Roy Harper, Stormcock

Label: Science Friction
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The Independent Culture

Roy Harper could be prickly when crossed – he once sent me a 28-page letter angrily explaining why my review of one of his albums was wide of the mark – but he was the most thoughtful of late-Sixties British troubadours.

Reissued here in smart booklet format, Stormcock is widely regarded as a jewel of the Harper canon, a four-part song cycle featuring his lengthy ruminations on issues such as the lionisation of armed conflict (“One Man Rock AndRoll Band”) and the way organised religion holds humanity hostage to superstition (“The SameOld Rock”).

It’s an ambitious work whose depth is perfectly matched by the fervid swirl of Harper’s multi-tracked 12-string guitar, augmented in places by Jimmy Page's lead guitar and David Bedford’s dramatic string arrangement.

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