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Flat Baroque and Beserk
Harvest SHVL 766 (1970)

Flat Baroque and Beserk

Album available as:-
(Science Friction HUCD003)

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 Beetles, 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.
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.

- Roy Harper

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.

- Richie Unterberger (AMG)


Track Listing:

1. Don't You Grieve (Harper) - 5:43
2. I Hate the White Man (Harper) - 8:02
3. Feeling All the Saturday (Harper) - 1:56
4. How Does It Feel (Harper) - 6:29
5. Goodbye (Harper) - 5:42
6. Another Day (Harper) - 2:57
7. Davey - 1:30
8. East of the Sun (Harper) - 3:02
9. Tom Tiddler's Ground (Harper) - 6:48
10. Francesca (Harper) - 1:19
11. Song of the Ages (Harper) - 3:52
12. Hell's Angels (Harper) - 7:46

Roy Harper - Guitar, Vocals







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