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Stormcock re issue

Discussion in 'General' started by Barry, Oct 21, 2007.

  1. Barry

    Barry Computer stained fingers

    Available now according to Roy's site, can't wait to hear this, I pre-ordered so should get mine this week.
  2. jimysalad

    jimysalad I've got a zappy little nappy


    this record this cassette this 8-track this this
    this... masterpiece has always been my

    my faV...



    I hope the old fool has not destroyed perfection!

    but we have pictures
  3. jimysalad

    jimysalad I've got a zappy little nappy

    Same old Rock

    Order me up...
    same old rock

    Best song

    me & my woman

    Best song...

    beats ,,,
    cowgirll in the sand
    or cowgirl on my mattress
  4. Reverbeffect

    Reverbeffect I've got a zappy little nappy

    Funny how people can be so precious...

    Funny how people can be so precious about Roy's intellectual property! Like most of us I awaited the delivery of Stormcock with a heightened sense of expectation. Of all the albums I own or have ever owned, Stormcock represents the most powerful artistically, lyrically and from a production perspective.

    It isn't surprising that some of us were concerned that the album might lose some of its immediacy or potency going through the re-engineering process but I for one trust Roy's judgement on this matter implicitly so rather than fearing that his advanced years would have altered his creative perception and made the sound more bland or less percussive, I looked forward to listening anew to what the man himself believes the album should sound like.

    My copy of the new release arrived on Saturday morning. It was a little like Xmas or a birthday but all the more poignant because there were other priorities to attend to with she who does not share my enthusiasm! This meant that Stormcock lay unopened in its plastic wrapper for another eleven hours radiating anticipation like a coffee cup on the french polished dining table and yes, I did almost expect to see a square mark where it lay in its shrinkwrap!

    From a graphic design p.o.v. the packaging is a treat and I have only one reservation, that with the fading eyesight of age, I struggled to read the tiny print and had to find my extra strong reading glasses to be able to decipher the glyphs on the pages. After fulfilling my domestic duties and manufacturing a sensational vegetarian lasagne, I kept slipping into the quiet solitude of my study to read the packaging some more but with my son here from Canada for a fleeting visit and my mother-in-law here too to dine with us, I still didn't have the opportunity to play the Stormcock re-issue!!!

    After dinner and coffee and social chit chat, ma-inlaw left to drive home, son decamped to watch mMatch of the Day (not accessible in Toronto) and wifey got on the pc for some instantchitchat whilst I loaded the dishwasher and cleaned up the ketchen chaos of my own making. All the time I was thinking about playing Stormcock, alooking forward to the moment when I would hear it again afresh. Chores complete, we were mustered to sit down for a game of Rummy and by this time I was almost at bursting point.

    I normally lose at Rummy, basically because I'm not very competitive with card games and simply don't care about winning, just liking the experiance of interacting and engaging in some gentle and infectious banter. My partner and son are both very competitive and hate to lose. On this occasion, I played like a demon possessed. I won every round and maxed out the scoresheet in the shortest possible time, five hands played and 505 points. The first to five hundred wins in our game.

    "Lets have some coffee", says she who cant be refused and "make it that special way with the real coffee", says he who recently emigrated, so I made a litre of pure Columbian Arabica which did little to soften the angst and merely increased my level of anticipation yet further. We talked some more about the plans for next year and she who doesn't think that humans should fly in aeroplanes because the whole process is more imponderable to her than the impossibility of bee flight, discussed at some length the best way for her, as a flight phobia sufferer to get to Canada by land!

    By this time I was noticably fidgetting like a child who needs to visit the bathroom. The extra strong caffeine in my system had put me in a sweat and I could feel the blood rushing through my veins. I cleared up coffee cups and after emptying the dishwasher, I stacked them and some remaining pans from the earlier meal into the dishwasher, loaded the soap dispenser and water softener and put away the first load of clean things.

    By this time, I was visibly shaking and realised that I needed to relax and chill out. After a continued conversation about the relative merits of travelling plane or via a sleigh pulled by huskies and getting across to Nova Scotia and Newfoundland via kayak and and than a series of DRL and Greyhound coaches crossing Atlantic coast to Ontario, it was eventually agreed that flying was not only substantially less taxing on the human body but a damn site quicker. Since I was mentally by this time cruising at 30,000 feet I indulged in smoking a cigarette, quickly followed by another until my son decided that he was tired and wanted to get an early night at 11pm!

