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Flat Baroque & Berserk CD

4.8 out of 5 stars 25 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Audio CD (11 Oct. 1997)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Format: CD
  • Label: Science Friction
  • ASIN: B00004S2NP
  • Other Editions: Audio CD  |  Audio Cassette  |  Vinyl  |  MP3 Download
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (25 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 6,967 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)
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Product Description

Product Description

Roy Harper's fourth album found him in an acoustic folkie mode more often than not, though as usual (for circa late-'60s Harper) there were detours into pretty rocky items on occasion. It's not much of either a progression or a slide from the lyrically convoluted, somewhat but not incredibly melodic path he had established with his prior work. "I Hate the White Man," however, is certainly one of his most notable (and notorious) compositions, a spew of lilting verbiage that's hard to peg. It could be irony, it could be ironic self-hatred, it could be muddled reflections on the chaos that is the modern world, or it could be a combination of all of them. There are gentler items, sometimes with subdued harmony vocals and orchestration, that sound rather like Harper's most acerbic side sanded off with edges of Al Stewart, Donovan, or Tim Hardin; "Another Day" is the prettiest of those. The atypical "Hell's Angels," on the other hand, has a twisted, chunky rock feel rather like the solo work of another of producer Peter Jenner's clients, Syd Barrett.

From the Artist

'Flat Baroque and Berserk' was the first record of mine to go into the charts. For the first time in my recording career, proper care and attention was paid to the presentation of the song. Peter Jenner was assigned by EMI Records to produce the recording. Peter and I got on really well and he was a better overseer of my work than anyone I have been involved with before or since. I had also had a Studio upgrade. EMI Studios, Abbey Road was at that time the most advanced studio in Europe, and over the next ten years I was to record in near-perfect conditions.

Over those years, the studio buzzed with four separate Beatles, some Stones, The Pink Floyd, Cliff and the Shadows, Gracie Fields, three of four musical knights, Kate Bush, Olivier Newton-John, The Hollies, Yehudi Menuin, Stefan Grapelli, The Plastic Ono Band, Eric Clapton; you name them, they were all there. Jimmy Page and I were in there three or four times together.

It was a creative hotbed where the technical staff, headed by Ken Townsend, were second to none.

The poster for the original release of Flat Baroque and Berserk.

Meanwhile, back at the ranch, I was very pleased with my first record made in such elevated surroundings. The song that I was best known for in those days, 'I Hate the White Man,' was recorded live for this album, and still stands as a testament to my lifelong devotion to espousing equal rights for all humans. I have long since wondered about the wisdom of stating that you have more than the capacity to hate your own race for it's misdemeanors, but as a polemic it has been both an effective tool and somewhere of a place to stand.

Much of the rect of the record is on a gentler level, although 'Hells Angels,' recorded with 'The Nice,' is just as raw and was very eventful.

'Another Day' is one of the best love songs I ever wrote and the overall balance of the record is very good.

Customer Reviews

4.8 out of 5 stars
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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
Roy Harper is an artist that I have heard a lot about over the years, mainly from other artists that I really enjoy such as Jethro Tull and, of course, Led Zeppelin. I finally got round to getting a taster of his music, and decided to go for this album based on the sound scientific principle that I really liked the title and the cover art.

I was instantly captivated. As a bit of a folkie with a lot of Dylan, Guthrie, Fairport Convention and the such in my collection it is a wonderment how I have never heard this music before, as it is such a natural fit with the other stuff on my cd shelves.

The album starts off with seemingly simple tunes, soft and mellow as though being played in a haze of `herbal' cigarette smoke. The simple folky guitar lines are picked out with delicious clarity by Harper on the guitar. Then slowly you realise just how not so simple some of the guitar work really is and you get drawn into the complexity. Then the lyrics hit you. This is someone who has something to say, whether it be a tale of broken hearted love, or railing against racism. The message is important, and you get swept along with Harper's tales. The album is well paced, with real care being taken over the placing of each track in the running order, and there is a rise and fall in tempo throughout, culminating in `Hell's Angels', where Harper really lets himself go and stretches himself out in a long, folk/prog rock fusion that works absolutely divinely and provides a thrilling, almost breathless album closer.

Hats off to Roy Harper indeed, 5 stars and I am now hurrying off to acquire more from this amazing artist.
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Format: Audio CD
My introduction to Roy Harper started with FBB.Having continued to listen to the Master of prose and acoustic skill "Live" and on tapes and vinyl, we have now the chance to purchase the musical talent of both Roy and Nick Harper on CD. FBB is full of the best of Harper. Recorded originally on four track with no other studio instruments used though the creation of tracks such as DontYou Grieve,I Hate The White Man,Another Day and Hells Angels are pure brilliance, he was likened to Dylan but I would not agree .This man is pure genius,Hats off to Roy Harper .To experience The true Harper this album is a must
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Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
There is plenty to enjoy on this, the most perfectly realised of Roy's early albums. As he says in the liner notes, production quality was up, the instrumentation (though generally sparse) is crystal clear, the songwriting is sharp and Roy is in fine voice throughout. Some of the songs (Davey, East of the Sun, Francesca) are brief but beautiful snippets while others like "I Hate the White Man" and "Hells Angels" are more extended work-outs: "White Man" is a blistering, outraged attack on racial prejudice while "Angels" is a full-on rock blast with members of The Nice joining in and Roy having a whale of a time on electric guitar. The real jewel in this collection, however, is the heartbreaking "Another Day"...a tad more poignant and it would kill you. Great songs, great album, one which Roy has only bettered in "Stormcock".
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Format: Audio CD
It is hard to remember how far ahead of his time Harper was. I remember seeing him just as this album was ready for release and he said that they had had to reduce the gaps between the tracks to fit it on an LP! That was the problem he did not have the appropriate technology to support him then. "Flashes From The Archives of Oblivion" captures some of his live power. When stoned he rambled between songs but (usually)when he sang live, no matter his mental state, his voice and songs were powerful, unnerving and sublimely beautiful. Something that was never really caught in the studio - he worked by his mood/feeling/the gifts he was given/consumed that evening, hence the fact he could also be awful at times. You didn't meet on his ledge you were on it with him!
All his albums are sketch pads for the ideas he would develop live. When I first saw him he did 'Hells Angels' live and alone but no one missed the band (the record wasn't out), he more than made up for them, as Nice as they were on the LP!
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By A Customer on 5 Jun. 2004
Format: Audio CD
alongside harvest by neil young, and the eponymous tim buckley album, this is one of those albums that gets undr your skin. you put it on to do the washing up and it takes you over. buy it. now.
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Format: Audio CD
This was the first RH album I heard. At the time was into 70's Metal, Judas Priest, Saxon and Demon to name but three. A friends sister lent me this album and I was amazed that a mainly acoustic folk album could be so controversial lyrically and musically outstanding. My favourite tracks Don't Yo Grieve, I hate the White Man, Tom Tiddler's Ground and Another Day later covered by Peter Gabriel and Ktae Bush (this version is better). Still like metal now into Children of Bodom, Korn and Stone Sour but own every album RH has recorded and now also listen to Blue Grass and Folk. Great album give it a listen. If you are not yet a fan give an introduction to RH a go, it should get you hooked.
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Format: Audio CD
I adore this acoustic magician's album. It is very late-60s in content and yet has a certain contempoary feel too. My favourites are the beautiful 'Francesca', the religiously-challenging 'Don't you grieve' and 'Tom Tiddler's'. I hope you enjoy this album as much as I have. And the album cover is a masterpiece!
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