Thursday, March 09, 2017

The minimalism Project - The Unknown Soldier by Roy Harper

A couple of years ago I started attempting (on this very blog) to review all the albums that I owned. I got about four or five in and lost momentum. Now I am proposing a different approach. This year I intend to listen to every CD I own - and if I don't love it I will get rid of it. (read more about my minimalism project here) I am going to do mini reviews of the albums as I go.

The Unknown Soldier by Roy Harper (1980)

I knew this album was a keeper before I even listened to it. I have a sentimental soft spot for Roy Harper, and for this album in particular - which was the soundtrack to a big part of my teens. I was introduced to Roy Harper (and this album) by muso friend of mine called Alan who lived in the commune where later I would end up living for several years. Alan had a massive record collection and introduced me to some great albums including this one and My Life in The Bush of Ghosts by Brian Eno and David Byrne.

I remember that I had to order the LP specially from the local record shop (Jons) in my hometown and it took weeks to come. The album is quite different to many of Harper's earlier more folky LPs - being more soft rock in style. Harper has worked with a stellar array of musicians over the years and this album is no exception. Several of the songs are co-written by David Gilmour (of Pink Floyd) who also plays on the album, and Kate bush provides some of the vocals on "You" (The Game Part II). I have to say that I don't love the album as much as I did aged 15 or 16, but I do really enjoy hearing it now and then. Some of the songs are quite haunting and of course for me there is a huge element of nostalgia in the listening. I think as an adult you can't help but be moved by music that had a major influence on your developing mind. This also brings back memories of sitting in my room listening to this with particular friends. I am not sure whether I converted anyone to being a Roy Harper fan, but I am certain I played this to anyone who visited me whether they liked it or not.