Discussion in 'Words and Music' started by HarperPR, Feb 28, 2008.
Have we talked about this yet? Would someone au fait with it like to start?
No idea what you're on about...
Glory please? Not such a hard question i wouldn't have thought.
Roy Harper album.
D & G
This is one of the few albums of Roy's that I have never heard. I've heard about it as being a bit stridently painful because of his life situation at that time. Has Paul done any of it on his Pods?
This album was discussed a little in podcast 4 (D for Death or Glory in the A-Z).
I remember the period that the album was made very well. Roy's marriage to Jacqui was breaking up and he chose to write this album around the hugely strong emotions that came out of it. It's a very powerful album but it isn't always easy to listen to. Roy made a "version 2" of it a couple of years later than removed a couple of the more tricky angst-ridden poems and included the throwaway, and not terribly popular "Methane Zone" track from a single that came out at the same time. This presumably dilutes the intensity of the album but I have to confess I don't have a copy of the new version, only the original.
I have a view that sometimes an artists best work comes out when they have an "edgy" period of their life or are going through personal trauma. I feel that Peter Hammill had the same thing with his album "Over". One role of an artist is to interpret all aspects of the human condition and convey concepts and ideas about that, to make us think and feel. "Death or Glory" achieves this superbly.
It also has tracks not related to the breakup of course, in particular "The War Came Home Tonight" (a nice commentary on the TV/satellite fascination with war, particularly in Iraq) and "Miles Remains", a gorgeous eulogy for Miles Davis. But the main impact of the album is on the "relationship" tracks and I think it is helpful for people that have trauma in their personal lives to listen to this stuff.
Zounds like it could get one seriously depressed which is the last thing I need a ce moment! Synergistically speaking of course! Reciprocally I'm sure I could cope with it when in a strong frame of mind.. give me time...
andi who remains unrequited still... :cuss:
Miles Remains and Evening Star are two of the ones I adore on DOG.
I was chatting about it to the guy who was the engineer on it on Sunday (well, about 3am Monday to be precise, that's why I couldn't remember much!), so that's why I've had it in my head.
These are my favourites too, both are beautiful songs.
Yes it can be almost harrowing at times but its one of my favourite albums of Roys.
Not one I listen to a lot, but I also love Miles Remains and Evening Star, also On Summer Day is a very thought provoking track.
After Paul's feature on this in the podcast, i ordered it from Clonakilty on the strength of the tracks he played - it was by far and away the best "new" RH stuff I'd heard in years. Last "New" RH before that which I'd listened to was "Descendants of Smith" which was a real disappointment and made me file Roy mentally under "don't bother". but DOG is excellent. In my view, not quite in the league of his best work (Stormcock, Flat Baroque, Folkjokeopus) but on a par with Lifemask, Valentine, or HQ. It's got everything you could want from a harper album - anger and beauty and bangin' tunes (as my son would say). I think the tunes ARE important - the melodies are really strong on most of the songs. I really like the long almost-instrumental "Miles reamins"; "One more tomorrow" is, i guess, one of the songs that people might find too painful to listen to but I think that there's something special about its directness and lack of poetic imagery which makes you really feel for Roy. I haven't heard the version with the poetry (although it's been recommended to me) but I prefer Roy's singing to his recitation, so I've probably got the right version of the album. I don't even mind "Methane Zone" - probably because it's a bluesy joke and I love blues (though my wife would probably say it's because it's about farting which she thinks is a subject of undying fascination to me). But the real gem I think, is "On Summer Day" which is so beautiful and hopeful - one of those songs which, having heard it once, I can't get out of my head. If anyone out there hasn't heard this album, you're missing a treat!
I have 3 versions of this album (and a spare original somewhere at home). I do prefer the original version though and don't care much for the remixed drums on the latter versions (were they really so bad to begin with?).
Favourite tracks would have to be '4th World', 'Waiting for Godot', 'Miles Remains', 'Next to me', quite a few actually, but I do like this album and seeing Harper play at this time was a 'highly charged' event. Nick played frequently too. I have some very clear memories of this period, amazing moments, amazing gigs.
Alan Jones? Are you the Alan Jones, writer, of Get Ready To Rock by any chance?
Death or Glory? Review
I wrote a review for Hors d'Oeuvres at the time it came out:
'Miles Remains' is still a favourite of mine; 'Summer Day' recalls those dark days of Roy's despair.
During that eight-year period from '92 to 2000 – during which we got to know Roy at the Brighton gigs – he sank to a terrible low at the start (at the time of 'Death or Glory') but with Nick's support, the lung op' and then the love of the incomparably wonderful Tracy, by the time we put on our last gig together in Lewes his life had turned right round and it was a joy to see.
Ah, I thought I reviewed it for the HOH:
Disclaimer: I've only heard the new version, my bad!
I go back and forth between this and Stormcock for my fave Roy album...
So should i get a copy of this? I eventually got baroque and i'm enjoying it.
I don't like Baroque! Only one really I am not keen on. I think you should get Archives From The Flashes of Oblivion because it's a good taster - and it includes a nice picture of Nick and Edward the cat - ahhhh! - and HQ.
Flat Baroque and Berserk is up there in the top 5 RH albums for me! It just goes to show how everyone is different when it comes to music.
If you're still discovering RH, I wouldn't go for Death or Glory just yet. Flashes is a very good recommendation for live Roy from his "classic" 70s era. If you want a different more modern take on the live stuff, with plenty of guitar from Nick too, try "Unhinged".
Is that the bootleg version?
Heehee! That was two gaffes yesterday!
i take it the original version is the one with the nudie picture on the front and the latest is the one with the flower? i have the one with the skull and crossbones. the notes say he planned to rerecord the drums on the fourth world - did he?
its one of my favorite RH albums although its quite patchy - i really dislike the methane zone and cardboard city, not mad about Next to Me either and one or two others. i like the ragged sound quality too, not too polished. favorites would be Waiting for Godot, Miles Remains, Tallest Tree, The Fourth World, On Summer day. RH albums have become very scarce since this one!
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