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It's here!!!!!

Discussion in 'General' started by JonnieB, Sep 19, 2013.

  1. JonnieB

    JonnieB Computer stained fingers

    Came home from work today to find an unexpected package on my doormat from Rough Trade - Man and Myth. Christmas has come early. About to tuck myself away in a corner with some export strength Guinness and a big "Do Not Disturb" sign on the door...
     
  2. Shane

    Shane Computer stained fingers

    I got a vinyl copy this morning in the shop, I've had one listen so far. Too soon to start using words like "good" or "bad", it's going to take a while (months probably) to process!
     
  3. JonDoe

    JonDoe I've got a zappy little nappy

    Downloaded it lastnight and on my second listening as i write this, really great to finally have some new stuff, to early for picking favorites but im really liking Heaven is here.

    enjoy.
     
  4. Shane

    Shane Computer stained fingers

    Nice to see Andy Irvine's name in the credits for Heaven is Here. I really like that song too, although it's quite dense. Musically it's one of the most intricate/ornate things he's done in a long while. It reminds me a bit of The Lord's Prayer. January Man and The Stranger are the stand out songs for me so far. The strings on January Man are lovely and I'm not generally a fan of string arrangements in this kind of context.
     
  5. philmch

    philmch I've got a zappy little nappy

    Ordered mine from Amazon with the free, instant mp3 download. For me, the standout tracks are: Time Is Temporary, January Man, & The Stranger. In particular, January Man is Roy at his most sensitive. A beautiful song, lovely arrangement, and it should rightfully become a Roy classic. That's my humble 2p worth so far. And it's lovely just to see a new Roy album after all this time too. :)
     
  6. JonDoe

    JonDoe I've got a zappy little nappy

    got to admit January man really is growing on me and fast becoming my most listened to track.

    saying that it changes each time i listen to the album :biggrin:.
     
  7. spiderdlb

    spiderdlb a choice with no voice

    Heaven is here!

    Just listening through for the second time, and it has surpassed whatever expectations I might have thought I had. Thanks, Roy, this is very special indeed.
     
  8. NoCelebrity

    NoCelebrity Aye lad, I knew you had it in you

    I'm a little slow!

    Well, I just ordered mine from THE SHOP along with some genuine RH merchandise. Haven't listed to more than the sample of TIME IS TEMPORARY (can't use those initials?) yet, but I think it's all brilliant.

    I'm excited to hear all the other musicians' contributions to M&M. But Roy's voice, words, and musical creativity are my biggest curiosity.

    Glad to hear Roy has more musical ideas already fermenting. I hope he doesn't hold back! Maybe he'll write the ultimate song telling friend US where we're going wrong (especially our hypocrisies) with his usual mix of LOVE and CYNICISM! Maybe I should try to write that song too!

    The shop looks nice and is running very smoothly!

    I actually pre-ordered Nick Harper's "Riven." Very interesting but complex. It will take me a long time to digest.
     
  9. JonnieB

    JonnieB Computer stained fingers

    I'm thoroughly enjoying getting into this album - can't remember the last time I made the effort to sit down and listen to something properly without distraction. No particular favourite yet but I do keep catching myself singing The Enemy.

    A word on the artwork, I wasn’t keen on the cover when I first saw the Harper/goat picture, but seeing it in context with the rest of the package makes it probably my favourite Harper packaging, does anyone else find some of the images a bit unsettling?!

    Also got the LP recently, first chance to pore over some new Roy vinyl since “Once” which I’m horrified to realise was 23 years ago. It’s a real treat, Side 4 is etched with the last chorus of “January Man” in Roy’s handwriting complete with chords.
     
  10. Shane

    Shane Computer stained fingers

    Some of the photography is a bit cheesy (the front cover, the funny eyes one). The vinyl sleeve is nice enough, but personally I'd be as happy with it if it was wrapped in old newspaper as long as the music is good. That's growing on me a lot. I wasn't mad about some of the arrangements initially but I'm getting over that. The longer it takes me to grow to like an album the longer my interest in it lasts, so this not liking bits of it at the start is a positive sign for me...
     
