A lady from Glasgow was visiting London one day and decided to get her hair done whilst she was there. She sits down on the chair and the hairdresser asks her “Comfy?” “Govan”, replies the woman.
Today’s artist is Roy Harper, an English folk artist with a long-storied career and is friends with a lot of rock royalty, but he is usually known for two things: being the singer on Pink Floyd’s Have A Cigar and having a track named after him on Led Zeppelin III. This is a different album review than the other ones I’ve done. All previous albums I was able to listen on YouTube or Spotify, but this album doesn’t have a full upload so it was hodge-podged together by listening to the songs singly (on You Tube) so it felt a little disjointed. On today’s GDLIYWI we’ll be listening to songs from his 1974 live album….. (NSFW album cover below)
The album’s liner notes state the tracks were “recorded at various concerts in England at one time or another”. Two of the songs were recorded on Valentine’s Day at a concert to mark the release of Harper’s 1974 album Valentine. That concert took place at London’s Rainbow Theatre where Harper performed alongside Jimmy Page, John Bonham, David Bedford, Max Middleton, Ronnie Lane and Keith Moon.
The initial printing of the album cover caused a strike among female workers at the EMI factory in Hayes when shop stewards found the picture of a naked man in that week’s new releases. The naked man is Harper himself, wearing a pair of football socks in the colours of his favourite football team, Manchester City F.C..
The songs I heard from this album are an absolute treat. It’s wonderful how just one man and an acoustic guitar can captivate you over 4 sides of music. The live versions of these songs are better than the studio cuts (not that the studio cuts are lacking), the intimacy and vulnerability in Harper’s voice sends chills down my spine and his guitar picking is dazzling. The high notes he hits on Twelve Hours of Sunset are truly remarkable and Another Day is a truly touching number of a couple drifting apart (check out the Peter Gabriel/Kate Bush duet on Youtube). As mentioned above, it’s a little difficult to gauge the album properly due to not having the full stream. However it is well worth your time to track down any Roy Harper you can.
Is it excessive? No, only 2 of the 11 songs are over 10 minutes and they don’t drag at all. Would I listen to it again? I’d like to listen to it for the first time, so I’ll be ordering it as soon as. Would I recommend it? YES, in fact I’d recommend any Roy Harper for you to listen to, he’s a supremely talented artist who deserves more listeners. Is there a drum solo? There aren’t even any drums!
This gets an 8/10, it would probably be higher if I could listen to it in full. Below is the link to Roy’s website and store and as a bonus there a YouTube video of short studio appearance by Roy sometime in 1972. Next time, we’ll be moving onto 1975 double live releases, but until then TTFN.