1. This site uses cookies. By continuing to use this site, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. Learn More.

It's here!!!!!

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

  1. spiderdlb

    spiderdlb a choice with no voice

    Wow! That was a very interesting review/reflection on Man and Myth, makes me want to listen to it again right away. I particularly like the sentence above. Do you think it is a more eloquent statement of what I was trying to say on one of the You Tube versions of The Lord's Prayer?
    One day they'll finally get the means to see right through the 'Big Bang' and out the other side, to wherever it all was before it was, and somewhere in amongst whatever it is all about, there'll be some beings/spirits/whateveryoureck
    onthey'dbecalled all sat round a fire listening to this! After the next 'Big Bang', too. Timeless.

    I've lent the Man and Myth CD to a couple of people, one who had never heard anything by Roy Harper and who told me this evening 'I can't stop listening to it', and another who had not heard anything by Roy for many years who said 'I have to say I really liked the album. I love the mad rambling style of it, not bound by song or track length, off he goes. I mean - a whole Greek myth!'
    So I reckon your gift ideas [mentioned in another post] are spot-on!
    With best wishes, Robin.
  2. Barry

    Barry Computer stained fingers

    Great version of a great song, I love Too Many Movies but it disappeared from the live set in the 70's, strange because it was a feature back then with 4 different versions on the BBC discs plus the one on Flashes.
  3. spiderdlb

    spiderdlb a choice with no voice

    I remember Roy says something to the effect of 'that's one too many movies for me to discuss at the moment', I would imagine it is before or after one of the versions of the song you mention (might have been edited out for the CDs), and although I can't remember where from, I've always had the idea that the song was associated with Roy leaving England and hoping to get more established in the USA, which didn't really happen and so the song disappeared. However, I might have simply made it up! Anyway, it might make a comeback with the growth of strong USA connections over the past few years. Then again....
    Very best wishes, Robin.
  4. NoCelebrity

    NoCelebrity Aye lad, I knew you had it in you

    Thanks, Spiderdlb.

    "In his unique musical craft, Roy intersects the emotional and musical qualities of his poetry to create a hyper-dimensional existential experience."

    This is one of my favorite lines in my early review also. I was concerned about "hyper-dimensional existential" being a bit too pretentious... It just seemed to flow after my point that Roy is a master at finding the right musical elements to give his poetry so much more depth of meaning

    Some of my early opinions on the meanings of "Man & Myth" are already changing, but I am growing to love the whole production even more! I am astounded by the balance Roy and others have achieved -- the arrangements are at once simple AND complex. I find myself constantly wondering which ideas Roy insisted on and where the other artists contributed their own brilliance. This shows me how deeply the music has inhabited my soul already!

    Ultimately it is pure Roy! He is the focus and the Auteur of this opus. Everyone involved should be proud of their teamwork, camaraderie, and how it shows through the entire production.

    Now how about some other comments? Tell me what I don't know or haven't considered. Other than Pete Townshend and Jonathon Wilson, I'm ignorant of the other contributors. I'm loving all the strings and Bass/Double Bass arrangements, but haven't had the decades absorbing all of Roy's experiments with different contributors except for four of his early albums.

    I always want to consider opinions that are different or at odds with my own. It helps me to understand better.
  5. NoCelebrity

    NoCelebrity Aye lad, I knew you had it in you

    I did it! That is, I ordered a "bunch" of Man & Myth CDs from Bella Union to give to musical friends and family, and if I have the nerve, a few critics and DJs in the Chicago area. I wonder about the current protocols, etc., and if some of these music industry types would even receive or open a package from a diehard fan. I'm not sure if Bella Union will ship my CDs before the "official" American release.

    I am glad to hear spiderdlb has had positive feedback already from friends about Roy's CD.

    Before I continue as an UNOFFICIAL promoter:D, I need to revise (and shorten) my early review for posting on Bella Union's site, a few local radio stations. I might expand my review for Chicago's two main music critics. I want to be especially careful not to misrepresent Roy in any way. Or conflict with his REAL promoters...

    I am just a fan. Okay, a big, sometimes over-the-top American fan!
  6. spiderdlb

    spiderdlb a choice with no voice

    Well , If only I knew all that you don't! However, I am puzzled and slightly perplexed by the way the piano (which plays such a magnificent part in setting the 'classic' tone of the opening) on The Enemy suddenly disappears, as if someone tripped over the lead or pressed the wrong button on the mixer! Fortunately it does reappear. More seriously, I'm also someone who changes their opinion about music that matters to me. Sometimes I think it is like building up a number of possible interpretations/understandings/impressions that come and go at different times for some reason or other, and of which no one is 'right'.
    One thought to entertain you with: is the 'long grass' of The January Man related to the long grass outside of the mown area on a cricket pitch? I can hear a cricketer in there!
    And another thought. Roy says that Keats was an early inspiration to him to be a poet. Keats' poem Ode on a Grecian Urn contains the words 'Heard melodies are sweet, but those unheard are sweeter': I thought of that after I started to 'hear' other songs whilst listening to Man and Myth, particularly in Heaven is Here. Have a look at the poem, it is an interesting companion to Heaven is Here (I may have started to waffle, if so just ignore it).
    Lastly, after a good few listens to Man and Myth I've gone right back to Sophisticated Beggar and been working my way from there! I'm hearing everything afresh, which is brilliant. I think I need to save up for the Book!
    Best wishes, Spider dlb.
  7. NoCelebrity

    NoCelebrity Aye lad, I knew you had it in you

    Good ear about the piano! Corky Siegel, a local musician with a history as interesting and long as Roy's, teaches the natural rise and fall of different instruments creates interest. A soft note is just as important as a loud one. Listen to Roy's "Heaven Is Here" and the perfectly odd little vocal flourish ending the lyric "Was this the moment in my dream / That I should just have woken."

