Once (Roy Harper album)

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Once
Studio album by Roy Harper
Released 1990
Genre rock
Label IRS Records, Awareness Records
Producer Roy Harper
Roy Harper chronology
Loony on the Bus
(1988)
Once
(1990)
Death or Glory?
(1992)
Professional ratings
Review scores
Source Rating
Allmusic 4/5 stars[1]

Once is the sixteenth studio album by English rock/folk singer-songwriter Roy Harper, released in 1990.[2]

History[edit]

David Gilmour, Kate Bush, Nick Harper and Nigel Mazlyn Jones appear on the album, with Gilmour and Bush both on the title track.[3] Harper supported the release of the album by touring the UK. One of the concerts took place at the Dominion Theatre (a West End theatre on Tottenham Court Road in the London Borough of Camden) and was filmed. The concert took place on the 22 November 1990, the same night Margaret Thatcher announced her resignation as Prime Minister. The concert film was later released as Roy Harper Once - Live.

The track "The Black Cloud of Islam" is a despairing castigation of radical Islam.

"I'm sick to the teeth of the news on the screen
Of hisbollah scum and jihad the obscene
Whose men plant the bombs and then live feeling free
To watch women and children be killed on T. V.
Which satan delivers a child a death curse
In the name of a worn out collection of verse
I've not read the book so I cannot recite
But I'd bet Salman Rushdie is just about right
Underneath the black cloud of islam."[4]

The song provoked some criticism, to which Harper responded, in 2006, when he wrote: "I let my guard slip. I knew that I’d let it slip. I wanted it to slip. I was absolutely sick of being politically correct. I am not politically correct, I never have been..".[5] His stated reason for penning the song was his "feelings of despair" about his "worst dreams coming true" about religion gaining ground. Religion, he stated on his personal blog, was something he regarded with the "deepest possible suspicion" and now, to his horror, he could see it "about to storm the world" and "take over whole swathes of humanity"; a thought that he detested and made him "want to die on the spot".[5] In a later interview with the The Daily Telegraph, the matter of this song was raised. Harper asserted that he wrote the song "as a liberal, not as a racist" and was inspired to do so by the 1988 Lockerbie Bombing.[6]

Track listing[edit]

  1. "Once"
  2. "Once in the Middle of Nowhere"
  3. "Nowhere to Run to"
  4. "The Black Cloud of Islam"
  5. "If"
  6. "Winds of Change"
  7. "Berliners"
  8. "Sleeping at the Wheel"
  9. "For Longer Than it Takes"
  10. "Ghost Dance"


References[edit]

  1. ^ Allmusic review
  2. ^ Allmusic entry for Once. Retrieved November 2009.
  3. ^ Miles, Barry; Andy Mabbett (1994). Pink Floyd the visual documentary ([Updated ed.] ed.). London :: Omnibus,. ISBN 0-7119-4109-2. 
  4. ^ Roy Harper. "Lyrics Freak: Roy Harper: The Black Cloud of Islam". Lyricsfreak.com. Retrieved 31 January 2015. 
  5. ^ a b Cloudy Days. "Roy Harper Official Site". Royharper.co.uk. Retrieved 31 January 2015. 
  6. ^ The Daily Telegraph. "Roy Harper: When an old cricketer returns to the crease". telegraph.co.uk. Retrieved 31 January 2015.