Roy Harper

The BBC Tapes, Vol. 4: In Concert 1975

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Roy Harper is best known, if at all, for his fine acoustic songs. However, in the mid-'70s he released both HQ and Bullinamingvase, which highlighted a tougher, and equally impressive, hard rock and folk-rock bent. The first of his semi-permanent bands at the time was Trigger, which included the amazing Bill Bruford on drums and the equally underrated Chris Spedding on guitar. As such, The BBC Tapes, Vol. 4: In Concert 1975 is not only a rare glimpse into this short-lived supergroup, it's also the toughest collection of Harper material currently available. A nice version of HQ's masterful "Hallucinating Light" opens the set, but "Referendum" (an update of "Legend" from Harper's debut) and "The Spirit Lives" really showcase this tight group's classic style. Fans of the harder moments of Led Zeppelin and Pink Floyd who were disappointed at name-dropped Harper's softer side will be enthralled with this release, which confirms that Harper's hard rock acumen was just as sharp as his acoustic one.