Subject: I have found a CD that I think you would enjoy
Return of the Sophisticated Beggar
Genres: Folk, Pop, Rock
This is where it all began for British folk-rocker Roy Harper: a slim volume of poems and psychedelic ditties set to music, backed by a simple Revox machine, and transformed by instrumental turns that display Harper's d... more »
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This is where it all began for British folk-rocker Roy Harper: a slim volume of poems and psychedelic ditties set to music, backed by a simple Revox machine, and transformed by instrumental turns that display Harper's deft guitar work. "Girlie," "Big Fat Aeroplane," and "Legend," while steeped in traditional folk idioms, hint at Harper's still-developing songwriting style. His caustic wit and passion are evident in the wordplay. "Forever" is as pretty a love song as you are likely to hear, while the mostly instrumental "Blackpool" displays as much acoustic dexterity as the playing of Leo Kottke and John Fahey. The electrified "Committed" takes a darkly humorous look at Harper's 15-week spell in an institution undergoing electro-convulsive therapy treatment after he faked mental illness to get out of the Royal Air Force. Very much a first album with rough edges and no-frills production, The Sophisticated Beggar nonetheless displays the talent and possibilities Harper would soon command. --John Sutton- Smith
Something Very Special
Mr G R Fellows | Woking, UK | 03/19/2000
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Once disliked by Roy himself, this, his first album has some of that raw quality that often becomes blighted by over-production and/or drought of original ideas. One of the 'sung heroes' of the British Folk scene of the 60's and 70's, which co-existed (often uncomfortably) with emerging British Blues boom.If you're looking for that original, straight from the heart, musical integrity, then this is a must.Roy is as colourful as his life has been: he began adult life in the Royal Air Force before using insanity grounds to get out. Between 1959 and 1964 he spent his time in a mental hospital, prison and busking all over Europe, inspiring to be a poet too. He has been a good friend of Jimmy Page, who often did unannounced guest appearances at his concert. Roy inspired the maginificent 4 to perform the 1970 zany track from Led Zeppelin III, Hats Off To Harper (Roy).Stand-out tracks include China Girl, Blackpool and Legend. Other classics include the fantastic lyrics of October the Twelfth, the great guitar work of Forever and the insane Committed, which starts with a 60's recording of Manchester City Football Club in there heyday, and portays his own days of being a mental health patient.If you had only a few albums to keep, stranded on a desert, island, make sure this is one of them."
A fine piece of soft-leather boot music...
Mr G R Fellows | 05/03/2002
(4 out of 5 stars)
"This sort of stuff is not usually my thing, but the delicate guitar playing, enthusiasm of the singing, and the NON-fairy tale lyrics totally won me over. The lyrics of "China Girl" aren't particularly PC, but that's ok, I think. The record is kinda like Nick Drake, but more friendly. And considerably more spunk than the recent Hope Sandoval record too, although the moodiness seems similar. While it's mostly guitars and voice, he changes things up a few times: one song has some organ and drums, one is just "hup hup hup hup hup hup hup hup (etc.)" vocals. (It's short.)Good record."