including a 40 page booklet in which Roy recalls the making of the album and those involved. 1994 - Roy undertook an extensive tour of the UK and Ireland completing over 40 dates, which included an appearance at Fairport Convention's 'Cropredy Festival', along with appearing at a charity concert for Friends Of The Earth, in which Roy played two songs with old friend Ian Anderson of Jethro Tull. At this point most of the back catalogue was again made available, with additional sleeve notes from Roy along with previously unpublished photographs. July of 1995 the 1975 album 'HQ' is made available for the first time on CD re-mastered from the original tapes, and again including additional sleeve notes from Roy, reviews and previously unpublished photographs. May 1996 - a 1969 concert recorded at Les Cousins in London is released after being discovered in the Abbey Road archives. This double CD is the earliest known concert recording and features a section found on the 1970 album 'Flat Baroque & Berserk' for 'I Hate the White Man'. Also released this year the long awaited re-release of the classic 1977 album 'BULLINAMINGVASE'. 1997 - Releases for this year include 'The BBC Tapes'. A collection on six CDs of sessions and concerts done for the BBC from 1969 through to 1978. June '97 Roy Harper goes back in to the studio to record his first album since 'Death Or Glory?' (1992). January/February 1998 - The new album titled 'The Dream Society' is in its final stages. Recent work: The 2000 album, The Green Man was an entirely acoustic effort, with help from the Tea Party's Jeff Martin on guitar, hurdy gurdy and numerous other instruments. In June 2001, Harper celebrated his 60th birthday with a concert at London's Royal Festival Hall, featuring many guest artists. A recording of the concert was released as a double CD shortly afterwards. In 2002, Today Is Yesterday, a compilation of rare and previously unreleased material from 1964 - 1967, was released. In 2003, Harper published The Passions of Great Fortune, a large format book containing all the lyrics to his albums (and singles) to date, including a wealth of photographs and commentary on his songs. In April 2005, he released a lengthy CD single, The Death of God. This 13 minute song is a critique of the Iraq War and features guest guitarist Matt Churchill, who has also joined Harper on-stage at his live performances. May 2005 saw the release of Harper's latest album Counter Culture, a double compilation album featuring songs from a 35 year songwriting period. It received a five star review from Uncut magazine. Early 2006, saw the release of Roy’s first DVD, Beyond The Door. The DVD is composed of De Barras Folk Club 2004 live footage along with images and footage collected by Roy to illustrate and compliment the songs... included is a 10 track audio cd of the songs. - Source Science Fiction Records. © 2001 - 2011. All rights reserved http://www.folkblues.co.uk/artistsharper.html


