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Roy Harper

Prog Folk

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Roy Harper Lifemask album cover
3.68 | 45 ratings | 5 reviews | 7% 5 stars

Excellent addition to any
prog rock music collection

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Studio Album, released in 1973

Songs / Tracks Listing

1. Highway Blues (6:34)
2. All Ireland (2:52)
3. Little Lady (4:19)
4. Bank Of The Dead (3:13)
5. South Africa (4:06)
6. The Lord's Prayer (22:55):
- a) Poem
- b) Modal Song Parts I to IV
- c) Front Song
- d) Middle Song
- e) End Song (Front Song Reprise)

Total time 43:59

Line-up / Musicians

- Roy Harper / vocals, guitars, synth & bass (1,6), harmonica & bells (2)

- Laurie Allan / drums (1)
- Jimmy Page / lead guitar (4,6)
- Brian Hodges / string bass (4), bass (6)
- Tony Carr / drums (4), bongos (6)
- Brian Davison / drums (6)
- Steve Broughton / bongos (6)
- Ray Warleigh / flute (6)

Releases information

LP Harvest ‎- SHVL 808 (1973, UK)
LP Science Friction ‎- SFLP002 (2016, UK) Remastered by John Fitzgerald

CD Awareness Records ‎- AWCD 1007 (1990, UK)
CD Science Friction - HUCD005 (1999, UK)

Thanks to NotAProghead for the addition
and to Quinino for the last updates
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ROY HARPER Lifemask ratings distribution

(45 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of progressive rock music(7%)
Excellent addition to any prog rock music collection(53%)
Good, but non-essential (36%)
Collectors/fans only (4%)
Poor. Only for completionists (0%)

ROY HARPER Lifemask reviews

Showing all collaborators reviews and last reviews preview | Show all reviews/ratings

Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by Chris S
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
4 stars Lifemask earmarks Roy Harper's sixth studio release. It is a richly woven album consisting of both progressive and folk influences. The album opens with the emphatic ' Highway Blues'. This is a dark song and a hard act to follow for the rest of the album because it is so darn good. Both Roy Harper's and Jimmy Page's guitar work is excellent on Lifemask but seriously ' Highway Blues' has to be played very loud to be fully appreciated. ' All Ireland' follows and is a solemn ballad led by Roy Harper's distinctive vocals. ' Bank Of The Dead' features Jimmy Page again as does the epic long track ' The Lord's Prayer'. Harper and Page combine so convincingly on guitars, it is little wonder they played live occassionally also. ' South Africa' is another highlight on Lifemask, a love song, but justafiably anti apartheid nuances throughout. This is not Roy Harper's best studio album but still highly recommended for any progressive folk enthusiasts. It is also worth mentioning that Peter Jenner of the Harvest label/Pink Floyd fame produces Lifemask. 4 stars!
Review by Sean Trane
4 stars 3.5 stars really!!!

Generally seen as one of Harper's most definitive work, Lifemask often gets the nod from progheads, because of the side-long "epic" (if it can be called that), although this writer thinks differently, even if the present is indeed among Roy's best work. After the career jumping FJO, the superb (and near perfect) Stormcock, the intimate Flat Baroque & Bezerk, Lifemask makes the perfect square. A four of a kind in row that few had managed before him. Of course this album, with its arresting artwork has also a five star prog line-up with Page, The Nice's Davison, one of the Broughton bros and more.. can only give more fuel to the proghead's pledge.

Highway Blues is just a tad more than a blues and Page's interventions are solid. The All Ireland track is a real stunner, one of those spine-chilling moments with its dramatic texts, too bad it's a bit short. Equally beautiful is Little Lady, but this one overstays its welcome, because a bit too repetitive. Bank Of The Dead brings you back a bit to FJO's better moments, Page and Harper making a fantastic duo. South Africa is another highlight filled with delicate and delicious guitars.

You've all been waiting patiently for the side-long "epic" called Lord's Prayer. Well, it sucks big bones!! At least the title does to this old confirmed pagan. It starts with Harper's spoken performance of one of his poem, much like Jim Morrison would in American Prayer two years before or the beat poets (Burroughs, Ginsbergh and others) would do in counter-culture happenings in jazz clubs a decade before. When it's finally over, Roy starts singing (Modal Song) with only his guitar dishing its arpeggios under waves of echoed Harper sung lines. Lovely stuff really!! Slowly the other musicians joins, but this is only really only noticeable once Page's electric guitar gets into the game, the song getting very impressive. Harper's voice is soaring high above the rest of the music, but the song keeps unravelling its mysteries and haunts you further. Great stuff

Yes, Lifemask is one of Harper's strongest albums, one that can top a career, but Harper has more than one trick up his sleeve and Lifemask is not the only ace in his poker hand, but one of three.

Latest members reviews

3 stars Harper's 1973 studio album is often considered one of his early essential as it directly follows his celebrated Stormcock album released in 1971. While staying with the long winded folk formula of Stormcock on this album's centerpiece, titled "The Lord's Prayer", old Roy took his first tentative ... (read more)

Report this review (#2023505) | Posted by SteveG | Sunday, September 9, 2018 | Review Permanlink

3 stars Roy's follow-up to the magnificent Stormcock is a great album in its own right - for the most part, but it does have a significant misstep, closing piece 'The Lord's Prayer.' It's worth saying that I come back to this album nearly as much as Stormcock but it's for the first half not the wandering e ... (read more)

Report this review (#617302) | Posted by dreadpirateroberts | Monday, January 23, 2012 | Review Permanlink

4 stars Four-and-a-half stars. STORMCOCK and LIFEMASK are almost companion pieces. For most, these two are the essential releases by Harper. I don't want to argue with that, especially since neither album has any throwaway tracks (unlike subsequent releases), but I would suggest that *some* newcomers ... (read more)

Report this review (#247071) | Posted by jude111 | Thursday, October 29, 2009 | Review Permanlink

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