Retro Roy

Rare 1975 promotional poster for 'Kid Full Of Dreams', Roy's first LP

If you've read the liner notes to Roy's 2014 release Strikin' Matches LIVE! you'll know that his original plan was to put together a compilation of tunes from the past, including a few unreleased tracks, bits from his film scores and alternate versions of songs from his back catalogue, sprinkled in amongst cuts from his out-of-print albums. His quest for a live version of Love Turns To Ice lead him away from the planned anthology-type release to the eventual collection of live recordings that became Strikin' Matches.

The 'Retro-Roy' page contained streaming audio samples of a few things that Roy was considering for that original compilation project. We've decided to keep this page as an ongoing repository of some interesting, mostly unreleased Roy cuts. You might see out-takes from his currently available albums plus a sampling of material with UHF or his work with Connie Kaldor. You can hear Roy rocking out with his first band The Crystal Ship from a 1969 recording at a Ft. St. John high school gym. Many of Roy's live shows were recorded by CBC down through the years. Who knows what might pop up from those tapes? His guitar-driven soundtrack work contains some terrific music that has rarely been heard outside the context of the films.

Have fun exploring.

Check out these streaming audio samples of Rare Retro Roy Recordings


Call Up an Old Friend [1993]

In 1989, Roy began a fruitful part-time musical collaboration with two old friends, Shari Ulrich and Bill Henderson. Ulrich Henderson & Forbes (UHF) recorded two albums in the early 90s and played countless gigs together over the next thirty years or so. Many have said that the combination of the three voices and instrumentalists is pure magic. That magic is certainly apparent in this casual unreleased performance of Roy’s 'Call Up An Old Friend', recorded live-off-the-floor at Vancouver’s Mushroom Studios sometime in 1993. The purpose of the quick session was a demo to go along with the group’s ultimately successful application to FACTOR. The funding assistance from this important arts organization played a vital role in the recording of the trio’s 1994 release, UHF II.


Silly Guy [1980]

Roy and his fine 1979-80-era band, recorded by CBC in the spring of 1980 at the legendary Vancouver club, Rohans. The band consists of Roy (lead vocals, guitar), Leona Lohn (harmony vocals), Laurence Knight (bass), Gary Koliger (guitar) and Chris Nordquist (drums). Roy never did get around to recording this one.


Willow Tree [2002]

Roy shows his jazzy side in a CBC studio recording for the 'Hot Air' radio program. With Miles Black (piano), Brad Turner (trumpet), Campbell Ryga (sax), Miles Hill (bass) and Buff Allen (drums).


Tiny Island [1987]

Here's one from Roy's 1987 LP 'Love Turns To Ice' which was the first official 'Roy Forbes album and the first release on AKA Records. Roy's on guitar and vocals with Norman MacPherson (electric guitars) and Connie LeBeau (bass). (vinyl LP only, available on iTunes)


Leave It To The Lord [1994]

Originally released on Roy's first LP 'Kid Full Of Dreams' in 1975, here's an unreleased version from the marathon three-day 'Almost Overnight' sessions. This is take three.


Better Luck Next Time [1969] 

Roy, showing his rock and roll roots with his band, The Crystal Ship, at Bert Bowes High School, Ft. St. John, in November 1969. The tune is an early Roy original. As well as Roy (vocals and lead guitar), you'll hear Terry Emslie (drums), Richard Dixon (rhythm guitar) and Eddie Hanrahan (bass).


I'm Ready If You're Willin' [1992] 

A rough mix of an unused track from the 'Human Kind' sessions.


Dancing Trees [1993]

A sample of movie soundtrack work from Nettie Wilde's Blockade.


Old Man Worry [1982] 

Live and solo at The Vancouver East Cultural Centre on September 14th, 1981, from Stony Plain's 'Anything You Want' (vinyl LP only, out of print).


Mickey [1993] 

Another segment of the movie soundtrack from Blockade.


The Slider [1976]

Roy takes an early step into jazzy vocal territory on this deep track from the Casino album 'Raincheck on Misery'. (vinyl LP only, out of print).


Mince Meat Tart [1979] 

The first version from 'Christmas Jam' on the Radio Canada International label (vinyl LP only, out of print).


Mince Meat Tart [1985]

The second version from 'New Songs for an Old Celebration' done with Connie Kaldor on the Aural Traditions label (vinyl LP only, out of print).


Mince Meat Tart [2010] 

From a live solo performance at a Vancouver Folk Music Festival Fundraiser at Performance Works in Vancouver on December 3rd.


Tender Lullaby [2000]

From a CBC recording live at the Kitsilano Showboat in Vancouver BC, on July 29th, 2000. With Dan Smith (guitar), Linda Kidder (bass and harmony vocals) and Chris Nordquist (drums).