Classic Rock - 2004
The Passions Of Great Fortune – The Songs Explored * * * * *

AFTER A LIFETIME SPENT SCORNING journalists and sometimes even audiences (who can forget him calling the crowd at Pink Floyd’s Knebworth Festival in 1975 “a bunch of cunts”?) Roy Harper has finally decided to explain himself.

This hefty hardback book contains the lyrics to over 200 songs, along with his comments. There are also relevant photos, generally by Roy, to illustrate the muse: a landscape, a bird’s nest, a portrait of the artist (occasionally in the company of Jimmy Page, often in the company of his son Nick), or one of the many women who have inspired Harper over the years.

Despite numerous emotional epheavals over the last 40 years that have affected the momentum of his career – although he has released over 30 albums – there’s a steadfast consistency running through his lyrics. And his wilful refusal to compromise is softened by a delicacy with words and a rare sense of humour.

-Hugh Fielder

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