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Hats Off


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Audio CD, June 19, 2001
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Product Details

  • Audio CD (June 19, 2001)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Capitol
  • ASIN: B00005LMLF
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #420,390 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

1. Death or Glory?
2. Commune
3. Me And My Woman
4. Male Chauvinist Pig Blues
5. Highway Blues
6. You
7. 1948ish
8. Another Day
9. Don't You Grieve
10. Ten Years Ago
11. These Fifty Years
12. One of Those Days in England (Part 1)
13. Same Old Rock
14. The Game

Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com

Roy Harper isn't a household name--unless, perhaps, the house you're talking about is one of those palatial country estates favored by English rock stars of the '60s and '70s. This wide-ranging career overview includes contributions from Harper champions such as Jimmy Page (yes, Led Zeppelin III's "Hats Off to [Roy] Harper" tips the ol' derby to the cult folk-rocker), David Gilmour (Harper guests on Pink Floyd's "Have a Cigar"), Kate Bush, Keith Moon, and Paul McCartney. Which isn't to imply that Hats Off is a star-studded tribute. Contributions by the peripatetic singer-songwriter's famous friends never overshadow Harper's piercing vocals and turbulent lyrics; it's striking that the players on the 1974 track "Male Chauvinist Pig Blues" are Page, Moon, and Ronnie Lane, but it's Harper's raw outburst ("I can destroy you with ease, that's plain / So why don't you leave me in peace, in pain") that carries the day. With tracks dating from 1970 to 1998, this 14-song retrospective offers entrée into the riveting works of a gifted outsider, though intrepid explorers are encouraged to throw themselves into his 1971 masterpiece, Stormcock. --Steven Stolder

Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

13 of 13 people found the following review helpful By Sean Hutchinson on August 28, 2002
Format: Audio CD
It would be difficult to represent Roy Harper's 30+ years of recording on a 72-minute CD - you would need at least 2 full CDs. One day, I hope somebody will put that together. For now, you really have 2 choices: either buy "HQ", his best album, and "Stormcock", or buy a compilation like this one. Although I'm pleased to see the lovely live version of "Another Day" on here, why bother at all with "Me And My Woman" if you're only going to give us 4 minutes of a 13-minute song?! And if there's a need to edit it, why not cut it after the first 5 minutes - most people would tell you the best parts of this mini symphony are the first 2 movements: the first verse and chorus, and the lovely 'adagio' section that starts with "What a lovely day, what a day to play, ..." Instead, we get the last 4 minutes - the finale of the song. "HQ" is a great album, but is only represented by half of the song "The Game" - you don't get the gorgeous "Hallucinating Light" or the very charming "When An Old Cricketer Leaves The Crease". If you really want to find out about Roy Harper, buy "HQ" instead.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Stolenmoment on May 14, 2007
Format: Audio CD
I'm a newcomer to Roy Harper, and all I could think after first discovering him was, "How come I have never heard of this guy before?" I have always been a huge admirer of British rock and folk music, and knew the Zeppelin track named in his honor, but always figured that Harper was just some eccentric cult favorite of Jimmy Page's, perhaps a local busker or something. Man, did I get it wrong. What surprised me most were Harper's amazing songwriting skills, particularly on acoustic ballads, which is why this compilation was a bit of a letdown. For one thing, I'm not a fan of the "HQ" album or the full-band treatments in general. It all sounds like clunky pub rock to me. Roy shines brightest solo on acoustic guitar, maybe with some strings or tasteful keyboards in the mix, but with plenty of room to stretch out and breathe. In my opinion, this compilation just doesn't offer enough of that. Of course it has "Commune," perhaps the most beautiful ballad he ever wrote, but where is "Forbidden Fruit"? "Forever"? "I'll See You Again"? All tracks off the superb VALENTINE album, but what do the compilers choose over such delicately-spun gold? "Male Chauvinist Pig Blues." Hmmm... maybe good for some incidental air guitar with a tennis racket, but certainly not among the master's finest works. Roy really deserves a box set, because no self-respecting music lover can listen to a mere smattering of his songs and be satisfied. I recommend the original albums STORMCOCK, VALENTINE, and FLAT, BAROQUE AND BERSERK...all must-haves...then continue from there. You'll probably end up with everything else.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By stuartdawson@email.com on December 4, 2001
Format: Audio CD
Hat's off is a sample of Roy Harpers work covering a period of 30 years. The focus of this collection of songs are the artists that have worked with Roy; Jimmy Page, Kate Bush, Keith Moon, Dave Gilmour to name a few. The music flows in an easy, but atmospheric style which transports the listener to Roy's world of poetry, Folk, Rock and Blues. Considering the span of time covering these tunes you'd expect a more retro. or dated sound, which couldn't be further from the truth. Roy Harpers work is as thought provoking and insightful as ever, and Jimmy Page can play a bit too. The limits of space and time do not apply to Roy Harper.
Not listening to this CD would be an injustice to yourself and Roy Harper. Buy it now and begin your search for the rest of Roy's back catalogue. You will not be disappointed.
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7 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Michael Stout on June 30, 2001
Format: Audio CD
Great God(s) Almighty, this is a spectacular collection. Many tracks are edited for the sake of economy, and a couple sound remixed to me, but it makes things all the more commerical. Roy hopes 'one of them will get over the bar one day' in the liner notes, and it deserves to be this one. Hats Off shames the previous compilation, Introduction, back into the closet for good. This is the definitive to introduction the man who is possibly the greatest single singer/songwriter in the history of British popular music (yes...including them). Some Amazon ratings are generous, but five stars is applicable here.
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