Roy Harper (born ), is an English rock / folk singer-songwriter / guitarist who has been a professional musician since the mid 1960s. Harper has admitted being influenced by many forms of music, ranging from Miles Davis to Indian Raga to Stravinsky. His earliest musical influences were American blues musicians, Lead Belly, Josh White, Big Bill Broonzy and folk musician Woody Guthrie. As a musician, Harper is known for his distinctive, sophisticated fingerstyle playing and lengthy, complex compositions. He has released a large catalogue of albums as an artist, most of which are available on his own record label Science Friction. His career and influence have been respected by many musicians including; Jimmy Page and Robert Plant, both members of the 1970s band Led Zeppelin, Pete Townsend of The Who, Kate Bush, Ian Anderson of Jethro Tull, Pink Floyd, and more recently Californian harpist Joanna Newsom. Harper is also known for his guest lead vocals on Pink Floyd's song "Have a Cigar". Harper has been referred to as ?the longest running underground act in the world?. BIOGRAPHY:- Harper was born in 1941 in Rusholme, a suburb of Manchester, England. After the death of his mother, Muriel, during childbirth, he was raised in Blackpool by his father and stepmother, with whom he became disillusioned because of her Jehovah's Witness beliefs. Harper's anti-religious views would later become a familiar theme within his music. At the age of 10, he began playing skiffle music with his older brother David, ("Davey" on the album Flat Baroque and Berserk), as well as becoming influenced by blues music. Harper was educated at King Edward V11 School, Lytham. He left school at the age of 15 and joined the Royal Air Force. This eventually resulted in his rejecting the rigid discipline, feigning madness in order to obtain a military discharge and receiving Electroconvulsive therapy as a result. Upon his eventual discharge, he busked around Europe until 1964 when he returned to England, gaining a residency at London's famous Soho folk club, Les Cousins. Harper's first album, Sophisticated Beggar, was recorded in 1966 after he was spotted at Les Cousins, and signed to Peter Richards' Strike Records. The album consisted of Harper's poetry backed by acoustic guitar and recorded with a Revox tape machine by Pierre Tubbs. CBS Records recognised Harper's potential and hired producer Shel Talmy to arrange Harper's second album, Come Out Fighting Ghengis Smith, released in 1968. The 11 minute track "Circle", was notable for marking a widening of Harper's musical style away from the more traditional folk music heard at the time. In May 1968, Harper began to make regular appearances at free concerts in London's Hyde Park attracting a cult following of fans from the underground music scene . Harper also toured the UK, performing at numerous venues that would later become recognised for the variety and quality of their musical acts; Mothers in Birmingham was one venue to which Harper would frequently return. 1969's Folkjokeopus (Harper's third album), in a similar vein to his previous album, included an extended 17-minute track called "McGoohan's Blues", which Harper referred to as the "main statement" within the album. The track's title referred to actor Patrick McGoohan, who was at the time starring in the UK TV series The Prisoner. Harper's first tour of the United States followed the release of his fourth studio album, Flat Baroque and Berserk, in 1969. The album also featured The Nice on the track "Hell's Angels". Its ethereal sound was achieved by a wah-wah pedal attached to Harper's acoustic guitar. This album also marked the beginning of Harper's long and sometimes confrontational association with EMI, whose subsidiary Harvest Records he was signed to. After the Bath Festival of 1970, Led Zeppelin paid tribute to Harper with their version of the traditional song, "Shake 'Em On Down", the definitive version of which was originally recorded by blues artist Bukka White. Retitled "Hats Off to (Roy) Harper", it appeared on the album Led Zeppelin III. According to Jimmy Page, the band admired the way Harper stood by his principles and did not sell out to commercial pressures. In mutual appreciation of their work, Harper would often attend live performances by Led Zeppelin over the subsequent decade, contribute sleeve photography to the album Physical Graffiti and appear, albeit uncredited, in the 1976 film, The Song Remains the Same. Harper's critically acclaimed 1971 album was a four song epic, Stormcock. The album featured Jimmy Page on guitar (credited as "S. Flavius Mercurius" for contractual reasons) and David Bedford's orchestral arrangements (Bedford would also collaborate on future Harper releases). Johnny Marr, The Smiths' guitarist, said that Stormcock was "intense and beautiful and clever" . In 1972, Harper made his acting debut playing Mike Preston alongside Carol White in the John Mackenzie film Made. The soundtrack for this film appeared the following year as the album Lifemask. At the time, Lifemask was created as Harpers final bow; a (then) little known lung condition HHT, which caused polycythemia, incapacitating the singer. The cover art shows Harpers 'death mask'. Recovered, Harper's next album Valentine, was released on Valentine's Day, 14 February 1974 and featured contributions from Jimmy Page. A concert to mark its release was held on the same day, at London's Rainbow Theatre with Page, Bedford, Max Middleton (of The Jeff Beck Group) on keyboard, Ronnie Lane on