  11. spiderdlb

    spiderdlb a choice with no voice

    Too many Movies:
    How does this do for a starter?

    Very best wishes, Spider dlb.
     
  12. NoCelebrity

    NoCelebrity Aye lad, I knew you had it in you

    Even though I have the updated version of Adobe, and I unblocked extensions and pop-ups for this, I cannot always view YouTube videos, etc, through second party sites. Which of Roy's songs/videos did you link here?

    Thanks for your thoughtfulness spiderdlb! I was being somewhat rhetorical, since I wanted to encourage Roy (and anyone else) to write more such songs. Even if I don't always agree with the sentiment, we must protect freedom of expression and especially discontent with the status quo! I've got the complete "official" collection of Roy's recordings and his "Book," so if you want to create a dialogue...

    Best back at you!
     
  13. spiderdlb

    spiderdlb a choice with no voice

    Good to hear from you. It was a link to a recording of Too Many Movies, which I thought at the time must be an attempt to get some interest in his music from people in the US (I've got half a memory that there was some talk at that time that Roy had stated he was leaving England). I'm sure you must have it in your collection (it is from the BBC tapes volume 3), either on that, or on the original Flashes from the Archives of Oblivion (pre 1989 reissue), or on the reissue of Valentine (post 1989) - yes, I've been looking on Wikipedia! The address for the YouTube video is: youtube.com /watch?v=J99eCi6XcIw
    [I've missed off the www. and put a space that shouldn't be there between youtube.com and the rest of the address hoping that it won't automatically embed the link and you can copy it and use it directly....hope that makes sense!)
    I'd love a dialogue about Roy's recordings (missed out on buying the book for £25 when I saw him in Norwich a good few years ago, I only had enough money for a CD!) so I'll start by saying that in the current Roy Harper podcast it mentions that someone described Man and Myth as being like a mix of Bullinamingvase and Green Man (or something along those lines - memory not always accurate!) and I've a feeling that there is something from a lot more of Roy's previous albums here and there throughout - particularly echoes of Old Cricketer, Forget me not, South Africa, Forever, Same Old Rock, Dream Society, These Fifty Years, and even Work of Heart. For me these give a real extra dimension. Of course, it is inevitable that there will be characteristics of songs which belong to the person's style rather than are specific references, but particularly in the case of Heaven is Here/The Exile I think of it a journey through music (not necessarily in chronological order!) as much as a mythical/personal one.
    One reason that I didn't contribute much to this forum previously was because I think I probably talk a load of rubbish much of the time, and am probably best left alone with my own understanding of things; but I've been so enthused with the releases of Riven and Man and Myth that I'm being reckless!! I hope this is of some interest, but if not, please ignore!
    With best wishes,
    Robin.
     
  14. pd

    pd Slightly Desperate Staff Member

    I can think of one or two people that talk a lot more rubbish than spiderdlb o_O
     
  15. NoCelebrity

    NoCelebrity Aye lad, I knew you had it in you

    Yes, but I thought I got that out of my system almost two years ago, and am much better now!

    Spiderdlb,
    My download of LOONY (all I could get) does not have TMMovies, which Roy explains in his book, "I never recorded a good version of this song... If this record ever sees the light of day again during my lifetime, it'll be without this track." The lyrics & comments are under Loony/Commercial Breaks. I found four version of TMMovies on BBC Tapes (II, III, and IV), two with John Peel on III.

    Roy calls it a pointed dig. America is the obvious target, but all of us -- "WE'VE been watching too many movies" -- should hear the criticism. What I get on first impressions is complicated. Simply -- Movies (especially Hollywood) loves to wrap things up neatly before the end, but life usually isn't that way. "Laid right back, cut 'n' dried."

