Sophisticated Beggar

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Sophisticated Beggar
Studio album by Roy Harper
Released 1966
Recorded England
Genre Folk, progressive folk, folk baroque
Length 52:49
Label Strike JHL 105,
Science Friction HUCD007
Producer Peter Richards
Roy Harper chronology
Sophisticated Beggar
Come Out Fighting Ghengis Smith
Alternative cover
Sophisticated Beggar
Reissue cover
Alternative cover
The Return of The Sophisticated Beggar
Reissue cover
Professional ratings
Review scores
Source Rating
Allmusic 3.5/5 stars [2]
Rolling Stone [1] 4/5 stars

Sophisticated Beggar is English folk / rock singer-songwriter and guitarist Roy Harper's debut album. It was released in 1966.


The album consists of Harper's poetry backed by acoustic guitar and recorded with a Revox tape machine by Pierre Tubbs.

When initially released the album was poorly distributed; only a few thousand were ever made, so in order to promote the album, Harper designed flyers and personally handed them out to shoppers in Oxford Street, London.[2] The albums liner notes imply that both John Renbourn and Ritchie Blackmore contributed.[3][4][5]

On the original vinyl release, after the record needle pans across the run-out groove to the lock groove, there is a recording of Harper saying "Hup hup" over and over again. Some subsequent CD releases have included this recording as a separate track, "Hup Hup Spiral".

The album has subsequently been re-released on a number of different labels, given numerous titles, and had the original track listing altered. Though still available today, Harper only receives royalties for the official Science Friction release.

Album cover[edit]

The album cover was drawn by Lon Goddard who, at the time, was the barman at Les Cousins. Goddard also lived with Harper and his family in Kilburn, London, played 2nd guitar on "October Twelfth" and "Goldfish" and later designed the gatefold cover for Harper's 1970 Harvest release, Flat Baroque and Berserk.[6]

Track listing[edit]

All tracks credited to Roy Harper

Side one[edit]

  1. "China Girl" – 3:36
  2. "Goldfish" – 2:47
  3. "Sophisticated Beggar" – 5:07
  4. "My Friend" – 4:06
  5. "Big Fat Silver Aeroplane" – 3:39
  6. "Blackpool" – 5:08
  7. "Legend" – 3:43

Side two[edit]

  1. "Girlie" – 3:02
  2. "October the Twelfth" – 5:54
  3. "Black Clouds" – 4:31
  4. "Mr. Station Master" – 3:04
  5. "Forever" – 3:27
  6. "Committed" – 3:14

Release history[edit]

Region Date Label Format Catalog Title
United Kingdom 1966 Strike Vinyl JHL 105 Sophisticated Beggar
United Kingdom 1970 Youngblood Vinyl SSYB 7 The Return Of The Sophisticated Beggar
United Kingdom 1972 Birth Vinyl RAB 3 The Return Of The Sophisticated Beggar
United Kingdom 1977 Big Ben Vinyl BBX 502 The Sophisticated Beggar
United Kingdom 1985 Avon Music Cassette ASK 791 Sophisticated Beggar
United Kingdom 1989 Sundown Vinyl SDLP051/CDSM 051 Sophisticated Beggar
Germany 1989 Magnum Vinyl CDSM 051 Sophisticated Beggar
United Kingdom 1992 Tring CD JHD 064 Legend
United Kingdom 1994 Science Friction CD HUCD007 Sophisticated Beggar
United Kingdom 1997 Mooncrest CD CRESTCD 027 Return Of The Sophisticated Beggar
Japan 2006 Airmail CD 1249 Sophisticated Beggar
United Kingdom 2007 Beat Goes On CD BGO 771.2 The Return Of The Sophisticated Beggar
Belgium 2007 One Media CD 250183 Sophisticated Beggar
United Kingdom 2009 Vanilla OMP CD China Girl



  1. ^ [1][dead link]
  2. ^ "1994 Roy Harper Interview". Retrieved 2012-01-07. 
  3. ^ Sophisticated Beggar album review. (2011). Retrieved on 18 December 2011
  4. ^ Sophisticated Beggar album review. (2011). Retrieved on 18 December 2011
  5. ^ Songs of Love and Loss album review. (2011). Retrieved on 18 December 2011
  6. ^ "Articles, interviews and reviews from Lon Goddard: Rock's Backpages". Retrieved 2014-04-26. 

External links[edit]