Author:Opher Goodwin / Tim Moon / Morgan Brown
Roy Harper must rank among the most underrated and overlooked British songwriters by the general public at large. In his eighties now, his career spans over fifty years, with twenty two studio albums, not to mention numerous live recordings. Even now, albums such as Stormcock and Lifemask have stood the test of the passing years, which only attests to the quality of the songwriting – just listen once more to Same Old Rock, McGoohan’s Blues, I Hate The White Man, One Of These Days In England and When an Old Cricketer Leaves The Crease and marvel at the craft on display. Written by a friend of Roy, this is a really good in depth look at his work, right up to his most recent release, and is very much recommended if you are interested in his catalogue, which now stretches to an incredible two hundred and fifty songs.
Reading Rose Simpson’s book earlier this year rekindled my interest in ISB after it had lain dormant for many a long year. Again, this is a book written by a friend of the key band members, and his affection for both them and their work shines through. It’s not an easy task interpreting their somewhat surreal music, but he does a good job, looking at the solo work of Mike and Robin as well as the band’s own recordings. Incidentally, I noticed in reading Richard Thompson’s book that he mentions in passing that Lickie turned up a year or two back after being off the radar for a very long time – I’m not sure if that’s correct or not as I’ve not seen any other references to a reappearance. Be that as it may, this is a well researched and put together look at this influential but perhaps now largely forgotten outfit that for many encapsulated an idyllic hippy lifestyle.
I don’t know too much about the music of The Damned other than Neat Neat Neat, New Rose, Love Song, Smash It Up and Eloise. I do know though that they’ve accumulated quite a sprawling back catalogue, built up almost unbelievably over forty five years now. The author has taken a deep dive into their vaults to produce this perfect companion to their work, which takes even someone like me with just a passing interest on a voyage of discovery into their strange and chaotic world.
Length of Read:Short
Might appeal to people who enjoyed…
If you’re a fan of these artists then these books are well worth taking a look at.
One thing you’ve learned
There’s too much music out there to keep abreast of!