|Studio album by Roy Harper|
|Genre||Folk, progressive folk, folk baroque|
Science Friction HUCD009
|Roy Harper chronology|
The album is notable for the lengthy track "McGoohan's Blues", which Harper states was "inspired by actor Patrick McGoohan's depiction of the establishment rebel in his TV series, The Prisoner". An extended, Dylanesque strophic form accompanied only by Harper's guitar ("how the sea she roars with laughter/And howls with the dancing wind/To see my two feet standing here/questioning") suddenly segues, after over ten minutes, first into a brief, new and quieter theme and then into a full-band coda.
The searing falsetto of "She's the One" makes for one of Harper's most intense and moving recordings as manic guitar-strumming accompanies his scornful upbraiding of an acquaintance for his self-pitying insensitivity to a "wonderful wife" whom the singer sees and apparently loves as "a very beautiful young woman". Like "McGoohan's Blues", this track seems to butt-join two related but distinct songs.
"One For All" was dedicated to tenor saxophonist Albert Ayler, whom Harper had known in Copenhagen. It includes a lengthy acoustic guitar solo. "Exercising Some Control" and "Manana" may be numbered among Harper's light-hearted crowd-pleasing songs, while "In The Time Of Water" and the Incredible String Bandish "Composer Of Life" are more experimental, the former featuring the sound of water and Harper's sitar. The opening "Sergeant Sunshine" features the voice of Jane Scrivener while other contributing musicians include Nicky Hopkins, Ron Geesin, "Russ" on bass guitar and drummer Clem Cattini. The American release included two extra tracks, "Zaney Janey" and "Ballad of a Songwriter".
Allmusic, although noting influences such as Bob Dylan, Bert Jansch, Donovan, and possibly Al Stewart, and praising Harper's "uniformly excellent" guitar work, criticised Folkjokeopus for being "sprawling and unwieldy".
All songs written by Roy Harper
- Side one
- "Sgt. Sunshine" – 3:04
- "She's the One" – 6:55
- "In the Time of Water" – 2:16
- "Composer of Life" – 2:26
- "One for All" – 8:11
- Side two
- "Exercising Some Control" – 2:50
- "McGoohan's Blues" – 17:55
- "Manana" – 4:20