6-12-12 Roy Harper
Singer / Songwriter Roy Harper born 1941, jazz pianist Chick Corea born 1941; HQ.
It’s Roy Harper’s birthday today! Age 71 today! I first got interested in his work, when I saw he was another name on Harvest Records from England – that I didn’t recognize. Took care of that by finding a US copy of “Flat Baroque and Berserk” about 1971 or so. “Hell’s Angels” is Roy being backed by The Nice – who he no doubt knew, because both artists had records produced by Shel Talmy.
By 1971 – 1972, I was wanting every record on the Harvest label from England. They had a helpful innersleeve that had little B&W photos of their releases, and I definitely hadn’t seen all of them. Roy Harper LP’s were easy to find, in almost every import bin in every L.A. record store that I could get to. “How to find a copy of SHVL 761?” – that took a bit more work.
Due to the quality of his work, Roy got signed to Chrysalis Records for the US, and his “HQ” album got released as “When An Old Cricketer Leaves The Crease” (1975). It’s about this time that I got to meet Roy Harper – and get some of my records autographed. I had almost every Harvest record I could find by that time, and Roy’s “Lifemask” (1973) was a real favorite of mine.
Lots of people know Roy from the song dedicated to him on Led Zeppelin’s third album, “Hats Off To Roy Harper”. Roy also sang “Have A Cigar” for Pink Floyd’s “Wish You Were Here” album – they were friends with him – and label-mates for the longest time.
At some point, I lost track of his releases – and next time I looked, there were about 20 more records than I ever knew existed. Here’s a list of some of his post-Harvest label work, some of which is quite good!
CD WORK OF HEART AWARENESS UK AWCD 1002 1982 6 TRKS
LP WORK OF HEART PUBLIC UK PUBLP 5001 1982 6 TRKS
CD IN BETWEEN EVERY LINE SCIENCE FR UK HUCD 018 1986 7 TRKS Live
LPx2 IN BETWEEN EVERY LINE EMI UK EN 5004 1986 8 TRKS Live
CD DESCENDENTS OF SMITH EMI UK CDP 790139.2 1988 12 TRKS
LP ONCE AWARENESS UK AWL 1018 1990 10 TRKS
CD BURN THE WORLD SCIENCE FR UK HUCD 013 1994 2 TRKS
CD DREAM SOCIETY, THE HARD UP UK HUCD 030 1998 11 TRKS
CD HATS OFF (Collection) RIGHT STUFF US 27640.2 2001 14 TRK Collection
CD BBC TAPES Vol. 2 – IN CONCERT 1974 SCIENCE FR UK HUCD 023 1997 11 TRKS Live, 1974