ARTHUR - Dreams and Images / Arthur Harper (Papa's Choice 4002) South Korea 1968/1969 CD
First and second LP as limited CD-set | CD, Booklet and inlay in NM or mint-
Before Arthur Lee Harper signed with Lee Hazlewood’s LHI Records, he was living at the YMCA and sharing bags of potatoes with his friends. Dreams and Images, released under his first name to almost no fanfare, did not change those conditions. But this reissue is a revealing artifact of the '60s psych folk scene as well as a statement of purpose by a struggling poet.
If you had met Arthur Lee Harper in 1967, around the time he was writing his debut album, it probably wouldn’t have been too long before he introduced himself as a poet. That might seem strange, considering he did not actually publish poems. Instead, he played guitar and wrote songs—not verse set to music, but rhyming lyrics with verses and choruses, delicate melodies and Romantic imagery. He was then what we might call today a singer-songwriter, but the '60s being the '60s, Harper and his friends Stephen John Kalinich and Mark Lindsey Buckingham had grander ambitions than simply strumming pop tunes or providing entertainment. Poetry was an aspiration, a true calling, a means of peeling away the veneer of society and exposing some hard human truths both beautiful and revolting.