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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
    A rather flat ending to an album which I liked an awful lot more in 2002 than I do now. The opening riff is encouraging but what follows is rather insipid musically and lyrically. I'm guessing it's a tirade against those that govern us but it's pretty lightweight. I particularly dislike the way he phrases the word "together", it's an annoying vocal tic which becomes more prevalent as time goes on.

    Lions And Tigers 2/5.
     
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  2. MattR

    MattR Forum Resident

    Location:
    Sheffield, UK
    Lions and Tigers - a riff in search of a song. It is a pretty tasty riff though, and the song isn't overlong. 3/5
     
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  3. Shriner

    Shriner Forum Resident

    Location:
    Ann Arbor, MI, USA
    Lions -- short and to the point, but not terribly memorable (which is the case for most of of the songs on this album). 3/5
     
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  4. Lance LaSalle

    Lance LaSalle Prince of Swollen Sinus Thread Starter

    2.9/5
     
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  5. Lance LaSalle

    Lance LaSalle Prince of Swollen Sinus Thread Starter

    Our votes for "La Cherité":

    1-0
    2-0
    3-1
    4-5
    5-0
    Average: 3.7333
     
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  6. Lance LaSalle

    Lance LaSalle Prince of Swollen Sinus Thread Starter

    Our votes for "La Cherité"

    1-0
    2-1
    3-4
    Average: 2.78
     
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  7. Lance LaSalle

    Lance LaSalle Prince of Swollen Sinus Thread Starter

    Today, Nextdoorland.
     
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  8. Lance LaSalle

    Lance LaSalle Prince of Swollen Sinus Thread Starter

    Tomorrow, I'll begin going through the Soft Boys' EP Side Three.

    Not much to say about this; It's just outtakes from Nextdoorland: it was released the same year.

    The tracklist is:

    1. Narcissus (Robyn Hitchcock)
    2. Disconnection of the Ruling Class (Hitchcock, Kimberly Rew, Mathew Seligman, Morris Windsor)
    3. Each Of Her Silver Wands (Hitchcock)
    4. Om (Hitchcock)
    5. Comin' Through (Hitchcock)
    6. Untitled (Hitchcock)
    7. Evil Guy (Hitchcock)
     
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  9. Lance LaSalle

    Lance LaSalle Prince of Swollen Sinus Thread Starter

    I find Nexdoorland a real disappointement. Oh, it's not terrible or anything, andthere are some good songs and nothing really terrible. It starts off strong but then just gets really bland. The band still had it, but Robyn displayed his usual clumsiness at choosing which songs to keep in or take out -- or, who knows, maybe that's uncharitable.Maybe it's rather that he was trying to express something with his choices, but to me it seems like he deliberately held back a lot of good songs for Side Three when a stronger album could have been done. This is something that really plagues Robyn's work from this era. As it is, it's like Jewels For Sophia/Star For Bram/Shadowcat all over again. IN the huge swath of songs released there's a good or even great album instead of three mediocre albums. Or in this case one mediocre album and one mostly good EP.

    On the one hand I do want everything, so in the end it doesn't matter as I can make my own playlists, I guess. Positively, the guitars are never less than lucious on this and this is still clearly a much better than average band.

    3.3/5
     
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  10. Shriner

    Shriner Forum Resident

    Location:
    Ann Arbor, MI, USA
    Nextdoorland -- I *so* wanted this to be "Underwater Moonlight part 2" and was ultimately disappointed that it wasn't. The reunion tour made (some) of this material shine, but, generally, it's an album I never play any more because it's just not that interesting. I haven't played "Side Three" since it came out, so I'll be interested in the revisit for that. I don't think I gave anything less than a 3 for the songs on this one, but I can't rate it higher than Jewels so *overall*: 2/5
     
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  11. AlienRendel

    AlienRendel Forum Resident

    Location:
    Chicago, il
    Nextdoorland - 4/5 - A beautifully executed album with just a couple of weaker songs on the 2nd side. I wish their other recordings sounded this clear and organic. I have really fond memories of seeing them play 4 times on the reunion tours and hearing Robyn & Kimberly strike up the twin guitar duels was incredible.
     
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  12. Summer of Malcontent

    Summer of Malcontent Forum Resident

    After Side Three, are we going to be covering the handful of "phantom Soft Boys" tracks from after these sessions that slipped out over the years? It's the Nextdoorland line-up (produced by Pat Collier), but with Seligman replaced by Paul Noble. Generally, these tracks were credited to Hitchcock solo, but they've also been released on Hitchcock's Patreon credited to The Soft Boys, or "the English Band" (RH's equivalent of "the Scottish play"?)

    I'm thinking of:
    City of Women - Wig in a Box (2003)
    Butterfly - Obliteration Pie (2005) (also released via Patreon, credited to The English Band)
    Funkytown - Obliteration Pie (2005) (alternate mix released via Patreon, credited to the Soft Boys)
    Spacer - Patreon (credited to the Soft Boys)
    Freaks - Patreon (credited to The English Band)

    There's enough material here to suggest they were thinking of a post-Nextdoorland album, possibly abandoned like those last Egyptians sessions. 'Spacer' and 'Funkytown' don't so much suggest a band with no direction as a band heading in the wrong direction!

