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. pocketcalculator

    pocketcalculator Forum Resident

    New York City
    Trolley Bus 2 - this is the first I've heard about this album. I guess I also wasn't checking in to Robyn's website often enough at the time.

    I know we're not there yet, but, without listening again (yet), I think Tromso, Kaptein is probably Robyn's strongest album of the last 25 years, and it speaks to his perversity/commercial instincts/insouciance that it was initially only released in Norway, and was pretty much unavailable in the US until a couple of years ago, when he re-released it himself.
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  2. chrism1971

    chrism1971 Forum Resident

    Glos, UK
    Well Bob went through numerous phases in the 60s, never mind since. For Syd, I think anyone who was a sharp listener in early 1967 in England - as Robyn was and me too to an extent - cannot have failed to have been affected by Arnold Layne, See Emily Play (mindblowing played on the BBC TV's weekly chart show) and then Piper. Everything else is secondary really.

    Trolleybus 2 (not Driver 8) - never heard it and as I said I lost interest in RH's covers. Surprised that he did Candyman though, always liked that tune.

    I probably agree, though I didn't think it had a physical release outside a limited LP run.
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  3. Lance LaSalle

    Lance LaSalle Prince of Swollen Sinus Thread Starter

    Released in Norway only originally.
  4. brownie61

    brownie61 Forum Resident

    I haven't heard Trolley Bus 2 either. I also missed out on Tromso Kaptein, which I only started listening to a couple of days ago because I thought I had more time! I am completely unprepared to discuss and rate those songs because I've only listened to them a small handful of times and already can tell they are growers. My first reaction was "ugh" but that changes more to the positive with each subsequent listen.
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  5. bzfgt

    bzfgt The Grand High Exalted Mystic Ruler

    New Jersey
    Jerry Garcia did a good job with Visions of Johanna a few times, but he could probably cover anything...not going to link as I can't find the right one
  6. bzfgt

    bzfgt The Grand High Exalted Mystic Ruler

    New Jersey
    I love both solo albums
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  7. Lance LaSalle

    Lance LaSalle Prince of Swollen Sinus Thread Starter

    Our votes for Trolley Bus 2


    Average: 2.9
  8. Lance LaSalle

    Lance LaSalle Prince of Swollen Sinus Thread Starter

    Studio Albums, color*-coded for your enjoyment:

    Note: I've now added trolley bus 2 and corrected Propellor Time

    A Can of Bees 3
    Underwater Moonlight 4.7
    Invisible Hits 3.9 (song average)
    Only the Stones Remain 3.7457 (song average)

    Black Snake Diamond Role 4.275
    Groovy Decay/Groovy Decoy 2.1571
    I Often Dream of Trains 4.8574

    Fegmania! 4.3385
    Element Of Light 4.37

    Invisible Hitchcock 3.4573 (song average)
    Globe of Frogs 3.1278
    Queen Elvis 4.2167

    EYE 3.5643
    Perspex Island 2.9929
    Respect 4.3786

    You and Oblivion 3.7284 (Song average)
    Moss Elixir 3.925
    Jewels For Sophia 3.1556
    A Star For Bram 3.24
    Shadow Cat 3.0415 (Song average)

    Nextdoorland 3.3
    Side Three 3.425

    Luxor 1.55
    Spooked 3.0857

    Olé! Tarantula 4.4188
    Goodnight, Oslo 3.6722
    Propellor Time 3.6

    Trolley Bus 2 2.9


    1. I Often Dream of Trains
    2. Underwater Moonlight
    3. Olé! Tarantula
    4. Respect
    5. Element of Light
    6. Fegmania!
    7. Black Snake Diamond Role
    8. Queen Elvis
    9. Moss Elixir
    10. Invisible Hits
    11. Only the Stones Remain
    12. You And Oblivion
    13. Goodnight Oslo
    14. Propellor Time
    15. EYE
    16. Invisible Hitchcock
    17. Side Three
    18. Nextdoorland
    19. A Star For Bram
    20. Jewels For Sophia
    21. A Globe of Frogs
    22. Spooked
    23. Shadow Cat
    24. A Can of Bees
    25. Perspex Island
    26. Trolley Bus 2
    27. Groovy Decay/Groovy Decoy
    28. Luxor
    6 albums and one EP to go!