bass and Keith Moon on drums. The live album Flashes from the Archives of Oblivion, recorded at that concert, soon followed. Pink Floyd's 1975 release Wish You Were Here saw Harper sing lead vocals on the song "Have a Cigar". David Gilmour returned the favour by appearing on Harper's next album, HQ, along with Harper's occasional backing band, Trigger (Chris Spedding on guitar, Dave Cochran on bass guitar, Bill Bruford on drums) and Led Zeppelin's John Paul Jones. The single "When An Old Cricketer Leaves The Crease", taken from the album, is Harper's biggest selling song to date. Harper also co-wrote the song, "Short and Sweet" with Gilmour for Gilmour's first solo record, David Gilmour released in 1978. Controversy followed the release of 1977's Bullinamingvase. The owners of Watford Gap service station objected to criticisism of their food ("Watford Gap, Watford Gap / A plate of grease and a load of crap?") in the lyrics of the song "Watford Gap". Harper was forced to drop it from future UK copies of the album, though it reappeared on a later CD reissue and remained on the U.S. LP. The album also featured the song "One of Those Days in England", with backing vocals by Paul McCartney and his wife Linda, an edited version of which became a Top 40 hit. In April 1978, Harper began writing lyrics for the next Led Zeppelin album with Jimmy Page, but the project was shelved when Robert Plant returned from a self-imposed sabbatical after the death of his son. Between 1975 and 1978, Harper spent a considerable amount of time in the United States. During this period Harper signed with the US division of Chrysalis Records, who released HQ with a different title (When an Old Cricketer Leaves the Crease) and cover. Chrysalis considered the original UK sleeve photo of Harper walking on water to be too offensive for an American release. Harper disagreed, but had no choice. Chrysalis also changed the title of Harper's next album, Bullinamingvase, to One of Those Days in England. In 1978, US Chrysalis reissued Harper's first four Harvest albums, only one of which (Flat, Baroque and Berserk) had been previously released in America. For much of the Seventies, Harper was managed and produced by British manager and record producer Peter Jenner, initially acting for Blackhill Enterprises. Harper began the decade with the release of The Unknown Soldier which was to be his final Harvest release. The album contains a duet with Kate Bush on the track, "You". (Harper reciprocated by singing backing vocals on "Breathing", on the Kate Bush album Never For Ever). Of Bush, Harper later stated; Kate is a fantastic musician and very professional as well. Working with Kate is a very smooth operation because she always knows what she wants to do, surprising you too, which is what good musicians always do. A decade later, Harper and Bush would collaborate again on his album Once. Harper's 1982 album, Work of Heart, marked the formation of Harper's own record label with Mark Thompson, (son of English historian, socialist and peace campaigner. E.P. Thompson) entitled Public Records. The album itself was chosen by Derek Jewell of the The Sunday Times as "Album of the Year" in 1982. The original demo version of this album was later released (in 1984) on a limited edition (830 copies) vinyl release entitled Born in Captivity. Contrarily (though perhaps more to do with Harper's financial situation at the time) of this period, Harper stated; There is no doubt in my own mind that the early eighties were the nadir of my life in music. Throughout 1984, Harper toured the United Kingdom with Jimmy Page, performing a predominantly acoustic set at folk festivals under various guises such as The MacGregors, and Themselves. In 1985, they released an album called Whatever Happened to Jugula?. This album caused a resurgence of interest in Harper and his music. (Tony Franklin, bass player in Harper's group at this time would later join Page in The Firm). In April 1984, Harper and Gilmour performed "Short and Sweet" (the song they co-wrote) during Gilmour's three night run at The Hammersmith Odeon. This version later appeared on the David Gilmour Live 1984 concert film. Harper also provided backing vocals on Gilmours newly released album, About Face. Perhaps due to the popularity of Whatever Happened to Jugula?, Harper resigned to EMI and in 1986 released a live album, In Between Every Line, containing recordings from his performances at the Cambridge Folk Festival and in 1988 the studio album, Descendants of Smith. The relationship between Harper and EMI did not last and from 1985 more of his earlier albums became available on the Awareness Records label. 1988 also saw the release of Loony on the Bus, a collection of tracks intended for release in 1977 as Commercial Breaks but held back because of disputes between Harper and EMI. The Nineties was a highly productive decade for Harper that saw the release of 4 studio albums: Once (1990), Death or Glory? (1992), Commercial Breaks (1994), The Dream Society (1998) and 8 live albums: Unhinged (1993), Live At Les Cousins (1996), and six individual CDs of concerts recorded by the BBC (1997). In addition, Harper released a live video Once (1990), an EP Burn the World (1990), a CD single The Methane Zone (1992), a limited edition live cassette Born in Captivity II (1992), a compilation album An Introduction to ..... (1994), a collection of poetry and spoken word tracks Poems, Speeches, Thoughts and Doodles (1997), and a reissue of Descendants of Smith (his 1988 release) renamed Garden of Uranium (1994). In 1994 much of Harper's back catalogue became available on CD through his own record label Science Friction. If Harper's public profile had been relatively low since 1986, 1990's Once was a tour-de-force, featuring contributions from David Gilmour, Kate Bush, Nigel Mazlyn Jones, and brought him more attention. In 1992 the spotlight was also on Harper after the end of his marriage to Jacqui. 