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Roy Harper - Stormcock CD (album) cover


Roy Harper


Prog Folk

4.02 | 172 ratings

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Mellotron Storm
Prog Reviewer
4 stars While i'm far from being a fan of Folk music I can't deny that this is one of the classics. Released in 1971 this is considered to be Roy's high water mark. Harper certainly had his fans and that included many musicians. LED ZEPPELIN would name a song after him on their "III" album called "Hats Off To (Roy) Harper" while PINK FLOYD would bring him in to sing on "Have A Cigar" from their "Wish You Were Here" record. Kate Bush,THE WHO and many others have pointed to him as an influence. Whenever you see quotation marks (other than around the song titles) i'm quoting from the article on this album in the Classic Rock Presents Prog magazine. "Stormcock" seems like an odd title to an album doesn't it ? Apparently this came from "The Mistle Thrush, whose habit of singing into the teeth of a gale offered Roy Harper what he thought was a suitable analogy for his own career". "He emerged from London's Boho Folk circuit of the 60's as a singer-songwriter of alarming intensity, motored by a terminal mistrust of authority and an inalienable belief in everyone's basic right to individual freedom.While other folkies were protesting the Vietnam War, Harper was railing against deeper society ills... "Shaped by a traumatic early life-a fanatically religious step-mother, homelessness, prison, a spell in a mental institution-his music avoided the easy route too." This album touches on several subjects."There were savage attacks on war, the judicial system, rock critics and religious dogma, among other things, alongside an anguished plea to save the planet".Jimmy Page plays acoustic guitar on one track while David Bedford adds some organ and orchestration.

"Hors D'Oeuvers" is a rant against both the judicial system and rock critics of the day. Mostly acoustic guitars and vocals. We do get some backing vocal melodies before 3 minutes. "The Same Old Rock" is the anti-religion song although Harper says it's not that specific but "a discourse on the constrictive nature of any kind of dogmatic institution you care to name". Jimmy Page plays on this track.This is Harper's personal favourite from this album. "Jimmy is so intuative", he explains "He finds things he can identify with and that's what he did on that song. It was just an atmosphere he created and is one of those things you just remember forever in your life. Jimmy elevated it into something else entirely"."It's an astonishing piece of work all around, both men spinning soundwebs as complex as they are complimentary".

"One Man Rock And Roll" "is both a meditation on the madness of war and the peace movement's propensity for breaking out into full scale riots". "Me And My Woman" has orchestration that comes and goes throughout from David Bedford. Bedford says this is "like an opera"."The themes and basic riff keep recurring". It's a song about Roy's ex wife but also the enviroment.

If your a Folk fan this is a must but even if your not that big a fan of that style you need to check this out.

Mellotron Storm | 4/5 |


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