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Lifemask (Roy Harper album - cover art).jpg
Studio album by
Released February 1973
Recorded Abbey Road Studios, London[1]
Genre Progressive folk, folk baroque, folk rock
Length 43:59
Label Harvest SHVL 808
Chrysalis CHR 1162
Awareness AWCD1035
Science Friction HUCD005
Producer Peter Jenner
Roy Harper chronology
Professional ratings
Review scores
Source Rating
Allmusic 4/5 stars [2]

Lifemask is the sixth album by English folk / rock singer-songwriter and guitarist Roy Harper, and was first released in 1973 by Harvest Records.


Lifemask was written by Harper during a period of illness when HHT, which leads to polycythemia, threatened his health and incapacitated him. With thoughts of life and death upon his mind, side two of the album features a lengthy 23 minute track entitled "The Lord's Prayer" which Harper described as "my last will and testament".

The gatefold album cover is a representation of Harper's 'death mask'.[3] that opens centrally to reveal Harper, very much alive, "fixing the listener with one of his trademarked intense stares."[4] As such it, in fact, shows Harper's 'life mask' as opposed to the death mask it could have been.

Some of the songs were included in the soundtrack for the John Mackenzie-directed film Made which was on general release at the time, the story of a relationship between a young single mother, played by Carol White, and an insecure rock star, 'Mike Preston' played by Harper. An excerpt is taken from "The Lord's Prayer", a live excerpt from "Highway Blues" and a live session of "Little Lady" and "Bank Of The Dead" (a.k.a. "The Social Casualty" and "Valerie's Song") sung with alternative lyrics are heard.

The 1987 Awareness Records cassette release of Lifemask (AWT 1007) contained 4 bonus tracks not included on any other Lifemask release.[5]

Tracks on compilation albums

A retrospective compilation album, A Breath of Fresh Air – A Harvest Records Anthology 1969–1974, was released in 2007. This 3 disc compilation contained the album track "South Africa".

Track listing

All tracks credited to Roy Harper

Side one
No. Title Length
1. "Highway Blues" 6:34
2. "All Ireland" 2:52
3. "Little Lady" 4:19
4. "Bank of the Dead" 3:13
5. "South Africa" 4:06
Side two
No. Title Length
6. "The Lord's Prayer"
a) "Poem"
b) "Modal Song Parts I to IV"
c) "Front Song"
d) "Middle Song"
e) "End Song"
1987 cassette bonus tracks
No. Title Original release Length
7. "Ballad of Songwriter" US release of Folkjokeopus  
8. "Zaney Janey" US release of Folkjokeopus  
9. "Midspring Dithering" Single released in 1967  
10. "Zengem" B-side of "Midspring Dithering"  


A 7" single was released on the Harvest record label (HAR 5059). This single contained the alternate versions of the album tracks that appeared in the movie Made.

  1. Side 1. "Bank Of The Dead"
  2. Side 2. "Little Lady"




  1. ^
  2. ^ Lifemask at AllMusic
  3. ^ Mojo magazine album review Archived 2008-05-12 at the Wayback Machine.
  4. ^ Mojo magazine album review
  5. ^ Fan site discography Archived 2013-12-15 at the Wayback Machine.

External links

  • Roy Harper Official Site
  • Excellent Roy Harper resource
  • Internet Movie Database Entry for Made
  • Album credits
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