Roy Harper


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Thread: Roy Harper

  1. #1

    Roy Harper

    Some of Roy's work is like poetry put to music and although I feel he's come up with some duff tracks over the years, I reckon he excelled himself with a couple of albums in particular - Flat Baroque and Berserk and Bullamingvase which are both over forty years old. NOTE: Links are to youtube videos. If not allowed, please preserve titles without links.

    I was first turned on to this guy back in the mid 70s and regret that I never saw him perform live (he only stopped touring about a year back at the age of 80).

    The track at the end of side one on Bullamingvase will resonate with many fellow Brits. It's called Watford Gap and totally slates the the old motorway cafe at that location. Anyone old enough to remember that place will identify with his lyrics about "Watford Gap, Watford Gap, plate of grease and a load of crap" and words about solid concrete burgers and bacteria's revenge. The area was a total car crash, quite literally, because the M1 converged from three lanes into two around there in each direction (less traffic in those days) and was notorious for drivers. It also harkens back to the early years of the motorway system when there was no speed limit - there were stories of racing cars being tested during the night.

    There is a track on Flat Baroque... called "I Hate the White Man", but it's not what it seems at face value. If you listen to it I recommend listening to the few minutes of chitchat before it, because that gives a flavour of what motivated the track. On the same album, "Another Day" is a beautiful love story.

    "One of Those Days in England" is a track that permeates throughout Bullamingvase and is well worth a listen. It's pretty funny in places.

    Roy Harper has lived in Ireland for many years. There were a few bizarre stories about him, including one about kissing a sheep on one of the Scottish Isles and catching anthrax (one of the uninhabited islands was used for testing purposes in WW2).

    If anyone is interested, I'm sure there's plenty more about him and his music on the internet.


  2. #2
    Just listened to How Does It Feel. Great track. You should do a review on him. It isn't all that time consuming
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    And check out Gertie's blog on her favorite top twenty-five albums between 1955-2017 Hidden Content

  3. #3
    Quote Originally Posted by mrmustard615 View Post
    Just listened to How Does It Feel. Great track. You should do a review on him. It isn't all that time consuming
    I thought I just had - well, one of sorts


  4. #4
    No, I mean like an album by album review or even a bit of an essay on why you like him. (yes, my album reviews do take time to be honest). I actually thought Roy Harper was a blues guitarist (he influenced Led Zeppelin) so I was surprised to discover he's actually a folkie. Anyway, I'll read it and maybe a few others will as well.
    Hidden Content Hidden Content Hidden Content Hidden Content

    And check out Gertie's blog on her favorite top twenty-five albums between 1955-2017 Hidden Content

  5. #5
    Quote Originally Posted by mrmustard615 View Post
    No, I mean like an album by album review or even a bit of an essay on why you like him. (yes, my album reviews do take time to be honest). I actually thought Roy Harper was a blues guitarist (he influenced Led Zeppelin) so I was surprised to discover he's actually a folkie. Anyway, I'll read it and maybe a few others will as well.
    Unfortunately, there aren't enough hours in a day right now, but later this year, maybe.


  6. #6
    He did the vocals on Pink Floyd's "Have A Cigar".

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