Come Out Fighting Ghengis Smith

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Come Out Fighting Ghengis Smith
Come Out Fighting Ghengis Smith album cover.jpg
Studio album by Roy Harper
Released 1968
Recorded England
Genre Folk rock, progressive folk, folk baroque
Length 45:40
Label CBS BPG 63184
Awareness AWCD 1035
Science Friction HUCD006
Science Friction SFLP004
Producer Shel Talmy
Roy Harper chronology
Sophisticated Beggar
Come Out Fighting Ghengis Smith
Alternative Cover
1977 Reissue cover
1977 Reissue cover
Reissue Covers
1991 Reissue cover
1991 Reissue cover
2017 Reissue cover
2017 Reissue cover
Professional ratings
Review scores
Allmusic3/5 stars link

Come Out Fighting Ghengis Smith is English folk / rock singer-songwriter and guitarist Roy Harper's second album and was released in 1968. The album was re-issued in 1977 as The Early Years, re-issued once more on Compact disc in 1991, and was re-released again in December 2017 in a remastered, 180 Gram Vinyl format.


Columbia Records, recognising Harper's potential, hired American producer Shel Talmy to produce the album. Talmy later claimed that 'Harper was difficult... truculent... we battled. But we got round to it'.[1]

Musically, the album was notable for the 11 minute track "Circle" comprising several movements, "a soundscape of Harper's difficult youth" that, according to Harper, was "totally unlike anything anyone else was doing. The Beatles weren’t doing anything like that at the time. The Stones weren’t doing anything like it, either. No-one was"[2]

Career-wise, the album was notable for establishing a broadening in Harper's musical style away from the more traditional side of contemporary folk music then played. Harper had an interest in traditional folk but did not consider himself a Bona fide member of the folk scene. He later explained:-

I was too much of a modernist, really. Just too modern for what was going on in the folk clubs. I wanted to modernise music, but more than that to completely modernise people’s attitudes towards life in general. I was involved in trying to bring (more) meat to the (contemporary) folk music...(of the time).[3]

Harper's record company had different expectations. "They wanted me to write commercial pop songs and when they heard the album...they didn’t have a clue. They wanted hits. And I gave them "Circle"".[2] Bert Jansch contributed sleeve notes for the album. During this period, Harper was managed by American music entrepreneur Jo Lustig; manager of The Pentangle and former agent to Julie Felix.


In 1977 the album was re-issued by CBS with a different cover under the title The Early Years. In 1991 the album was re-released again by Awareness Records with new artwork and additional content.

The track "You Don't Need Money" appeared on the first bargain priced sampler album, The Rock Machine Turns You On, as "Nobody's Got Any Money In The Summer".

Track listing[edit]

All tracks written by Roy Harper.

Side one
1."Freak Street"3:06
2."You Don't Need Money"2:27
3."Ageing Raver"4:11
4."In a Beautiful Rambling Mess"2:51
5."All You Need Is"5:49
6."What You Have"5:16
Side two
8."Highgate Cemetery"2:22
9."Come Out Fighting Ghengis Smith"8:58
1991 CD reissue bonus tracks
10."Zaney Janey" (from the US release of Folkjokeopus)3:31
11."Ballad of Songwriter" (from the US release of Folkjokeopus)3:10
12."Midspring Dithering" (A-side from the 1967 single)2:49
13."Zengem" (A-side from the 1967 single)1:37
14."It's Tomorrow And Today Is Yesterday" (John Peel — BBC Radio Show 1970)4:11
15."Francesca" (recorded for "Top Gear" at the BBC, 3 June 1969)1:32
16."She's the One" (recorded "Top Gear" at the BBC, 3 June 1969)4:45




  1. ^ "2017 Shel Talmy Interview". Record Collector Magazine. April 2017. Retrieved 2017-04-05.
  2. ^ a b "2011 Roy Harper Interview". July 2011. Retrieved 2013-11-24.
  3. ^ 2008 Roy Harper interview. Retrieved on 9 December 2011.

External links[edit]