    My partner and I chatted some more and I eventually managed to load Stormcock re-issue into the stereo system at about 11:25pm. Armed with the remote controller I settled down in a very comfortable chair with my headphones on ready to hear the judge sitting once again on his great assize! Zilch, nada, nothing, not a beep or a twang just a big fat zero. I checked the power from the mains - OK. I checked the CD was inserted the right way around - OK. I checked that the stereo system was set to CD and not USB or Phono or even Aux - OK it definitely said CD. I checked that the volume level was set at an appropriate value - OK. Still nothing no play no way.

    The remote control is a necessary device in the age of the ultra miniature besides which the little 3" by 1" lozenge probably saves a fortune in manufacturing costs from not having external controls on the stereo system itself and I can remember saying to she who has difficulty operating the Video Tape Recorder that a hands free control would be dead easy! Well more dead than easy for sure.

    I started to search for some AA batteries. When you don't need them, they're everywhere. They almost fall on top of you, you trip over them but when you really need them, there aren't any. I racked my brain to remember when we last bought AA's and what they were for. Oh yes indeedy! The wifes eclectic toothbrush! So up to the bathgroom goes I minus the headphones but eldest son is in there with door locked and a curious gargling sound erupting. I asked him how long he would be. He replied that he wouldn't be more than a few minutes. I thought, I can do that! I can!

    Six point seven three four minutes later, son emerges from said bathroom and I locate the wife's orthdontic appliance and remove the said batteries. Trophies in hand back down the stairs to the comfy chair zone, I replaced the batteries in the remote and don the headphones. Just as I was about to press the green triangle play button, I heard a beep beep in my left ear as my nice new NHS digital hearing aid lost power. I don't believe it!!!!

    Hearing aid batteries are very small. The 13ZA type come in little dispensers with orange coloured adhesive tabs because otherwise finger grease can contaminate them, cause oxidation of either the cathode or the anode rendering them unserviceable and necessitating a trip to the all night chemist who charges twice the normal rate for a packet of six than your favourite high street store. The point about this is that if you are trying to listen to stereo perfection and you're effectively a mono listener, you only get half of the experience and thus half of the enjoyment. After some very strong deleted expletives and much ferretting about, I eventually discovered a virgin six pack of shiny new 13ZAs that had been lying unused for several months in case of such emergencies at the bottom of a draw containing most of lifes miscellany including hair grips, pens with no ink, fibre tips with no lids and an assortment of small screws and metallic parts that have accumulated and that no one actually knows whence they have come from.

    Hearing aid battery installed, I returned to the comfy chair ready to indulge in some personal pleasure, phones on and remote controller once again poised for GO! Now you may already be ahead of me on this but she who has now decided to retire shouts down from the upper deck, "Have you seen my toothbrush batteries?" I am undone. Exposed! Like George Washington I cannot tell a lie. I call up, "Hang on a moment, I'll bring you some up. Thinking fast on my feet, I tried to calculate how long it would take between pressing the play button and the music starting. I ask myself, "Did Roy anticipate such emergencies and put an extra long lead in to Hors d' Ouvres for just such occasionisms?" Is there enough time to remove tha batteries from the remote controller and run upstairs to the bathroom, re-install them in the wife's toothbrush, check its working and get back downstairs, get comfy and put the headpnes back on just as the opening chords begin?" I decide to chance it!

    I don't remember the exact moment when I actually fell asleep. I think it was somewhere during "The Same Old Rock". Caryl Chessman being duly despatched and the beureaucrats suitably berated. I just remember waking up and seeing the clock at 03:00AM. At this point in time, I was too tired, dazed and confused and AA batteryless to start messing around with toothbrushes and retired to bed. At least I'll be able to look forward to the re-experience tomorrow after shopping and taxi-ing son to the station to catch his train and taking back the shoes that she who has in between sized feet has bought but decided cannot be worn comfortably back to the shop.

    Cheers all.
  5. Kenny_Wisdom

    Kenny_Wisdom Computer stained fingers

    Best. Review. Ever. :biggrin:
  6. Reverbeffect

    Reverbeffect I've got a zappy little nappy

    Hang on...

    All compliments are received unreservedly but hey, I didn't get to the review part yet LOL!
  7. Kenny_Wisdom

    Kenny_Wisdom Computer stained fingers

    It can only get better!
  8. Reverbeffect

    Reverbeffect I've got a zappy little nappy

    Yes it does...

