From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
Studio album by Roy Harper
Released 1969
Recorded England
Genre Folk, progressive folk, folk baroque
Length 47:57
Label Liberty 21888,
Science Friction HUCD009
Producer Shel Talmy
Roy Harper chronology
Come Out Fighting Ghengis Smith
Flat Baroque and Berserk

Folkjokeopus is the third album issued by English folk / rock singer-songwriter and guitarist Roy Harper. It was produced by Shel Talmy and was first released in 1969 by Liberty Records.


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".[1] 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[citation needed] 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.[1] 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[2] 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".[3]

The album title was borrowed to provide the name of a Minneapolis record store, Oar Folkjokeopus.


Professional ratings
Review scores
Source Rating
Allmusic 2/5 stars[4]

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".[5]

Track listing[edit]

All songs written by Roy Harper

Side one
  1. "Sgt. Sunshine"  – 3:04
  2. "She's the One"  – 6:55
  3. "In the Time of Water"  – 2:16
  4. "Composer of Life"  – 2:26
  5. "One for All"  – 8:11
Side two
  1. "Exercising Some Control"  – 2:50
  2. "McGoohan's Blues"  – 17:55
  3. "Manana"  – 4:20


  • Roy Harper - guitar, vocals, "conceived by"
  • Jane Scrivener - voice
  • Nicky Hopkins - piano
  • "Russ" - bass
  • Clem Cattini - drums
  • Mox Gowland - "somewhere else"
  • Ron Geesin - "added touches"
  • Ray Stevenson - photography


  1. ^ a b "Folkjokeopus – CD". Archived from the original on 2008-01-14. Retrieved 2008-04-30. 
  2. ^ [1] Archived May 13, 2013, at the Wayback Machine.
  3. ^ "Tracks | The Stormcock Community". 2007-05-25. Retrieved 2014-08-20. 
  4. ^ Richie Unterberger. "Folkjokeopus - Roy Harper | Songs, Reviews, Credits, Awards". AllMusic. Retrieved 2014-08-20. 
  5. ^ "Folkjokeopus~". Retrieved 2008-04-30.