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4.8 out of 5 stars
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4.8 out of 5 stars
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on 30 September 2003
It's easy to dismiss Roy Harper as, using his own phrase, "the loony on the bus". If you've never heard anything he's recorded, though, be prepared for a shock. Listen to "Stormcock", and discover why his contemporaries (Jimmy Page, John Paul Jones, Dave Gilmour, Ian Anderson, Kate Bush et al) queued up to guest on his albums. The man has a wonderful talent for writing interesting, heartfelt (and heartbreaking), and sometimes aggressively beautiful songs. There are only the four on this, roughly 10 minutes each. Considering that, apart from Mr Page appearing on "Same Old Rock", it's just Roy and an acoustic guitar, these are four of the most powerful songs I've ever heard. "Hors D'Oevres" disects the critic who gave a bad review with languid efficiency; "Same Old Rock" is a savagely played flaying of organised religion; "One Man Rock'n'Roll Band" is as relevant and powerful in the age of Gulf War II as it was to Vietnam; and "Me and My Woman" is the man's journey through the women of his life, and for my money is the single finest thing he's recorded. At the time of writing (Sept 03) he is still playing these songs live, and they've lost nothing in the 30-odd years since they were written. He's made folk albums, rock albums, even dabbled in psychedelia, but has never made a better album than this. It's the sound of a man at peak performance on the guitar, on his vocals, on his songwriting. Enhance your life - buy this album.
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on 7 November 2005
For reasons too complicated to go into I haven't been able to listen to this album for several years, so have been gorging on it solidly since my kids bought it for my birthday recently. Age will not weary it. From the indictment of those who judge (Hors d'Oeuvres), the paean (and so close to my heart) against religion of The Same Old Rock, the anti-war sentiments of One Man Rock'n Roll Band, through to the ecstatic Me and My Woman (albeit with a dark heart) this is an emotional roller coaster enhanced by simply wonderful guitar playing and beautiful string arrangements by David Bedford. But even if you dislike the lyrics or disagree with my feelings, this album will simply wash you away to another and better place.
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on 14 May 2010
Saw the great man earlier perform this week at the royal festival hall having been teased out of retirement by Joanna Newsome.He finished with a rendition of 'me and my woman' This prompted to dig out this true classic (although didn't need that much encouragement!!) The album cannot be described as anything other than a masterpiece, most plaudits home into Jimmy pages contribution but for me personally it's David Bedfords input that makes this a "true classic"
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on 11 December 2007
If you enjoy the music of Ror Harper you must own this album. If you have not heard of Roy Harper apart from his vocals on a certail Pink Floyd track then consider "An introduction to Roy Harper" instead. Roy mixes folk/rock with political/socio-economic lyrics and is in my view quite simply brilliant and very under-rated as an artist. Intro to Roy Harper is effectively a best off at a very reasonable price and a great place to start.
Stormcock a great album and rates for me alongside "Flat Baroque and Beserk".
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on 20 October 2004
Roy Harper has such a wide variety of different sounds over his many albums but Stormcock has to be the quintessential album. Flat Baroque & Beserk, Folkjokeopus and Once are quite excellent. H.Q., The Unknown Soldier and The Green Man are brilliant, but to me Stormcock is quite simply the most beautiful album I will probably ever hear. For the whole 45 minutes we are taken on an accoustic journey that floats and soars through the senses. Magical.
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on 11 April 2003
I love many varieties of music, but when people ask me who my favourite musician is, they look at me blankly when I say Roy Harper. I went to Harper gigs during the 1980s and years later still find myself wanting to play his timeless music. Acoustic fans will find this music mesmerising, especially when you realise that it is mainly just one man playing what appears to be several guitars at once. 'Stormcock' includes 2 of my very favourite all-time tracks, including the sublime 'Me and my woman'. Harper pours his soul into this amazing song. 'Same old rock' is acoustic rock at its best. The other 2 tracks are also beautiful and I truly urge you to listen to this album.
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on 5 July 2000
released in 1970 this is, probably more than any other album in his collection roy harpers defining moment.Four tracks all of which display a beauty and poise that very few of his contempories could hope to match this is the perfect summertime album.The standout tracks are the same old rock and me and my woman.
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Roy Harper is one of the most original musicians and writers England has produced and Stormcock is definitly his best record. If you didn`t hear this muusic you don`t know how beautiful the music can be. Just four tracks, but all of them are classics. Especially The Same Old Rock and Me And My Women deliver a vaste range of emotions and makes you feel sad and happy at the same time. On The Same Old Rock acoustic guitar solo plays Jimmy Page. Brilliant!
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UK released onto CD in 1994 (reissued 1996, 2007 and 2013) - "Stormcock" by ROY HARPER is on Science Friction HUCD047 (Barcode 679076770478) and is a straightforward remaster of his 5th UK album from May 1971 on Harvest Records SHVL 789. (There's also a remaster on the Awareness Label).

1. Hors d'Oeuvres
2. The Same Old Rock
3. Old Man Rock And Roll Band [Side 2]
4. Me And My Woman

With only 4 tracks (2 to each side) - "Stormcock" might seem 'lean' - but it's nothing of the sort. This album is closing in on being 45 years old - yet it remains amazingly contemporary and has stood the test of time incredibly well. If anything (relistening to it in 2015) - you can imagine that this 1971 album is a bit of a secret stepping point for so many new writers and bands - because after 40 minutes with it you can 'so' hear how Fleet Foxes, Elbow and Vetiver got their sound.

Beautifully produced by PETER JENNER (Engineered by PHILP MacDONALD) - the songs are primarily long acoustic workouts with some electric guitars, keyboards, string flourishes, brass and vocal over-layering thrown in. Each song takes it sweet time - allowing you to wrap your ears around the thought-provoking life-observations in the lyrics.

It opens with "Hors d'Oeuvres" - a near nine-minute Nick Drake/Tim Buckley acoustic dreamscape about a man "...whose brains bred answers like flies..." It builds and builds to gorgeous treated vocals towards the end. But then you get the album's first piece of undeniable Harper genius - and for me one of the great unspoken masterpieces of the Seventies - the 12 and half minute Side 1 closer "The Same Old Rock". The song famously features JIMMY PAGE credited as 'J. Flavius Mercurious' for contractual reasons. You can so hear his "III" and "IV" acoustic phase - and his acoustic solo towards the end swirling around multi-layered Harper vocals is just brilliant. You have to say too that the remaster is just gorgeous here (lyrics above). Harper himself rates it as Page's best ever work...

Side 2 opens with "One Man Rock And Roll Band" - another multi-layered acoustic strum-fest "...welcome back you total stranger..." His treated vocals add so much to the seven and half-minutes - the plucked steel guitar-strings rattling around your speakers - again the remaster so beautifully clear. It ends on the gorgeous 13-minute "Me And My Woman" with lush orchestration from long-time Mike Oldfield collaborator DAVID BEDFORD. Even after all these years - the 'freshness' of it all still amazes me. And it's so uniquely Roy Harper...

"Stormcock" is an old English name given to the Mistle Thrush bird - a feathery friend of these here isles that is prone to glorious singing of a morning (and apparently it's also the artist's nickname on occasion). "Stormcock" - spread your wings on this secret CD masterpiece and let your spirits fly...
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on 17 November 2004
This is quite simply the best album of all time. No contest. Listen to the beginning of "Me and My Woman" on a misty autumn day (or anytime) and you'll get it. Ethereal, jagged, always surprising, this is the music from a unique talent at the very peak of his powers. (With a little help from his friend...)
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