Wey Wey Hep a Hole Ding Dong: Robyn Hitchcock the song by song, album by album thread

Discussion in 'Music Corner' started by Lance LaSalle, May 15, 2020.

  1. Great Face For Radio

    Great Face For Radio Sing Hosanna, the jazz snobs are all going home.

    Location:
    London N13
    I definitely think we should deal with Robyn Sings in one fell swoop. It's good but it is sixteen Bob Dylan covers and as such probably doesn't merit individual scrutiny. I certainly wouldn't have the inclination or the stamina to go through them one by one.
     
  2. chrism1971

    chrism1971 Forum Resident

    Location:
    Glos, UK
    I found 8 of the Nextdoorland tracks on YT https://www.youtube.com/results?search_query=soft+boys+nextdoorland

    I can post them together if you like as I can't participate after Friday morning for a bit.

    Before that, however, it's worth mentioning that the most interesting info from 2001 - around the SBs reunion UK tour and beyond - was Matthew's blog which I read every day at the time. Now, I can't remember where it was and I can't find it, but it's really worth seeking out if it's still out there. NDL wasn't completed/released until late on in 2002 and I felt at the time that a lot had changed since that tour - most obviously in the US after 9/11 - it seemed like things had moved on...
     
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  3. Lance LaSalle

    Lance LaSalle Prince of Swollen Sinus Thread Starter

    I tend to agree. One day it will be.
    No, that won't be necessary. I just had misunderstood Brownie61's post. Most of these do stream on YouTube, I've since learned -- just not on Spotify or some other platforms.
     
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  4. AlienRendel

    AlienRendel Forum Resident

    Location:
    Chicago, il
    I think one day is enough for "Robyn Sings".

    Also, looking forward to "Nextdoorland" as I dig that one! I seem to remember ordering it and "Side Three" at the same time from Yeproc, but not 100% positive on that.
     
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  5. Shriner

    Shriner Forum Resident

    Location:
    Ann Arbor, MI, USA
    Yeah, "Robyn Sings" can be covered in one fell swoop for me, too. Bring on "Nextdoorland"!
     
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  6. Lance LaSalle

    Lance LaSalle Prince of Swollen Sinus Thread Starter

    I think it was released on Matador, not Yep Roc.
     
  7. AlienRendel

    AlienRendel Forum Resident

    Location:
    Chicago, il
    One thing you need to learn, Lance, is to NEVER trust my memory.
     
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  8. Lance LaSalle

    Lance LaSalle Prince of Swollen Sinus Thread Starter

    Haha. I don’t know why I felt the need to correct such a trivial thing.
     
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  9. Lance LaSalle

    Lance LaSalle Prince of Swollen Sinus Thread Starter

    Our votes for "Book" (Mine was the only vote)

    2.5
     
  10. Lance LaSalle

    Lance LaSalle Prince of Swollen Sinus Thread Starter

    Today's song is "I Love Lucy", words by Robyn Hitchcock and music by Robyn Hitchcock, Kimberly Rew, Morris Windsor and Matthew Seligman. Produced by The Soft Boys and Pat Collier; recorded and mixed in London at hte Gravity Shack by Pat Collier.

    We're off to a great start, as this one isn't on YouTube and doesn't stream on Spotify either. But those who will have it will weigh in. Those who don't might find it if they look hard enough.

    Robyn Hitchcock: lead vocals, guitar
    Kimberly Rew: guitar, vocals
    Matthew Seligman: bass
    Morris Windsor: drums, vocals
     
  11. Lance LaSalle

    Lance LaSalle Prince of Swollen Sinus Thread Starter

    "I Love Lucy" is a decent song, mostly instrumental and pleasant to hear. Like a lot of this album, I feel that it could be called "Underwater Moonligiht-lite": i.e. it is recognizably the same band as on that album, but the hunger, desperation, and edge is gone from both the peformances and the production, leaving something pleasant but not earthshaking.