  9. Lance LaSalle

    Lance LaSalle Prince of Swollen Sinus Thread Starter

    Today I'm going to start holding up songs from Tromsø, Kaptein.

    Tromso, Kaptein, was initially released on the Norwegian label Hype City in 2011. Robyn has a real affection for Norway, especially the rugged countryside.

    Um. What else to say? It was produced by Paul Noble, who also played on the album. Robyn said most of the album was recorded by the two of them in a smallish bedroom. Robyn was not present for the overdubs of the female backing vocals.

    In an interview at the time of release, Robyn mentioned that although it was only released in Norway, he reckoned it could be found in any of the "17 remaining record stores on Earth", and pointed out that it could also be bought through his website.

    Nowadays it is for sale on bandcamp. I've ordered it actually...but I guess I'm still waiting on the physical copy?? I got the download though.

    The tracklist is
    1. Light Blue Afternoon
    2. Raining Twilight Coast
    3. Savannah
    4. Dismal City
    5. Old Man Weather
    6. Erasing Your Life
    7. August IN Hammersmith
    8. Everything About You
    9. The Abyss
    10. Godnatt Oslo
    There were several digital-only one-off singles at this time but they all were collected later on There Goes The Ice and I'll hold them all up together later. There were also a couple of Christmas songs (or anti-Christmas songs) from 2011 and 2012, but I guess I'll wait until closer to Christmas to hold them up.

    So....on the 22nd of January, I'll start holding up songs from Love From London.
    Last edited: Sep 11, 2021 at 2:44 AM
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  10. Lance LaSalle

    Lance LaSalle Prince of Swollen Sinus Thread Starter

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  11. brownie61

    brownie61 Forum Resident


    What’s happening in January that you can’t wait to get there? :D
  12. Lance LaSalle

    Lance LaSalle Prince of Swollen Sinus Thread Starter

    Hm. :D
    My birthday is on the 20th of that month and my brother-in-law's is on the 22nd..... Obviously I meant September. My fingers just had a mind of thier own. When I make mistakes like this I always think "oh, no" and wonder if I'm developing some brain problem or something.
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  13. brownie61

    brownie61 Forum Resident

    Mine is on the 1st! And I will almost certainly be a retired person by then. Not sure how I feel about that, as I think of myself as too young to be retired, but it looks like that’s what’s going to happen!

    I am probably going to dive in and give my almost first impressions on the Tromso Kaptein songs. I need to listen to it at least one more time though.
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  14. bzfgt

    bzfgt The Grand High Exalted Mystic Ruler

    New Jersey
    Light Blue Afternoon really solid start to a really solid album....I like everything on this album but don't love much of it, I think. Anyway, 3.6/5
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  15. Lance LaSalle

    Lance LaSalle Prince of Swollen Sinus Thread Starter

    Ah, I see my copy of Tromso Kaptein was shipped by Tiny Ghost Records on the 30th, so I can probably expect it next week.

    The sound of this, recorded in a room with one guy, reminds me a bit of the songs on Jewels For Sophia/A Star For Bram that he recorded with that LA guy who was in 'Til Tuesday...what's his name...Jon Brion! That's who I mean.

    This song is a good deal more interesting than most those songs though. The cello is pretty prominent, and overall this feels like something different for Robyn. Gone is the indie rockAmericana (yep) of the Venus 3, replaced by more of a indie pop aesthetic that feels kind of fresh for Robyn. Female voices add, don't detract here.

    Ultimately though, this song is solid, and good, but not one of Robyn's bestor anything. I like the feel and the sound more than the actual words/melody.

  16. Great Face For Radio

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

    London N13
    I haven't listened to this album for a little while but I remember enjoying it at the time and wondering why it was such a low key release. This song plus Dismal City, Raining Twilight Coast and Old Man Weather were staples of the live set at the time and came across well, with most of the shows I saw featuring Jenny Adejayan on cello.

    It's a really strong opener, benefitting, dare I say it, from the ELO-like orchestration and arrangement. I like Paul Noble's production generally, he seems to be a good foil and a steady hand amid Robyn's sometimes unfocused creativity.

    Stephen Irvine incidentally was the drummer in Lloyd Cole & the Commotions. I'm not sure what the connection is there but I think he's done quite a bit of session work since. He also featured at several RH gigs I saw and struck me as a solid, rhythmic, unflashy drummer a la Charlie Watts (RIP).

