Roy Harper

The BBC Tapes, Vol. 2: In Concert 1974

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This set includes a complete performance by Roy Harper from April 1974 at the Hippodrome, entertaining banter and all. It includes the opener, "Hors d'Oeuvres," which was missing on the bootleg version of this show, Heavy Crazy. Amazingly enough, this official version actually has worse sound quality than the boot, which is frustrating. It's not a lack of fidelity -- the source was the BBC archives -- but an overuse of equalization and noise reduction, which gives the sound a harsh quality, resulting in the audience pinging like robots during the applause. That quibble aside, the set list is actually more expansive than the one on Harper's definitive live release, Flashes From the Archives of Oblivion. The performance is first-rate as well, making this -- despite the annoyances -- a fairly essential purchase in Harper's catalog.

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