    3.5/5
     
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  12. Lance LaSalle

    Lance LaSalle Prince of Swollen Sinus Thread Starter

    Collated ratings for Jewels For Sophia and A Star For Bram

    Jewels for Sophia



    1. Mexican God 3.31875
    2. The Cheese Alarm 3.25
    3. Viva! Sea-Tac 3.19
    4. I Feel Beautiful 4.08
    5. You've Got a Sweet Mouth On You Baby 3.5722
    6. NASA Clapping 2.8438
    7. Sally Was a Legend 4.0625
    8. Antwoman 3.7688
    9. Elizabeth Jade 3
    10. No, I Don't Remember Guildford 4.87
    11. Dark Princess 4.0143
    12. Jewels For Sophia 4.04
    13. Mr Tongs 2.5444
    14. Gene Hackman 3.6438
    Jewels for Sophia: 3.3
    Average by song: 3.5856


    A Star For Bram



    1. Daisy Bomb 3.87
    2. I Saw Nick Drake 4.625
    3. Adoration of the City 2.9143
    4. 1974 4.75
    5. I Wish I Liked You 2.2222
    6. Nietsche's Way 3.55
    7. The PHilospher's Stone 2.55
    8. The Green Boy 3.6143
    9. Judas Sings (Jesus And Me) 3.5833
    10. Antwoman 2.83
    11. I Used to Love You 3.7583
    12. The Underneath 3.45


    A STar for Bram 3.24
    Average by Song: 3.47645


    • Take This IN Remembrance 4.3 ( Moss Elixir era, though)
    • Eerie Green Storm Lantern 2.65
    • Ring Them Bones 3.775
    • For Debbie Reynolds 2.775
    • Never Have to SEe you Again 2.525
    • Love Affair 2.4
    • High On YOurself 4.15
    • Because You're Over 2.15
    • That Cat Walks Her Own Kind of Line 2
    • Real Dot 2.2
    • Nothing But Time 3.1333
    • Beautiful Shock 3.15
    • Baby Dolll 4.25
    • Shadow Cat 2.9
    • Let Me Roll it 3.625 (Nexdoorland era, though)
    • Books 2.5
     
  13. chrism1971

    chrism1971 Forum Resident

    Location:
    Glos, UK
    I'd like to ask special permission to comment on the album as a whole and some individual tracks now as I'm off for a bit.

    Generally I feel, in line with my earlier comment, that the impetus and enthusiasm they brought to the initial gigs and songs in early 2001 had settled down by the time this album was made, and that at times it feels like Robyn, having established a solo career, is rather forced into Soft Boys-type material. For me the album starts pretty well and really wobbles towards the end (with one rather strange exception).

    Lucy - quite clever to evoke the 60s sitcom which was v popular in the UK (didn't see the attraction myself) in a song whose only lyric pulls the plug on expectations at the end - maybe a bit too clever. The twin guitar thing doesn't quite have the impact you might hope, though if anything it reminds me more of Can of Bees or even Hear My Brane than Moonlight. 3/5 from me too.

    Pulse and Connected are interesting but strangely uninvolving. (3s again). Mr Kennedy is a brilliant song with superb playing and the best thing by a mile - 5/5.
    Unprotected is the best display of Kimberley's golden fretboard in the break (4.5/5), and Sudden Town has a good vibe but the riff is too reminiscent of something else (?) - 3.5/5. The rest I really don't like at all (2s at best), apart from La Cherite, an extraordinary recording which really floats and builds (rather like Autumn Sunglasses) - the line 'only a dream can love you this way' one of RH's best. 5/5

    3.5 /5 for the album - a noble effort but feels a bit irrelevant now.
     
  14. Lance LaSalle

    Lance LaSalle Prince of Swollen Sinus Thread Starter

    haha,

    I permit you. >makes magnanimous kingly gesture, smiles, puts nose high in air .<
     
  15. bzfgt

    bzfgt The Grand High Exalted Mystic Ruler

    Location:
    New Jersey
    Yeah I concur, ILL is a decent opener 3.5/5
     
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  16. AlienRendel

    AlienRendel Forum Resident

    Location:
    Chicago, il
    I Love Lucy - 4/5 - I dig the guitar interplay here. Clever that Robyn, known so much for his lyrics, opened the much-anticipated Soft Boys reunion album with a song that is almost an instrumental. They extended this a bit live and it really was cool.
     