    Now I have to go check the "long grass/cricketer."

    P.S. I corrected a year and removed a word from my long review. My "gift CDs" arrived today and I am reviewing my review as I consider the local music scene, both friends and strangers! Like I said before, some CDs are going to family and regular friends too. I'm not waiting for Xmas either, in honor of Roy.;):rolleyes:
    spiderdlb likes this.
  8. Alan Jones

    Alan Jones I've got a zappy little nappy

  9. Alan Jones

    Alan Jones I've got a zappy little nappy

  10. Alan Jones

    Alan Jones I've got a zappy little nappy

    Well, you lose some, you win some. No way could I get from Inverness
    to London, Bristol or Manchester to see one of His Royness's gigs last week; but
    I did finally get my copy of "Man and Myth" (the downside of
    supporting your local indie record store is that they are last in the
    food chain when it comes to the distribution networks - oh yes, and I was
    away on holiday the week that it actually arrived, and the man from
    Imperial Records in Inverness was on holiday the week I got back).

    So - first impressions...well, actually, none of these are first
    impressions except for those relating to "Heaven is Here", because
    I'd heard all the other songs on the radio or via Paul's Podcast. But
    it's a first impression of the album as a coherent whole, a coherent
    artistic statement (which is how Roy likes us to consider his stuff,
    bearing in mind his on-record reluctance to make single songs
    available to download).

    OK. Having said that, let me also make clear my biases. Generally, I
    like Roy best when he's "rampaging to a small guitar" as one writer
    described his early acoustic stuff way back when. So my touchstones
    for his albums are "Flat Baroque and Berserk" (which, heretically, I
    think is better than "Stormcock"), "Folkjokeopus", and "Valentine".
    "HQ" was a big disappointment to me (except for "The Game" and "Old
    Cricketer") - I felt he could manage that level of intensity without
    needing a band, and despite the assembled talents, some of it
    actually felt "clunky" ("Hallucinating Light" in particular - since
    the first time I heard him play it it was an acoustic version which
    was absolutely wonderful). Most of "Unknown Soldier" leaves me cold -
    except for the title track and "The Flycatcher". Whether it's
    acoustic or electric, too, the words and the tunes have got to sound
    good (another reviewer - or it may have been the "rampaging to a
    small guitar" one - wrote "Harper writes melodies sturdy as Victorian
    hymn tunes", which captured it for me. But intensity - musical and
    emotional - is his trump card, so I love "Death or Glory".

    And again - having said that - my first impression of "The Enemy" is
    how good the band sound! I'm not yet sold on the imagery he uses in
    the song, though his "sleeve" notes do clarify what the song is
    getting at - and his voice is great.

    "Time is Temporary" - well, lead single, nice acoustic picking, but
    the tune seems a bit weak and the lyrics aren't particularly
    strong...maybe two stars out of five...

    And then the start of "January Man" - tune not really grabbing me,
    his voice trying to get lower than he can comfortably reach...oh
    dear, is this another dud? - but suddenly it transforms, the strings
    come in and he hits the high notes that you can't imagine he could
    reach at this stage/age - yes, this is classic Harper.

    "The Stranger" - well, I love the sound the band produce on this. I
    haven't deciphered the lyrics yet on two hearings, so what I think I
    hear him singing doesn't tally with the lyrics in the CD booklet -
    but they are better than what I thought I heard, so I'm looking
    forward to listen number three.

    From what I'd heard on the radio, "Cloud Cuckoo Land" was my
    favourite song from the album. In some ways I find it akin to "The
    Monster" - in that I think some of his earlier poetry/lyric writing
    was more powerful - but hell, the same targets that were there when
    he wrote "McGoohan's Blues"are still out there (and way worse, and
    worse still, way more powerful) so if the fire and bile get our man's
    creative juices going to write new stuff rather than recycle old stuff
    let's be thankful! And the band playing on the song really matches the
    intensity of the lyrics. Great stuff.

    Now on to the one track I hadn't heard. This was the turning point
    for me. Another long Roy song? "Aye, lad, but I knew you had it in
    you." Well, I didn't, but I think we all hoped he might - and it is
    wonderful. On a par, I'd say, with "Me and My Woman" and "The Lord's
    Prayer". (and yes, I know there's a bit in it that sounds like the
    echoey pre-guitar coda bit of "Same Old Rock" played backwards, but
    if Radiohead and Fleet Foxes can nick/pay tribute to this stuff, then
    Roy can reclaim it. I do appreciate the handy guide to the Greek myth
    he provides here, though, so we can understand the images, rather
    than, as with "Stormcock", having to decipher thew code in the
    artwork. And the fretless bass playing by Tony Franklin is superb -
    and I say that as someone who loves good bass playing but finds
    fretless bass often a bit annoying. And finally. "The Exile" - if it
    is in any way meaningful to separate it off from "Heaven is Here" -
    and again, thanks to Roy for his commentary which helps decipher the
    imagery - what a beautiful song and what superb playing, brilliant
    electric guitar and also bass playing (Jonathan Wilson rather than
    Tony Franklin, I think, because it comes towards the end and doesn't
    sound fretless). "Wow, what a superb climax!" I thought, and when
    the electric bit finished, flipped back to the start - and of course,
    second time around heard the acoustic coda, the lyrics of which aren't
    in the booklet. Hopeless, heartbreaking and beautiful. What a finish.
    On the basis of these two tracks alone, I think that this could be
    come one of my all-time favourite Roy Harper records.
    spiderdlb likes this.

Share This Page