    There's also the Soft Boys version of "If You Know Time" that wasn't released until 2004, but I don't know if that was recorded with the Seligman line-up or the Noble one.
     
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  13. AlienRendel

    AlienRendel Forum Resident

    Location:
    Chicago, il
    I wish "If You Know Time" had made it on to Nextdoorland.
     
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  14. Lance LaSalle

    Lance LaSalle Prince of Swollen Sinus Thread Starter

    This should read "Our votes for Lions and Tigers"
     
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  15. Lance LaSalle

    Lance LaSalle Prince of Swollen Sinus Thread Starter

    I'm not planning on doing the Patreon tracks, mainly because I'm suffering from Hithcock fatigue and overload and that's a rabbit hole I'm just not willing to jump down right now. I don't have any of those and don't even know where I could find an comprehensive list of them.

    I will do the Obliteration Pie Soft Boys tracks after Side Three, though!
     
    Last edited: Jun 15, 2021
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  16. Lance LaSalle

    Lance LaSalle Prince of Swollen Sinus Thread Starter

    Our votes for "Nextdoorland"

    1-0
    2-1
    3-1
    4-1
    5-0
    Average: 3.1
     
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  17. Lance LaSalle

    Lance LaSalle Prince of Swollen Sinus Thread Starter

    Today's song is 'Narcissus", written by Robyn Hitchcock. Produced by The Soft Boys and Pat Collier. Recorded by Pat Collier.


    Robyn Hitchcock: vocals, guitar
    Kimberly Rew: guitar,vocals
    Matthew Seligman: bass
    Morris Windsor: drums, vocals
     
  18. bzfgt

    bzfgt The Grand High Exalted Mystic Ruler

    Location:
    New Jersey
    I like this one 3.5/5
     
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  19. Lance LaSalle

    Lance LaSalle Prince of Swollen Sinus Thread Starter

    You know, on second thought, I'm just going to simplify and do all the Obliteration Pie tracks (less the live redos) after Luxor. My passion is at low ebb for Robyn right now --too much mediocrity amid the last several releases -- and I hope that Luxor will help improve that and up my passion a bit.
     
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  20. brownie61

    brownie61 Forum Resident

    I listened to Luxor for the first time over the weekend. I’m thinking the trend of mediocrity will not be lifted with that one, although I will give it more time. Even my friend who kept buying Robyn albums longer than I did during this period did not buy Luxor. After I listened to it, I asked her opinion of it and was surprised she did not have it.

    Ah well, I’ll be back to the conversation when you start on Luxor regardless, and things are going to eventually pick up again with later releases.
     
  21. Great Face For Radio

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

    Location:
    London N13
    My impressions of Nextdoorland is that it's a disappointing album which he simply didn't seem to have the heart or stomach for. Apart from the storming Mr Kennedy none of the others really stand out and, while it's a pleasant enough listen, there's no real bite and several of the tracks are distinctly mediocre. It sounds like a bunch of Robyn Hitchcock songs played by the Soft Boys rather than a Soft Boys album. Once again far better songs were marooned as outtakes, as we'll discover in reviewing Side Three. That said, the three gigs I went to were all absolutely sensational, so it I'm grateful that the band got back together. What a shame there wasn't a live album.

    3/5.


    As regards Narcissus, it's easily good enough to have made the album. As far as I can remember it's his only foray into reggae, perhaps wisely, but they hit a decent groove and there are some good lyrics, notably:

    Never seen a dead body,
    Bodies all look alive to me,
    When they're made out of stone
    And they're standing alone in the sea"

    Which may be a sly wink to Underwater Moonlight.

    3.7/5.
     
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  22. Shriner

    Shriner Forum Resident

    Location:
    Ann Arbor, MI, USA
    Narcissus -- reminded me that I completely forgot about Side 3. This is a very good up tempo song! 4/5

    (Both Luxor and Spooked are albums I rarely play and I couldn't tell you a thing about either of them except "Television" because he plays it live so often...) We'll power through/revisit them together until we get to the awesome Venus 3 albums! :)
     
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  23. AlienRendel

    AlienRendel Forum Resident

    Location:
    Chicago, il
    Nextdoorland - 4/5 - I feel that this album is more than the sum of it's parts. Side one is incredibly solid, but side 2 definitely has a dip in quality, songwriting-wise. The performances are still excellent and I wish the earlier SB albums sounded this good. There are a couple of songs on Side 3 that should've been moved to side 2.
     
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  24. bzfgt

    bzfgt The Grand High Exalted Mystic Ruler

    Location:
    New Jersey
    I doubt it would, it's probably his worst album....
     
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  25. AlienRendel

    AlienRendel Forum Resident

    Location:
    Chicago, il
    Yeah, Luxor is a bit of a tough slog, tbh.
     
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