  17. Great Face For Radio

    Great Face For Radio Sing Hosanna, the jazz snobs are all going home.

    Location:
    London N13
    It's fair to say that that when the Soft Boys reunion was announced I was absolutely agog with excitement. I was lucky enough to see three of the gigs that followed, at the Cambridge Boathouse, London Mean Fiddler and Camden Electric Ballroom. They were all excellent shows, the first an intimate homecoming performance, very relaxed and informal, the second tight and slick and the last an absolute tour de force in which RH and Kimberley really let rip, their guitar interplay rivalling Verlaine and Lloyd's at a Television show I saw around the same time.

    Swept up by this euphoria, I really liked Nextdoorland when it came out, although the songs were far better showcased live. In the studio they seemed to lack the urgency and impetus they had in concert. It's by no means a bad album but it's certainly patchy and just a little too smooth sounding to come anywhere near matching A Can Of Bees or Underwater Moonlight. I Love Lucy is a case in point; it's decent enough as a scene-setting opener but sounds rather insubstantial and half hearted.

    Once again, the song selection is less than impressive and there are tracks on Side Three which are far better than those which are on the album (how Strings made the cut I'll never know). Two decades on it sounds more like an RH solo album than a Soft Boys record but I can still enjoy it, even if the initial excitement has, like Lucy, long since gone.

    I Love Lucy. 3/5.
     
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  18. Lance LaSalle

    Lance LaSalle Prince of Swollen Sinus Thread Starter

    Yep.
     
  19. Lance LaSalle

    Lance LaSalle Prince of Swollen Sinus Thread Starter

    By now, we should expect this from Robyn...
     
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  20. Shriner

    Shriner Forum Resident

    Location:
    Ann Arbor, MI, USA
    Lucy -- it's an OK opener. 3/5

    The Soft Boys reunion show in Detroit was one of many RH shows I saw. Matthew seemed ill to me and my friend that night, but pushed through. It made me appreciate what a great guitarist Kimberly really is and how much he made the Underwater Moonlight songs shine.
     
  21. Summer of Malcontent

    Summer of Malcontent Forum Resident

    At its best, that's how I feel about Nextdoorland, but there is a lot of dross on the album, particularly side two, which drags it down. I find the Side Three EP a better listen, with more of the quirky spark I'd expect from the band. (And yes, inevitably I remade the album in my own image from the best tracks of each release).
     
  22. Lance LaSalle

    Lance LaSalle Prince of Swollen Sinus Thread Starter

    I’ve been doing the same as we go through these. It’s a rather frustrating quirk that he reached a phase where a full third of his output is dismissible and yet because he seems to release everything he does you have to get everything because ultimately there is a great album hiding in every multi-disc project.
     
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  23. Lance LaSalle

    Lance LaSalle Prince of Swollen Sinus Thread Starter

    Our votes for "I Love Lucy"

    1-0
    2-0
    3-3
    4-2
    5-0
    Average: 3.3
     
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  24. Lance LaSalle

    Lance LaSalle Prince of Swollen Sinus Thread Starter

    Today's song is "Pulse of My Heart", written by Robyn Hitchcock and produced by The Soft Boys and Pat Collier; recorded and mixed by Pat Collier.

    Lyric.

    Robyn Hitchcock: vocals, guitar
    Kimberly Rew: guitar, vocals
    Matthew Seligman: bass
    Morris Windsor: drums, guitars
     
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  25. Summer of Malcontent

    Summer of Malcontent Forum Resident

    I think this is the best song on the album, and one of those classic, almost straightforward, pop songs Hitchcock squeezes out from time to time that make you wonder why he never managed a proper hit. 5/5
     
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