1992's melancholy Death or Glory? contains a number of songs and spoken words that reference his loss and pain. On tour, Harpers' emotional reactions to his loss were clearly, and very publicly, visible. Throughout the decade, Harper's musical influence began to be recognised by a younger generation of musicians some of whom covered his songs or invited him to make guest appearances on their albums. In 1995 Harper contributed spoken words on The Tea Party's 1995 album The Edges of Twilight. In 1996 Roy recited "Bad Speech" from the album Whatever Happened to Jugula? on the album Eternity by Anathema (the album also contains a cover version of "Hope" from the same album). The track "Time" from The Tea Party's 1996 multimedia CD, Alhambra, was sung and co-written by Harper. Harper contributed his version of Jethro Tull's song, "Up the 'Pool" (from Living in the Past) for the 1996 tribute album, To Cry You A Song - A Collection Of Tull Tales. In 1998, Jethro Tull singer Ian Anderson contributed flute to the song, "These Fifty Years" on Harper's The Dream Society, an album based on Harper's life, particularly his youth. Reportedly, Anderson said that the only reason he originally left Blackpool was because Harper did. Other artists who covered Harper's songs (or songs on his albums) throughout the decade include, Dean Carter, Ava Cherry & The Astronettes (People from Bad Homes), Green Crown, The Kitchen Cynics, The Levellers, Roydan Styles and Pete Townshend. Harper also undertook a small tour of the USA, where some performances were supported by Daevid Allen; former Soft Machine and Gong band member. In 2000, Harper released an almost entirely acoustic album, The Green Man, accompanied by The Tea Party's Jeff Martin on guitar, hurdy gurdy and numerous other instruments. The Following year (2001) Harper celebrated his 60th birthday with a concert at London's Royal Festival Hall. Harper was joined by numerous guest artists, including David Bedford, Jeff Martin and John Renbourn. A recording of the concert Royal Festival Hall Live - June 10th 2001 was released as a double CD shortly afterwards. In 2003, Harper published The Passions of Great Fortune, a large format book containing all the lyrics to his albums (and singles) to date, including a wealth of photographs and commentary on his songs. In April 2005, Harper released a lengthy CD single, The Death of God. The 13 minute song, a critique of the 2003 Gulf War, featured guest guitarist Matt Churchill, who has also joined Harper on stage at his live performances. A video of this song, intermixing animation with a live performance, is available in four parts on YouTube. The same year saw the release of Harper's latest album Counter Culture, a double compilation album featuring songs from a 35 year songwriting period. Counter Culture received a five star review from UNCUT (magazine). Harper also contributed a recital of "Jabberwocky" for The Wildlife Album, an 18 track compilation CD to benefit the World Wide Fund For Nature and the Ulster Wildlife Trust. 2006 saw Harper release his first DVD, Beyond the Door. Composed of live footage recorded in 2004 at Irish folk club "De Barra's" in Clonakilty, Cork, the package includes an additional 10 track audio CD and received a 4 star review from both Mojo, UNCUT (magazine) and Classic rock, who made it their DVD of the month. In September 2007, Harper supported Californian harpist Joanna Newsom at her Royal Albert Hall performance. Newsom had been impressed by Harper's 1971 album Stormcock and it served as an inspiration for her second album, Ys. On the night, Harper played Stormcock in its entirety. This was Harper's last live performance, and he announced on his website that he "...is now taking a break from the live scene... that he has retired from gigging and just wants the time and space to write..." Harper has dedicated the last few years to collecting and compiling his life work in various formats. One of his future projects is likely to be the making of a documentary DVD to round off this process. In 2008, plans were announced for a Roy Harper Tribute album. The album, All you Need is What You Have (named after songs on Harper's 1969 release Come Out Fighting Ghengis Smith), is compiled by Laurel Canyon Folk singer Johnathan Wilson and features Chris Robinson (The Black Crowes), Gary Louris (The Jayhawks), Johnathan Rice, Eric Johnson (Fruit Bats, The Shins), Benji Hughes and others. At present, the unfinished collection is planned with a 2009 release date. AWARDS: - HQ was awarded Record of the Year in Portugal in 1975. That year Harper also received a similar award in Finland for the same record. Work of Heart was awarded The Sunday Times Album of the Year in 1982. After an influential, individualistic and uncompromising recording career spanning 40 years, Harper was awarded the MOJO Hero Award by the staff of Mojo magazine on 16 June 2005 at the Porchester Hall, Central London. The award itself was presented by long time collaborator and friend, Jimmy Page and now hangs upon the wall at De Barras Folk Club in Clonakilty, Ireland.