    I'm busy writing the sequel. My mind is blown. Roy took a good album and made it better!

    The whole experience lived up to, no, exceeded expectations. The mastering quality is superb as people have commented you can hear elements that seemed lost in the background on the vinyl. Which reminds me, my vinyl record became almost unplayable after 70's party abuse. I've made love with the music in the background or was it the other way round, played Roy in the foreground and indulged in back-play. Oops that sounds even more dodgy.

    I better stop before I get myself into trouble since the lady in question could be a lurker on Stormcock.net:blushing:

    BTW If this doesn't earn me computer stained fingers, I don't know what will!

    Yours ever in zappy nappies.
    Last edited: Oct 29, 2007
  9. aspwatterson

    aspwatterson The Unknown Soldier

    Stormcock re-issue

    Ah well that's my Xmas present to myself sorted this year!

    Still stuck on Computer stained fingers I'm afraid.... I'm feeling suicidal about the whole polluted system/malarkey!!!


  10. Oreb

    Oreb I've got a zappy little nappy

    Mine arrived (in super-fast time) here in Oz today.

    Love the booklet and the format, but I'm a bit of a sceptic when it comes to the whole remastering thing - at least as far as the major labels go.

    I admit that I don't have an expensive stereo (or audiophile ears), but the album has always sounded very good to me, and the last-gen Science Friction CD was excellent sound-wise. I don't hear much difference on this new edition.

    If Roy's happy with it, then great. It's probably my favourite album of all time and it deserves all the gold-class treatment it gets.
  11. jimysalad

    jimysalad I've got a zappy little nappy

    we know themanyway

    my fingers printed stained & contained

    why ...

    just another court date

    r...my words actions or escapes


    by justa fickle freind
  12. Reverbeffect

    Reverbeffect I've got a zappy little nappy

    following frustration - sublime music

    Well here's my delayed but brief update.

    First of all, let me state for the record that there is no other album I would rather keep if I had to choose from them all than Stormcock. I have to confess that the anorak in me tried to find the vinyl copy to see what the differences are but sadly it isn't there. I most probably lent it to someone who cherishes it and keeps a guilty pleasure knowing that he purloined it when my defences were down and my brain was under the effluence! Long may he torture himself until he falls at my feet and begs forgiveness whilst I wield the Sharya Sword over his outstretched arms!!!

    Havings said that the new digitally enhanced version is so much better. I have a good test of sound in that my digital hearing aids tend to whistle when certain distorting shrieks are emitted from my speakers. Stormcock doesn't do that even in the more complex passages which are rich with aural harmony across the sound spectrum.

    I was sceptical about how much of an improvement there would be despite the fact that I am a bit of a techie and I've always believed that the process of digital sampling would render any enhancements of the original analog channels null and void. Roy has certainly gone up even further in my estimation because what he has achieved I liken to restoration of a masterpiece. Removing some of that aged and yellowed varnish to reveal the true colours in a way that we have never seen before.

    Some of you may think that is overstated but for me with failing hearing after a lifetime of music, I get quite depressed with the poor quality that the big labels put out from time to time. The level of care being a trade-off between the cost of production and the perceived demand. I haven't a clue how many CD's Roy expects to sell but it would be a travesty if anyone who claimed to be a musician or a music lover didn't have this in their collection.

    I'm not going to review each track individually because we have a separate forum for such waxings but when I eventually did get to play the album, SWMBO was singing along and swaying to the rhythm, thoroughly enjoying it without realising that it was the new release and not my home transcibed CD taken from a home made cassstte recording of the original vinyl that got nicked. <breathe now - gasp!!! wheeze!!!>

    Sorry about the sentence construction. I was schooled in the old days when my English teacher asked the class "Children can anyone tell me what comes after a sentence?" and I thrust my little arm as high as I could and told her when she pointed at me, "The appeal Miss!". This cost me an hour in the naughty corner and my chalk and slate were confiscated for a term.

