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Roy Harper

Prog Folk

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Roy Harper Man & Myth album cover
3.74 | 23 ratings | 5 reviews | 9% 5 stars

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Studio Album, released in 2013

Songs / Tracks Listing

1. The Enemy (7:34)
2. Time Is Temporary (4:56)
3. January Man (4:31)
4. The Stranger (5:26)
5. Cloud Cuckooland (5:43)
6. Heaven Is Here (15:24)
7. The Exile (7:55)

Total time 51:29

Line-up / Musicians

- Roy Harper / vocals, acoustic guitar, producer

- John Fitzgerald / guitar (5), bass (6), bouzouki & oud (6), co-producer
- Jonathan Wilson / backing vocals (1), banjo (2), mandolin (4), guitar & bass (7), co-producer
- Pete Townsend / electric lead & acoustic rhythm guitars (5)
- Bill Shanley / lead (1,5,7) & rhythm guitars (1,7)
- Andy Irvine / mandola & bouzouki (6)
- Omar Velasco / clavinet & Mellotron (1,7)
- Jason Borger / Hammond (1,5,7), piano (1)
- Tony Franklin / fretless bass (6,7)
- Jake Blanton / bass
- Richard Gowen / drums, percussion
- Neal Morgan / drums & percussion (6,7)
- Fiona Brice / string & brass arrangements (2-4,6)
- Justin Grounds / violin & arragements (6)
- Gillon Cameron / violin (2-4,6)
- Tom Pigott-Smith / violin (2-4,6)
- Rachel Robson / viola (2-4,6)
- Vicky Matthews / cello (2-4,6)
- Bertrand Galen / cello (6)
- Gabe Noel / cello, double bass (2,4)
- Beth Symmons / double bass (2-4,6)
- George Harte / double bass (6)
- Matt Gunner / horn (3)
- James King / alto sax (5)

Releases information

Artwork: Dave McKean with Phil Sayer (photo)

2xLP + CD Bella Union ‎- BELLAV421 (2013, UK) Full album on both media

CD Bella Union ‎- BELLACD421 (2013, UK)

Thanks to mbzr48 for the addition
and to Quinino for the last updates
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ROY HARPER Man & Myth ratings distribution

(23 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of progressive rock music(9%)
Excellent addition to any prog rock music collection(65%)
Good, but non-essential (26%)
Collectors/fans only (0%)
Poor. Only for completionists (0%)

ROY HARPER Man & Myth reviews

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

Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by admireArt
4 stars The "obscure" troubadour is back. His 22nd registered album. After a long pause in the studios, Roy Harper returns with this "Man & Myth" project. If something is quiet notable in this record, is his regained song-structuring skills. No, he is not re-inventing anything in his very personal and original musical language. It still has those choatic bridges, that eventually return to the main theme. And in this "bridges" precisely is where this record feels extremely polished, like "contained fury". So he plays wild as ever, but maturity has lowered down its unavoidable nature, to the perfect balanced point, where the whole of the songs, its "war & peace", Roy Harper's eternal quests, are as equally performed and resolved, without one over-shadowing its counterparts. That for me is a very welcomed relief, in his song-writing skills and in my audiophile experience with his albums, the ones I own or know. So, to round things up, Roy Harper's "Man & Mith" is frankly Prog-Folk, in his own unmistakable kind of style. Polished without losing essence or rawness. His clever and substantial lyrics, as always are the "main character", but musically speaking this has to be one of his best accomplished productions. ....Now, the PA rating is kind of hard. This as a Roy Harper album in his own discography is an easy five PA stars. Been that these reviews are for a general public of Prog all kinds of genre's listeners, 3.5 PA stars (it deserves to be listened to!). But if you, like I , enjoy RH's kind of chaotic song-writing, and also favour his proto/prog/rock//folk music, this one is a keeper, ****4 PA stars.
Review by Sean Trane
3 stars 3.5 stars really!!!

The return of such an out-of-character artiste such as Roy Harper is always welcome news, especially that this is the result of a long and thought-out project (three years) and it took place over two continents - LA and Eire to be precise. Co produced by Roy and Jonathan Wilson, the US part is more or less the first part of the album, while the Irish part (co-produced by John Fitzgerald) is the second half. In the guest list are dozens of musicians that will probably not ring a bell to most, but you will find a certain Pete Townsend on one track. You'll find in the booklet a bunch of added (sometimes-short) poems that are meant (or seem to) to be read in between the songs.

A bit surprisingly, the usually inimitable Harper sounds like Neil Young (and Crazy Horse) and at other places like Leonard Cohen. The album opens on The Enemy, where Roy delivers his composition with a US folk-rock (almost country-esque with the guitar twang) and he seems to have Cohen in mind when singing. The following acoustic Time Is Temporary is definitely quieter, includes string arrangement (including a lovely cello) and co-producer Wilson plays a banjo. Up next is a very personal (and very acoustic as well) song January Man, where Harper poignantly expresses regrets. Tensions increases with the intense The Stranger, where the mood shifts from acoustic to more profound climates. The following Cloud Cuckooland is definitely a Neil Young homage, where he not only sings and cotes Cowgirl In The Sans, but the music sounds like Crazy Horse stuff, even if it is a searing sax instead of a guitar solo in the middle, but the guitar takes revenge in the second half. The centrepiece of the album is the lengthy Heaven Is Here, a typical Harper piece that could've found place on Lifemask. The middle section with an instrumental passage is absolutely? divine. The Closing Exile is another highlight of the album.

Not that I'm familiar with Harper's discography since Jugula, but M&M is definitely worthy of standing proudly alongside Roy's better 70's albums. Somehow, I can't help but wondering if some of the lyrics on this album are related to the bad and recent events of the fall of 2013. Hopefully not.

Latest members reviews

4 stars The man who created his myth. I feel that this fantastic album was directly influenced by the stellar 2 CD compilation album Harper released a few years back entitled Songs Of Love and Loss which featured songs picked by Roy dealing with past relationships. Most of which failed. The related songs on ... (read more)

Report this review (#1161784) | Posted by SteveG | Wednesday, April 16, 2014 | Review Permanlink

4 stars I got this album late in November 2013 and the first few listens didn't blow me away to any great extent. It was good, it certainly sounded like Roy, and it was nice to see him back after so long, but I honestly thought it was not going to get a lot of play. And then something happened. Somet ... (read more)

Report this review (#1114593) | Posted by ergaster | Wednesday, January 15, 2014 | Review Permanlink

4 stars Roy Harper is a folk rock musician from England, which has touched the prog genre several times, I wouldn't though call this album prog, even if he has a lot of prog specialities. "Man & Myth" is his eighteenth studio record and the first in twelve years. I like the cover which has a lot autho ... (read more)

Report this review (#1068124) | Posted by DrömmarenAdrian | Monday, October 28, 2013 | Review Permanlink

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