A.O.O.F.C said...


p/w aoofc

Anonymous said...

Thanks for the Roy Harper.


A.O.O.F.C said...

Cheers, K! Thanks

zico said...

Roy is a living legend. A truly all time great. And this ia musical history my friends. A gem by all means. Thanks very much aoofc. As always you are surely great. Thanks again and again. Don't miss this one.

ratso said...

Thanks for yet another quality post Mr Fingal. Hope things are well with you.

A.O.O.F.C said...

Big thank you to ratso (I'm fine,thanks!), & zico. Just to mention Roy Harper...Please check out some of his albums. He's a genius. Like Clifford T.Ward RIP, and Al Stewart, Roy is regarded by some as "unfashionable". Beats the hell out of the "fashionable" music like Westlife, Take That, Jedward and all the other "talented" wonders dominating today's dire music scene. Cheers! Support real music. There's a lot of it on this blog

Some Awe said...

You get sidetracked and don't visit this wonderful site for a while but then you return and there is such a breadth of great shares awaiting, but then this too - wow - the great man himself. I've been reading a fair bit about Roy as he celebrates his 70th birthday, and listening to everything, but especially the early material. This is an amazing live recording with Harper at his most mischievious, self-deprecating, witty and rude - and also brilliant in performance! What superb sound quality for 1969. I didn't know about this so am extremely grateful. Thank you Sir Fingal!

A.O.O.F.C said...

Well, thank you, Some Awe! I'm so glad you appreciate the talents of Roy Harper. Many persons consider artists like Roy, Al Stewart, Clifford T.Ward, and so many more. "unfashionable". That's so amusing, considering that artists like Van Gogh, Rory Gallagher, Wagner were also "tarred with the same brush", at various time periods. Listening to Roy Harper, I'm happy to be a "Fred Flintstone". I love the album. I love Roy's dry, sardonic, and witty remarks, and also his constant tuning throughout the album. The music speaks for itself. Thanks for the knighthood! If Bob Geldof got one, then I certainly deserve the title! Thanks a million "Awe Some" (in reverse!). Hopefully, we'll communicate again soon!.....P.