    Light Blue Afternoon 4/5.
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  17. chrism1971

    chrism1971 Forum Resident

    Glos, UK
    I think I would be if I'd been running a Robyn Hitchcock thread for 18 months.

    Tromso K is my favourite RH album since certainly the Soft Boys reunion, if not the whole 21st C, so all the more annoying that I don't have a physical version - can you post a link to your purchase?

    I get the ELO cello reference but this has a lighter, more interesting palette and reminds me when the drums enter of Somewhere Apart (again). I think there were much more interesting things happening for the songwriting and recording on this and the next album. Good first track, 4/5.
  18. Lance LaSalle

    Lance LaSalle Prince of Swollen Sinus Thread Starter

    Tromsø, Kaptein, by Robyn Hitchcock

    The vinyl is sold out, but CDs still available. CDs come with a digital download (in your choice of formats including lossless ones). You get a link by email for the digital download pretty much immediately after paying, the CD takes a two to three weeks to come. I assume it's sent from the UK so it might be faster where you are.

    Much better shop than the YepRoc online which only offers lossless downloads, and I'm not sure if they sell this one anyway.
    chrism1971 likes this.
  19. Lance LaSalle

    Lance LaSalle Prince of Swollen Sinus Thread Starter

    Collated ratings for Olé Tarantula.

    1. Adventure Rocket Ship 4.0125
    2. Underground Sun 4.4444
    3. Museum Of Sex 3.2667
    4. Belltown Ramble 37
    5. Olé Tarantula 4.2556
    6. A Man's Gotta Know His Limitations, Briggs 4.6222
    7. Red Locust Frenzy 4.025
    8. Creeped OUt 2.8722
    9. 'Cause It's Love (Saint Parallogram) 4.2857
    10. NY Doll 4.5938
    Olé Tarantula 4.41875
    Average by song: 4.0078

    Sex, Food, Death...And Tarantulas 5/5
  20. Lance LaSalle

    Lance LaSalle Prince of Swollen Sinus Thread Starter

    Collated ratings for Goodnight, Oslo
    1. What You Is 3.7
    2. What You Is 2.3
    3. Saturday Groovers 3.5545
    4. I'm Falling 4.2454
    5. Hurry for The Sky 3.7136
    6. Sixteen Years 4.19
    7. Up To Our Nex 3.1667
    8. Intricate Thing 3.5773
    9. TLC 2.455
    10. Goodnight Oslo 4.7273
    Goodnight Oslo 3.6722
    Average by song: 3.563

    • I Just Wanna Be Loved 3.9875
    • Nothing Makes Me Cry 2.6667
    • Surround Me With Love 2.25
    • Painkiller Song 3.63
    • I Want You (She's So Heavy) 2.8
    • China Pig 2
  21. pocketcalculator

    pocketcalculator Forum Resident

    New York City
    It has that double time feel of "Somewhere Apart", and accordingly a similar jauntiness.
  22. chrism1971

    chrism1971 Forum Resident

    Glos, UK
    $15 shipping to UK!!!! I've ordered it anyway - which means I've now paid twice for this album...:faint:
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  23. Lance LaSalle

    Lance LaSalle Prince of Swollen Sinus Thread Starter

    Yes to here too. So I guess it’s from the US.
  24. pocketcalculator

    pocketcalculator Forum Resident

    New York City
    I quite like the feel of this album - the instrumentation and arrangements - as a whole, and even if the songs themselves aren't necessarily the greatest, it has an overall feel of "an album", whereas a lot of his post-Egyptians records have seemed like a grab bag of songs recorded hither and yon (probably because they were.)

    "Light Blue Afternoon" - Lyrically, this seems to be about someone getting their just deserts in the form of a femme fatale/destiny, but the music and the "skin is soft" refrain at the end make it seem like quite a pleasant dessert. The cello punctuation gives me a nice sense of pulsing doom before the jauntiness kicks in. Seconds, please!: 4/5.
  25. TerpStation

    TerpStation "Music's not for everyone."

    Portland, OR
    "Light Blue Afternoon"--Great start to this record. 4/5

    Looking forward to revisiting this record, i remember liking it...
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