Rahul Sharma (Editor)

Sophisticated Beggar

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Released  1966
Length  52:49
Artist  Roy Harper
Label  Science Friction
Recorded  England
Producer  Peter Richards
Release date  1967
Sophisticated Beggar httpsuploadwikimediaorgwikipediaenthumb9
Sophisticated Beggar (1966)  Come Out Fighting Ghengis Smith (1968)
Genres  Folk music, Folk rock, Progressive folk, Folk baroque
Similar  Folkjokeopus, Flat Baroque and Bers, Come Out Fighting Ghengis, The Unknown Soldier, Bullinamingvase

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


Roy harper china girl 1967


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. The album's liner notes imply that both John Renbourn and Ritchie Blackmore contributed.

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

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.

Track listing

All tracks credited to Roy Harper

Side one

  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

  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


  • Bert Jansch
  • John Renbourn
  • Paul Brett
  • Lon Goddard
  • Songs

    1China Girl3:36
    3Sophisticated Beggar5:07


    Sophisticated Beggar Wikipedia