    Still, I wan't to be inspired to make things better, and Hollywood produced lots of movies in the seventies that didn't do this. Before my MGM internship in 1980, the talk was whether Hollywood was becoming obsolete thanks to TV, VHS/Beta, and changing values. Now throw in video/computer gaming.

    Anyway, I always appreciate Roy's critical points of view, even when I don't agree with him, so I think his is a genius that will stand the test of time. Thanks for making me listen to this song again, and now my long-time fav "The Game" is ending, so thanks doubly.
    I ordered merch and a "scratchless" newer version of "Valentine" (my oldest Roy possession, with HQ) along with the new CD, so I'm curious to hear if TMMovies is there.
    Paul seems to quote some of the reviews at Amazon or Bella Union. What I love is they're all four-star, but opinions on what it reminds people of is quite varied.
    Now I discover, there seems to be a limit on posting length, so cheers to you, Robin!
     
  16. pd

    pd Slightly Desperate Staff Member

    That was unintentional - I've raised it a fair bit ;)
     
  17. NoCelebrity

    NoCelebrity Aye lad, I knew you had it in you

    I was able to increase my word count by eliminating some of the paragraph spaces, but I'll try to keep most of them shorter. :rolleyes:

    I think my longest post was about "The Game" when a few of us tried to have a "Song Of The Month" Forum.
     
  18. NoCelebrity

    NoCelebrity Aye lad, I knew you had it in you

    Now the photo's in the middle! Even Better!

    Does Roy or Nick have an official logo?

    I've always loved the Stormcock concept. Are there some good photos to study besides the "mistlethrush" and the mini-icon in the web address?" Is there some activity or other association with Roy? Perhaps the bird with a megaphone and a strait-jacket or a gag over its beak in the eye of a hurricane? Playing a guitar, singing into a mike, writing poetry with a quill pen, wrestling a jabberwocky... C'mon, somebody, EVERYBODY, I'm sure there's more free association than I can come up with. Or modify one of my suggestions. This can be a community effort -- these ideas of mine are free for others to use to promote Roy and Nick, even if I end up using them.

    Perhaps Roy staring into a mirror with some religious icon (or GOD!) staring back at him, pointing at Roy or winking as if Roy got the real message of LOVE the Popes and Ayatollahs missed (okay, that's probably stretching things a bit!). I think this idea is also highly derivative.

    I've always wanted a lapel pin and/or decal/bumper sticker/art to start a conversation about or an introduction to Roy. I finally ordered some merch from the Shop with the new CD for that reason. Perhaps the art you seek can be used in more ways to promote Roy's music.

    In the meantime, perhaps a display of his best loved album covers across the top.

    I know Roy has always avoided crass commercialism, and that's why his true fans are so loyal, but sometimes we're frustrated he isn't better recognized except by association with his famous fans.

    (Paul, I pasted above in the new thread about site suggestions, after I found it)

    So back to the original thread, I can't wait until my copy of "Man & Myth" arrives!
     
    Last edited: Oct 3, 2013
  19. spiderdlb

    spiderdlb a choice with no voice

    Dear NoCelebrity, while you're waiting for your copy of Man and Myth, I'll contravene all thread discipline and let you know that your mention of The Game reminded me that I once wrote 'Please leave this world as clean as when you came' on the wall of the showers in one of the colleges at Kent University (Canterbury), and my sense of humour has not improved since, although my anti-social behaviour has reduced! Roy played there in the later 1970's (the college, not the showers!), at the time when he had a huge Cross of St George flag behind the stage. The highlight of that evening for me was a transcendental performance of Hallucinating Light, with, I think, Henry McCullough.
    There, that's a few more moments knocked off your Man and Myth waiting time. I wonder if it is experiencing 12 hours of sunset as it travels your way?
    Best wishes, Robin.
     
  20. NoCelebrity

    NoCelebrity Aye lad, I knew you had it in you

    Wow! Wow! Wow & even more Wow!

