Thursday, December 18, 2014

Roy Harper - HQ (1975)

Roy Harper has put out many, many great albums, of which HQ is one of the very best. Although previous records such as Stormcock (another full-fledged masterpiece) had explored innovative, prog-like strong structures, HQ is the closest he'd come to full-on prog rock, a move Harper emphasizes with the roaring guitar solo that closes out multi-suite album opener, "The Game, Pts. 1-5". The rest of the album maintains a sharp sonic cohesion while covering an impressive amount of stylistic ground. There's spaced-out boogie rock, throwback 50s rock, Zeppelin-esque drama, and lysergic acoustic folk, all bolstered by Harper's reliably evocative, heady lyrics.

Track listing:
1. The Game, Pts. 1-5
2. The Spirit Lives
3. Grown Ups Are Just Silly Children
4. Referendum (Legend)
5. Forget Me Not
6. Hallucinating Light
7. When an Old Cricketeer Leaves the Crease

The minds of the tortured perpetuated patron saints of crime


  1. Great album by a great artist. I remember at the time, being deeply saddened and stunned to hear the alleged reports of Harper being involved in child abuse.I haven't a clue what came of the allegations.
    What I do know though is that Mr. H is a phenomenal artist and often criminally overlooked songsmith with some awesome albums to his credit (this one included).
    I'll keep my fingers crossed that he's an innocent man. If he isn't, despite his wrongdoings, I'll always have a place in my heart for some of his timeless gems and story-telling.

  2. Harper was a big mate of Page and Plant and their pecadilloes didn't exclude under-age sex either, so perhaps no surprise really eh?

  3. The trial started on 20 January 2015 and on 5 February 2015 Harper was unanimously acquitted by a jury of indecent assault.[66][67][68] The following day, Harper was cleared of a second charge of indecent assault, and the jury at Worcester Crown Court was discharged after failing to reach verdicts on the remaining charges.[69] According to the BBC, the judge Robert Juckes QC then gave the prosecution two weeks to consider whether they wished to seek a re-trial on the undecided charges,[70] but it wasn't until 9 November 2015 that the prosecution announced that they were dropping all allegations of sexual abuse against Harper and the Crown Prosecution Service would offer no evidence against him following a review by the Director of Public Prosecutions, Alison Saunders.[71][72] Outside court, in a statement issued by his legal team,[73] Harper said he had always maintained his innocence and that

    the case should never have gone as far as this, or taken so long to resolve. The psychological and personal cost to my wife and myself has been enormous and the financial cost hugely unfair. I lost my livelihood and I spent my savings... and more, on my defence... I thank my lawyers for standing by me and working so hard to show the truth. Despite coming out of this without a blemish on my name, I cannot recoup my costs and that’s left me incredibly angry. I’m now going to restart my working life where I left off nearly three years ago.[74][75]

    1. Thank you so much for this info. I'm gonna take that part out of my post, as it no longer appears to be relevant.

  4. I love Harper, and this is my favorite. I picked it up in the late seventies, and it had a different (better) cover, and different title: =When an Old Cricketer Leaves the Crease=, which is (IMO) a vastly better one. (Though I think =HQ= is the original title.)

  5. Heavily under-rated musician. Thank you.