Search - Roy Harper :: Lifemask

Roy Harper
Genres: Folk, Pop, Rock, Classic Rock
  •  Track Listings (6) - Disc #1

11 Track Album Originally Released in 1973. Features Guest Musician Jimmy Page.


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CD Details

All Artists: Roy Harper
Title: Lifemask
Members Wishing: 3
Total Copies: 0
Label: Science Friction
Release Date: 9/9/2002
Genres: Folk, Pop, Rock, Classic Rock
Styles: Contemporary Folk, Singer-Songwriters, Blues Rock, Folk Rock, Album-Oriented Rock (AOR)
Number of Discs: 1
SwapaCD Credits: 1
UPC: 679076770058


Album Details
11 Track Album Originally Released in 1973. Features Guest Musician Jimmy Page.

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CD Reviews

Harper's best -a true gem!!!!
tony browne | ENGLAND | 09/27/2004
(5 out of 5 stars)

"Hello to you uot there in U.S.A. land, thought i'd tell you about a maste-work you'd otherwise miss!!Roy Harper was/still is ,the quintessential English singer/songwtiter,sadly maligned & misunderstood ,simply because he wouldn't play record company "games" to further his musical career!(Besides which, he once took an awful lot of chemicals-sorry, Roy!)Needless to say ,the Rock cogniscenti, snobs that they are, tended to ignore a lot of his astounding music/songs.However, by the mid 70's, Harper was actually threatening to make it BIG(pAUL mCCARTNEY, Dave Gilmour, Kate Bush Jimmie Page e.t.c. ALL dug his songs & music!!Ipresonally believe i've never yet heard better,more truly astonishing acoustic guitar playing than Mr.Harper performed on his first albums-many might agree!With his 'freak-flag' flying high, rOY Harper wrote some of the most socially-aware & clever lyrics that anyone ever wrote in the late 60's/early 70's!!!!His voice rang gloriously out onto all his early albums "Come out Fighting", "Folkjokeopus", "Sophisticated Beggar"-all these are transient /timeless masterpieces ,and some of the best & cleverest lyric writing you'll ever hear!Marvellous albums!And so we come to "LIFEMASK"....quite simply Mr. Harper rode the storm of true genius here..this is quite possibly his finest work (and THAT'S saying something) "Highway Blues" the opener, is such a tour-de-force acoustic epic, today it still sends shivers up my spine-what a song!......"All I reland"(where he now resides) was and is prophetic to an uncanny degree, of the Irish troubles (& SOLUTION)..."bANK OF THE dEAD" IS MY FAVOURITE CUT-just listen to the studio echo & reverb here, and what a fine acoustic guitar(thanx Jimmie Page), a song he never performed live ,what a shame!Then onto the Harper classic-"South Africa", no-one could hear this most beautiful of songs, and not be moved..Roy,we love you!!!Finally ,& what makes this album so special , is the ULTRA- long The Lord's Prayer"(alternative version!!!)Story goes Harper thought he'd not long to live, this being possibly his final lyrics-well,let me tell you,he went for GOLD..what a lyrical labyrinth song of epic propoprtions, i've never heard anything to touch this masterpiece, and that includes Al Stewart, Bert Jansch John Martyn & everyone inbetween!!Even now 34 or so years on, theis epic song has me spellbound!!!!This is an album to truly treasure.Thanks, Roy!!---Now it's on c.d.--GET!!!!!"
Not an Album for the Lazy Listener
Jem Shaw | Stafford, Staffordshire United Kingdom | 04/02/2006
(5 out of 5 stars)

"One problem with these reviews is that they're pretty much always written by fans of the music in question. This one's not markedly different - I'm a dyed-in-the-wool Harper enthusiast - but I'll try to be balanced about this album.

Roy Harper has always been uncompromising. His concerts are edgy, often uncomfortable insights into the character of an artist who's never learned to trust his own talent. His songs vary from delicately structured love songs to bruising, anarchic screaming about lobotomies; sometimes they decay into herbally-induced giggling.

I'm not selling this am I?

Lifemask came at a time in Harper's career when he'd been diagnosed as the victim of a rare and terminal lung condition (Thankfully the prognosis proved incorrect and Roy's still firmly with us). As a result this is a strangely introspective album, less accessible than Stormcock, its better-known predecessor. Side one includes tracks written for the film "Made", in which Harper played a rock star. It's a mixed bag, starting with the biting piledriver "Highway Blues" and progressing to the startlingly lyrical "South Africa".

But this is just a curtain-raiser for "The Lord's Prayer", an astonishing magnum opus that manages to encompass the entire human condition in its 25 minute journey. On the way we're treated to some of Harper's most spine-tingling soaring vocals, backed by inspired lead guitar from Jimmy Page. The lyrics are an exceptionally brave approach to the description of Mankind and its uniqueness. For at least 10 minutes, every line begins with "Who" or "Whose": "Whose style is diguise/whose dream is innate/whose woman is soothing/Whose poets know/Whose music is barbarian".

This is not an album to be approached casually. It's not for everyone because it expects you to suspend disbelief and to be ready to work to get to where it leads. But put in the effort and you're rewarded with a work that will never grow stale. I bought it on vinyl more than 30 years ago and it remains a favourite in CD form. In its way, Lifemask equals the heights achieved by Blonde on Blonde or Harper's own Stormcock.

In Roy's own words, "Don't be scared of it, it's just a movie"."
Eccentric? Genius? Both? All? Everything?
Noel A. Hodda | Sydney, Australia | 09/01/2008
(5 out of 5 stars)

"How do you describe Roy Harper to the uninitiated? This album and HQ are probably the best places to start: put them on and let them explain themselves. Roy Harper can go from stoner-whimsy to free-form poetry that reaches to the depths of humanity - sometimes in the one song! This album opens with classic Harper - Highway Blues, an acoustic guitar driven riff that builds into a great piece of rock, with a snakey electric guitar sliding around it and some synth stabs for depth. Then comes the sombre All Ireland, a song of its time, but the sentiments of which can still be applied to places of violence, religious or secular. Little Lady is a lament for a lost love of long ago, sung in Mr. Harper's best plaintive voice. Bank Of The Dead adds Jimmy Page to the mix in a song where Mr. Harper roils at the modern world 'Trying to teach us/How to be good/With civilisation/By population/With moral castration'. The beautiful acoustic South Africa follows, leading us inexorably to the main dish at this feast: The Lord's Prayer, which took up all of side 2 of the original vinyl long-player. This great, rambling song-poem rides on a bed of sound grabs and studio tweaking as it rises and falls from spoken word to song; from folk-tinged musings to full on rock statement; from questioning to answering, until it ends with a choir of overlaid voices, a little stab of electric guitar and then a short repeated unresolved acoustic motif that leaves it hanging, a story yet to be finished. This album is worth having for The Lord's Prayer alone and is typical Harper: imaginative, eclectic, challenging, exciting. Great stuff."