    In those days, the Dominican Priests would rove the dark corridors in the floor length black vestments looking so much like escapees from Transylvania than St Wilfred's Parish Church. Fr. Eckersley with his nicotine stained fingers up to the armpits would put the fear of god into any child who strayed from the beaten path. Years later I sought revenge when as an acolyte I managed to secrete some aesophoetida into the incense and cleared the church at High Mass in a record time that even the local fire brigade couldn't beat. I was almost excommunicated for my pains, though I tried to justify it as an excellent way of separating the true believers from the masses, when actually all I really managed to achieve was identify those elderly parishioners who had no sense of smell! Enough of my reminiscing before I describe what I did to the Sick Box and why it was removed from the Parish vestibule by men in masks and gloves!

    The reason for this diatribe is that the new release of Stormcock ably discriminates people into those who are purist traditionalist and those who know a good thing when it confronts them. I have recently bought a new USB record deck and so the transcription sound quality even at high sample rates says a lot for the primitive nature of the analogue pressings process and the kind of defects that are introduced. When the Decca plant was being demolished in the seventies, I bought one of the ultrasonic solvent cleaning baths for a business I was running at the time and saw first hand what a pressing plant was like. The Glass Masters were usually stored and protected as a significant asset but with the auction sale there were hundreds if not thousands of masters and incomplete pressings strewn about the place. The modern CD manufacturing process is an entirely different proposition.

    Roy must have invested heavily in the time and materials to reproduce Stormcock. I only hope that he can recoup his outlay and make a well deserved profit on this masterpiece. I have no qualms about buying it again and in respect of the pleasure the songs have given me over thirty plus years of never being bored with it, the cost is truly insignificant and I feel that I owe a deep sense of gratitude to Roy and Johnny and of course Tracy for their efforts in recreating the single most important record of all time - to date! That's just in case someone says you can't say that because something better may yet happen!

    Jimmy Page is absolutely correct when he says there was nothing so significant. As for the packaging, its encouraged me to reacquaint myelf with my optician, something long overdue.

    I quote from the inside back cover Roy's own words,

    "We are emotion
    In our bones
    And in our universe

    The smoke and mirrors
    Of our eyes
    Can write
    A labyrinth of verse

    About beginning
    At the end
    To end
    At the beginning

    Of emotion
    Or fatal curse

    Your choice
    You angry man
    At heart
    Your option

    I think that about says it all!

  13. Reverbeffect

    Reverbeffect I've got a zappy little nappy


    It just earned a CSF rating!!!
  14. aspwatterson

    aspwatterson The Unknown Soldier

    We can therefore think twice methinks?

    Don't think twice it's alright.
    Wot a load of turgid codswallop from masterful Bob!
    We can think a zillion times in a zillion microseconds across our synapses.
    Ask those smiley Irish eyes with a smile retained within!!!
    It's all an illusion....pretending...


    "far across the unverse the goblins of the night sometimes corner sunrise and keep him outta sight" RH / Hallucinating Light
  15. Harper Remasters

    As an American, it is more difficult to locate Harper CDs. Online is a good resource, but even there, sometimes vendors will put up outdated info on CDs which exist as import/domestic, or which have been released on different labels. The Harper CDs I have are on the Science Friction label; I have noticed that some have a "Made In England" sticker, and some do not. Do y'all have any advice as to what to look for, in the way of markings, identifiers, etc. as to what the best versions of Harper CDs are out there? This new Stormcock re-issue, is it on Science Friction or another label? Is the remastered sound better, or the liner notes? I'm somewhat of an audiophile, and can hear & appreciate a good remaster when I hear it.
  16. aspwatterson

    aspwatterson The Unknown Soldier

    Locating Harper

    I am sure Paul D via Tracey H & Mr Bill & Mr Khron can pinpoint you in the right direction?

  17. pd

    pd Slightly Desperate Staff Member

    I missed this post before, sorry!

    Science Friction is Roy's own label and he's in the great position of owning all his recordings now. If you buy a Science Friction CD it is going to be the newest release; a lot of the early CDs came out on Awareness records initially but in general you'll find better sound on Science Friction as Roy has taken care to clean up the audio where it was necessary... a case in point is of course "Stormcock" which is on his label. You need to get a copy of this - the sound is much improved and the packaging is excellent.

    There are plans afoot to re-release some of the currently unavailable recordings (In Between Every Line springs to mind) soon.

    Ideally, if you want to buy Roy's stuff, you'd go to his online shop (www.royharper.com) and purchase from there. The CDs will come from Ireland, from the man himself (well, his wife Tracy) and you'll know that the maximum amount of money is going to him rather than to distributors.
    Last edited: Nov 28, 2007

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