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Roy Harper - Stormcock CD (album) cover


Roy Harper


Prog Folk

4.02 | 174 ratings

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Prog Metal Team
5 stars Hats off to Roy Harper indeed!

I always have a certain skepticism whenever I see a high-rated album such as Roy Harper's Stormcock. Could it be the fanboys giving it the publicity that it doesn't deserve? Naturally I approached this release with caution especially since I knew very little about Roy Harper aside from his vocal contribution on Pink Floyd's Have A Cigar and that Led Zeppelin named a track after him.

After hearing this release for the first time it was safe to day that Stormcock did in fact made a lot more sense. The music I heard was indeed Prog Folk with four compositions all stretched out to 7+ minute format. But my biggest discovery with this album was that it finally made me understand how Jethro Tull managed to achieve their classic album Thick As A Brick. To me it's obvious that Ian Anderson and the band were very much inspired by this album since they certainly borrowed a lot of their style from Roy Harper's performance. This doesn't mean that they completely ripped off this album but instead put their own unique spin on the ideas that were addressed on Stormcock. After all, this album never sounds like a band effort which is something that Jethro Tull really delivered on with their take.

The music on Stormcock is very mellow and while Harper's vocal style takes it many different directions the general mood generally stays the same all throughout the album. The combination of excellent musicianship with magnificent material makes it difficult for me to make any real distinctions between the tops and bottoms of this album. To me it's the opening Hors d'Oeuvres and closing Me And My Woman that make the highest impact even though The Same Old Rock is really not far behind. This is also the track that has inspired Thick As A Brick the most. Some of the melodies are almost carbon copies of Roy Harper's work and Jimmy Page's guitar work adds an interesting new side to the overall sound. One Man Rock And Roll is possibly the only track that, in my opinion, doesn't deserve the 7+ minute treatment since it looses its momentum 2/3:s into the track. It would definitely have made more sense to me if this track was shortened down to a 4 minute format while giving more space to the follow-up performance of Me And My Woman that I never can get enough even though I have 13 minutes of it!

Roy Harper's Stormcock definitely deserves the attention that it has received so far and hopefully more fans of Jethro Tull's Thick As A Brick and Prog Folk in general would give it a go. Great work from an artist at the hight of his career!

***** star songs: Hors d'Oeuvres (8:37) Me And My Woman (13:01)

**** star songs: The Same Old Rock (12:24) One Man Rock And Roll (7:23)

Rune2000 | 5/5 |


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