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WHATEVER HAPPENED TO JUGULA?

Roy Harper

Prog Folk


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Roy Harper Whatever Happened To Jugula? album cover
3.78 | 18 ratings | 1 reviews | 17% 5 stars

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Studio Album, released in 1985

Songs / Tracks Listing

1. Nineteen Forty-Eightish (Harper) (9:45)
2. Bad Speech (Harper) (1:17)
3. Hope (Harper, Gilmour) (4:31)
5. Hangman (Harper) (7:09)
6. Elizabeth (Harper) (6:39)
7. Frozen Moment (Harper) (3:18)
8. Twentieth Century Man (Harper) (4:27)
9. Advertisement (Another Intentional Irrelevant Suicide) (Harper) (8:19)

Total time 45:26

Lyrics

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Music tabs (tablatures)

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Line-up / Musicians

- Roy Harper / acoustic and/or electric guitars, bass, percussion, keyboards, saxophone, vocals, concept
- Jimmy Page / acoustic guitar and/or electric guitar
- Tony Franklin / electric bass
- Nik Green / synthesizer, keyboards, sound engineer
- Ronnie Brambles / guitar, drums, keyboards, vocals
- Steve Broughton / drums
- Preston Heyman / drums
- Nick Harper / semi-acoustic guitar

Releases information

1985 LP Beggars Banquet 60

1994 CD Beggars Banquet 54100602

Thanks to NotAProghead for the addition
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ROY HARPER Whatever Happened To Jugula? ratings distribution


3.78
(18 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of progressive rock music(17%)
17%
Excellent addition to any prog rock music collection(44%)
44%
Good, but non-essential (22%)
22%
Collectors/fans only (11%)
11%
Poor. Only for completionists (6%)
6%

ROY HARPER Whatever Happened To Jugula? reviews


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Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by Sean Trane
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Prog Folk
4 stars While not every artiste sunk ti unsuspected depth during that horrid 80's decade, it was the majority of 60's and 70's artiste that struggled to survive while staying "actual" in terms of sound, hype and technology , and let's face it most did not fare well. iOf coursse the was the odd exception to confirm what I call in broad terms a rule. And Roy Harper was one of them, although the man has stood in his own category or bubble alone for most of his career, even during his heydays (70's), even though he had always the gracious help of his many (and often returning) friends. This album is under-titled "An Ordinary Man Writing Songs For Ordinary People", but Harper was never ordinary and I can assure you his songs rarely were (ordinary), and certainly not here.

When I first picked this ugly orange cardboard cover upon its release, the last I had heard of Roy Harper was his rockier side (HQ and Bullysumthin' and his vocals in Have A Cigar, and didn't really know what he was up to. Bringing this back home, it took me several listens before understanding that one day, I'd find this album a masterpiece, but busy foraying into jazz and jazz-rock, I set it aside and forgot about for a small decade, by which I had just turned to Cds, and the turntable was unconnected (we're all humans, right???). So one day around the turn of the century, I finally was able to re-listen to this album, but in the Cd format, but soon after I modernized my installations and have been enjoying this unsettling 80's album ever since.

Musically speaking, HQ and the rock group are rather far, but not completely absent, but we're closer to Lifemask (where Page also plays), playing mostly folkier material and the odd songs (Elizabeth a tear-jerking sing-along track overstaying its welcome) not following that pattern are generally well below the average of the rest of the album. Most of the other tracks are superb pure folk, something that Jansch or Renborn could've written, even if at times the typical Hackett arpeggios appear (the gorgeous Frozen Moment, where Harper tries to emulate Wyatt or Buckley). Page plays much guitar and in every track, and shines, and the alchemy between the two is simply jaw-dropping (as in 20th Century Man, where Roy tries to keep what he had going in the previous Moment track).

One of the few qualms I have is the way the album is riddled with unnecessary spoken passage separating the songs, most notably around the closing track Advertisement, where he claims to be really stoned and page scrambles to pull a later-Zep guitar solo (Circa Presence or ITTOD) and a weird dying end. But the album had started so wekllwith Harper's 1 strings and Page's electric in 1948-ish, where it gets stop by sci-fi cosmic wails before resuming with a solemn organ by Nick Green and finishing on an absolutely marvellous acoustic duo between our two compadres. After a weird but short Bad Speech (aptly-titled) serving for an intro to Hope, a rockier track that provides much prog twists. Hangman is probably my fave on then album (with Frozen Moment)

Although even for Harper, Jugula is a bit of out-of-the-ordinary, just imagine compared to the then-actual music scene. Even with the prestige of Page, this album quickly disappeared from attention, only gaining the esteem of connoisseurs and Zep aficionados. But behind its reputation, we've got a real good album of Harper (the best since Lifemask IMHO) and certainly Jimmy Page's best works of the 80's (I'm probably not making friends here), but Jugula probably has its rights to be featured among the top 50 prog folk albums... BTW, did I write the review with the Cd or the vinyl???

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Send comments to Sean Trane (BETA) | Report this review (#170302) | Review Permalink
Posted Friday, May 09, 2008

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