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Roy Harper Vinyl, CD & tapes by Roy Harper at Norman Records

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Roy Harper
Sophisticated Beggar

Sophisticated Beggar was the first album by Manchester-born folk-rock singer/songwriter, Roy Harper. It was originally released in 1966 and features folk legends Bert Jansch and John Renbourn and Strawbs guitarist, Paul Brett. Harper’s 50+ year career so far consists of 32 albums, so here’s your perfect starting point. LP on Science Friction.

Roy Harper
Folkjokeopus

Here’s a chance for the uninitiated to get into some poetic and jazz-flecked folk rock. Roy Harper is reissuing a few of his albums via his own Science Friction label. Folkjokeopus was originally released in 1969. It was produced by Shel Talmy (The Kinks, The Who) and featured pianist Nicky Hopkins (The Rolling Stones) and drummer Clem Cattini (Cliff Richard, Lou Reed). Harper has influenced the likes of Jethro Tull, Kate Bush, Pink Floyd and more recently, Joanna Newsom and Jonathan Wilson.

Roy Harper
Stormcock

Roy Harper (via his Science Friction label) is doing us all a valuable favour by getting a few classic early Harper records back into vinyl circulation again for the first time in decades, to celebrate Harper’s 75th birthday. Stormcock is a wonderful album with some particularly epic long tracks. The audio has been remastered, and is presented alongside lyrics and liner notes.

Roy Harper
Come Out Fighting Ghengis Smith

Harper’s Shel Talmy-produced second album, from 1968, is a psychedelic folk record that’s undeniably of its time, but also forward-looking, richly flavoured with idiosyncrasies and driven by free-flowing musical ambition. All this is evident on the meandering, raga-esque melody of Freak Street, the brooding, fourth-wall-breaking title track and the extended, episodic memoir of Circle. 180g reissue in deluxe gatefold with new artwork and notes.

Roy Harper
HQ

This 1975 album is one of Harper’s best loved, not least because it closes with the devastating When an Old Cricketer Leaves the Crease. Featuring a colliery band behind a lyric using the titular sport as a metaphor for mortality and nostalgia, it became an epitaph for John Peel. Other highlights include Hallucinating Light and the 13-minute The Game (parts 1-5), and David Gilmour, Bill Bruford and John Paul Jones make appearances. Long overdue reissue on 180g vinyl with updated artwork and new sleevenotes.

Roy Harper
Bullinamingvase

Harper’s 1977 follow-up to HQ is another strong set. It’s dominated and bookended by the lengthy One Of Those Days In England, a lyrically complex epic that mixes historical allusion with personal reminiscences. Another highlight is the jaunty skiffle-like live favourite Watford Gap, which critiques the quality of cuisine available from roadside services. 180g gatefold reissue with new liner notes.

Roy Harper
Flat Baroque and BerserkĀ 

Roy Harper (via his Science Friction label) is doing us all a valuable favour by getting a few classic early Harper records back into vinyl circulation again for the first time in decades, to celebrate Harper’s 75th birthday. Flat Baroque and Berserk was his most successful album to date when released in 1970, and contains the heavy track ‘I Hate The White Man’. The audio has been remastered, and is presented alongside lyrics and liner notes.

Roy Harper
Lifemask

Roy Harper (via his Science Friction label) is doing us all a valuable favour by getting a few classic early Harper records back into vinyl circulation again for the first time in decades, to celebrate Harper’s 75th birthday. 1973’s Lifemask was recorded during a heavy illness, and contains the full-side treatise on mortality ‘The Lord’s Prayer’. The audio has been remastered, and is presented alongside lyrics and liner notes.