    It’s always a cliché, but words fail to express the magnificent achievement of Roy Harper’s latest Opus, “Man & Myth” available from Bella Union. I sampled “Time Is Temporary” and read the early reviews from purchasers online. Solid Five-Star ratings are no surprise from Roy’s loyal fans, so I was hopeful, but I didn’t expect such a complete masterpiece.

    “Man & Myth” is everything Roy Harper has ever been to his many loving, loyal and patient fans. In his unique musical craft, Roy intersects the emotional and musical qualities of his poetry to create a hyper-dimensional existential experience. Roy shares this experience with you, hoping to create a tiny moment of Heaven on Earth for all humanity.

    I was a week late ordering the CD. I really discovered Roy in College around 1978, though I’d been peripherally aware of him since New Year’s Day 1976. Thanks to ignorant American radio stations, Roy seemed to fall entirely out of existence in the States until I found him again online in 2008, with a vast and mostly unknown to me catalogue of songs, many epic in length. I have since acquired the complete collection of official releases, and his Book.

    I read the notes and lyrics for “The Enemy” as I loaded “Man & Myth” into iTunes. The words and comments suggested a lighthearted apology for some of the ultra-liberated Roy Harper’s unabashed romantic chauvinism. Then the music came on, and it suggested so many other possible interpretations, including Roy’s classic targets -- Religion and Government.

    My first “Wow!” Roy’s instinct for transforming his Poetry with Music has only expanded. If the whole Album is like this, I’ll be satisfied. I start to check the extensive list of contributing artists, become distracted by other tasks, but keep the music going as I mull over lyrics.

    Roy strips down to the essentials with “Time Is Temporary,” perhaps why it was chosen for the free sample. It is Roy and his guitar, soft accompaniment and a suggestion of possibilities.

    “January Man” and “The Stranger” are romantic reflections, continuing Roy’s long line of Love Songs. The first three songs are relatively simple arrangements, but progressive. “The Stranger” begins the trend towards more complex and appropriately more mature arrangement -- it is in part about growing older and changing who we are over time.

    It took my third time through the album to appreciate “Cloud Cuckooland.” It may be an obvious attempt, but now I absolutely love it. It speaks to me of the sneaky and dishonest ways of the hi-tech business model, our loss of privacy and the theft of our individualism. Pete Townshend of The Who finally adds his name to the long list of Roy’s famous contributors with apt guitar leads and rhythm. It is the closest thing to a single on the album, and its refrain “We are condemned.../ To make the same mistakes.../ Over and over again...” applies perfectly to the current budget crises in Washington, D.C. “Wow!” again. Talk about timing.

    “Heaven is Here” is epic, quintessential Roy, and the early favorite amongst his longtime fans. Roy plays at the ancient Myth of Orpheus and his journey with the Argonauts and tragic love of Eurydice. I read the notes, the lyrics, and cried beautiful tears. Is Roy identifying with Orpheus, known for his magnificent voice? His Heroic contest with the Sirens? Or the tragedy of Love Lost?

    “The Exile” is Roy’s identification with all who would speak for justice, freedom, equality, and suffer the consequences of questioning the powers that be. It tells the story of Orpheus’ last days, but again Roy transforms the words. In his version of life, Roy has learned to embrace his own identity -- The Stormcock shouting at injustice against all odds. He has his supporters, but many more are afraid to embrace his defiance of authority.

    I am hard-pressed to pick an earlier album of Roy’s to top this one, but why should I bother? They are all so special. It is safe to say this is the best possible presentation of Roy’s work, the best produced album, and the best contributed work. Roy will never be completely satisfied, and that is why he deserves to be immensely proud of this effort.

    Early indications are Roy looks forward to more. If the world gets his message that “Heaven is Here” and now, on Earth, there will be more for all of us! Another album would be nice too!
     
    Last edited: Oct 29, 2013
    spiderdlb likes this.

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