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SOPHISTICATED BEGGAR

Roy Harper

Prog Folk


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Roy Harper Sophisticated Beggar album cover
3.33 | 17 ratings | 3 reviews | 6% 5 stars

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Studio Album, released in 1966

Songs / Tracks Listing

1. China Girl (3:38)
2. Goldfish (2:50)
3. Sophisticated Beggar (5:08)
4. My Friend (4:08)
5. Big Fat Silver Aeroplane (3:41)
6. Blackpool (5:11)
7. Legend (3:50)
8. Girlie (3:04)
9. October the 12th (5:54)
10. Black Clouds (4:33)
11. Mr. Station Master (3:06)
12. Forever (3:30)
13. Committed (3:15)

Total Time: 48:48

Lyrics

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Music tabs (tablatures)

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Line-up / Musicians

- Roy Harper / Bass, Guitar, Keyboards, Saxophone, Vocals
- Skaila Kanga / Harmonica

Releases information

LP Strike JHL 105 (1967) UK
LP Youngblood SSYB 7 (170) UK
LP Birth RAB 3 (1972) UK
LP Big Ben BBX 502 (1977) UK
Cass Avon Music ASK 791 (1985) UK
LP Sundown CDSM 051 (1989) UK
LP Magnum CDSM 051 (1989) GER
CD Tring JHD 064 (1992) UK titled Legend
CD Science Friction HUCD007 (1994) UK
CD Mooncrest CRESTCD 027 (1997) UK
CD Airmail 1249 (2006) JAP
CD Beat Goes On BGO 771.2 (2007) UK
CD One Media 250183 (207) BEL
CD Music Avenue 250183 (2008) US

Thanks to ClemofNazareth for the addition
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ROY HARPER Sophisticated Beggar ratings distribution


3.33
(17 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of progressive rock music(6%)
6%
Excellent addition to any prog rock music collection(6%)
6%
Good, but non-essential (88%)
88%
Collectors/fans only (0%)
0%
Poor. Only for completionists (0%)
0%

ROY HARPER Sophisticated Beggar reviews


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Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by Chris S
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
3 stars Unfortunately I just lost my entire review of SB! How frustrating. Needless to say this album is Harper doing his debut and what is noticeable is how good he sounds from the offset. From the quirky ' Goldfish', the trendy ' China Girl'. The selfless ( joke) self titled 'Sophisticated Beggar' to the uneasy ' Committed'. Delusions of grandeur? I think not! Harper manages to sound as fresh 42 years ago as he does even in 1998's Dream Society. What stands out here is that this is a strong beginning for Harper and yet there was such an abundance of great collaborative work ahead with the likes of Peter Jenner, Jimmy Page, David Gilmour and Ian Anderson just to name a few. A solid three stars for Roy Harper's first studio release.

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Send comments to Chris S (BETA) | Report this review (#170577) | Review Permalink
Posted Sunday, May 11, 2008

Review by Easy Livin
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator / Retired Admin
3 stars Have a cigar

This is where it all started for Roy in terms of his recording career. Having given up a residency at Les Cousins folk club in Soho, London, Harper teamed up with Peter Richards' Strike Records and with engineer Pierre Tubbs. Tubbs and Harper recorded the album in what Harper describes as an outhouse in Tubbs' garden where Tubbs has a primitive recording studio. Recorded in 1966, the album was actually first released in early '67, but Harper would have to wait for a re-release in 1994 before he actually started to receive royalties.

Having been asked to leave the army on grounds of "insanity", Harper turned his attention to his musical and poetic talents. This initial set is very much about the poetry side, with Harper setting his words to acoustic guitar accompaniment. The way Harper (and Tubbs) recorded the acoustic guitar was pioneering for the time, the sound being captured and electronically processed through a reverb machine.

Bert Jansch and John Renbourn of Pentangle both contribute supporting guitars to selected tracks, but this is very much a solo effort by Harper. The overall sound is not complex by any means, indeed a superficial listen misleadingly gives the impression of a simple folk album. Listen more closely though to the guitar arrangements, and the disguised beauty of the detailed attention given to the recordings starts to come through.

At times, such as on tracks like "Goldfish", Harper plays it straight, while on others such as the title track he drifts towards Dylan territories. The oddly named "Blackpool" offers the best example of Harper's guitar dexterity, there must be fair chance the great Al Stewart drew influences from pieces such as this.

Overall, an album which is more significant for its place in Harper's development than it is in the development of (folk) prog. The songs here are generally straightforward, essentially being poems set to acoustic accompaniment. The results are pleasing and enjoyable, but the true nature of the sophisticated beggar's talents have yet to be revealed.

Incidentally, some more recent releases are titled "The return of the sophisticated beggar". Do not be misled though, they are simply remasters of the same album, with even the bonus track "Legend" having appeared on some earlier versions of the album.

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Send comments to Easy Livin (BETA) | Report this review (#387551) | Review Permalink
Posted Thursday, January 27, 2011

Latest members reviews

5 stars This is the debut of the guy I adore so much. The singer-songwriters are not so popular here on PA, and that's for a reason. And this album is not something you could call progressive anyway. But Roy Harper is on this site for a good reason too! His songwriting is so strong, he tries some new ... (read more)

Report this review (#597484) | Posted by talha | Wednesday, December 28, 2011 | Review Permanlink

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