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
    According to the sleeve notes, Tromso Kaptein was produced by Paul Noble and recorded by Marc Waterman at The Fortress. It was mixed by Paul Noble at The Triangle (in London I think) and mastered at Hafod in Wales. At a 2018 gig at the Betsey Trotwood pub in Clerkenwell which I attended, Robyn played a Tromso song (Old Man Weather I think) and referred to it having been recorded "up the road" in Old Street which is roughly where The Fortress is.

    Love From London was produced and engineered by Paul Noble in The Smoke (a colloquial nickname for the UK capital) with RH as executive producer. As far as I know there's never been a London studio of that name, so I reckon this is definitely the one that was done at Paul's house.
     
  2. chrism1971

    chrism1971 Forum Resident

    Location:
    Glos, UK
  3. Lance LaSalle

    Lance LaSalle Prince of Swollen Sinus Thread Starter

    Mondays and Wednesdays are brutal in my world. Expect late posts until my Aimee Mann thread goes on hiatus in a week or so and the Finn Brothers catch up with the present in two and ahalf weeks or so. ( :cry:) . I'm only posting now because I cancelled my last lessons because of headache!

    Our votes for "Devil On a String"

    1-2
    2-3
    3-2
    4-1
    Average: 2.1438
     
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  4. Lance LaSalle

    Lance LaSalle Prince of Swollen Sinus Thread Starter

  5. Great Face For Radio

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

    Location:
    London N13
    At last, a song which sounds like Robyn Hitchcock rather than Climie Fisher. It still has the slightly irritating drum machine pattering away but this is streets ahead of the previous three tracks. The delicate guitar and driving cello riffs are the platform for some much improved vocals and lyrics. The backing vocals work much better here than on some of the other songs. I'm not sure why the fade-out is so long but the last 45 seconds or so seem rather superfluous.

    The Telecom Tower reference gives it a London context but I'd have to say that, despite the title and a mention of Primrose Hill in the previous song, there's little or nothing about this album which evokes London or its inhabitants.

    I think there may be a temptation to overrate this song because it does stand out amid much of the dross that surrounds it, however in truth I think it's good but not great.

    Strawberries Dress 3.5/5.
     
  6. chrism1971

    chrism1971 Forum Resident

    Location:
    Glos, UK
    My favourite track on this album by some way, the chiming guitar figure and rising melody work for the song rather than against it. I especially like that it's a Strawberries Dress (not a Strawberry one) which seems less elegant but has more meaning. 4/5

    I whizzed through that Matthew blog again having found it - seems they were intent at the time on making this comeback work; feels very pre-9/11 as well - I think that changed things for them.
     
  7. Great Face For Radio

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

    Location:
    London N13
    It's a shame the proposed San Francisco live album never came to fruition, maybe the mix-up on the mix put paid to that. A record of that tour would have been great, especially the duel guitar assault on Mr Kennedy.
     
  8. pocketcalculator

    pocketcalculator Forum Resident

    Location:
    New York City
    "Strawberries Dress" - I don't really have anything to add to what Great Face wrote - this is a solid, pleasant song, but there's not that much to it, and it's not particularly memorable, it's just that it stands out on this album because so many of the other songs are subpar: 3/5.
     
  9. brownie61

    brownie61 Forum Resident

    Strawberries Dress

    This song is like a breath of fresh air for the first 2:00. It's quirky and poppy and kind of droney. Robyn sounds great, as does the little repetitive guitar lick, the cello, and even the "pink horizon" singers are a nice touch. But then suddenly I've had enough and can't wait for it to end. Going back and relistening, I see I lose interest once it's clear that the repetitive opening guitar lick is gone for good. So what starts off as a sure fire 5 ends as a 3. So I guess it's:

    4/5

    Too bad it runs out of steam.
     
  10. pocketcalculator

    pocketcalculator Forum Resident

    Location:
    New York City
    The response to 9/11 made so many things worse, but for bands touring internationally, it made everything much more difficult. You used to be able to carry tons of gear with you without much of an issue, and getting visas was much quicker and easier. That was now a thing of the past. Security became so much of a hassle everywhere - I was driving a van with a band in DC, and we were stopped by Park Police just because we were a bunch of guys in a van. I asked the cop what the "reasonable suspicion" was for the stop, and he said it was because we were driving a van after dark.
     
  11. bzfgt

    bzfgt The Grand High Exalted Mystic Ruler

    Location:
    New Jersey
    I love Strawberries Dress. It could go on for hours as far as I'm concerned; I agree it's a bummer that we lose the central lick, but the rest of it sounds good too with the cello. This is just gorgeous in every way.

    4.9/5
     
  12. Shriner

    Shriner Forum Resident

    Location:
    Ann Arbor, MI, USA
    Dress -- probably the best song on the album so far. 4/5
     
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  13. MattR

    MattR Forum Resident

    Location:
    Sheffield, UK
    An oasis in the mediocrity, Strawberries Dress is the best thing here by a country mile. Love the layers that build up gradually throughout the song.

    That said, I agree that it's easy to overrate it. The lyrics aren't really that memorable, but it's still a very good song. 4/5
     
  14. dbeamer407

    dbeamer407 Forum Resident

    I like Be Still better but this is the only other song on the album that I care for.
     
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  15. Lance LaSalle

    Lance LaSalle Prince of Swollen Sinus Thread Starter

    I'll give it a 5/5 it is certainly the most successful of these indie pop experiements and the lyric speaks to me.
     
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  16. Lance LaSalle

    Lance LaSalle Prince of Swollen Sinus Thread Starter

    Our votes for "Strawberries Dress"

    1-0
    2-0
    3-1
    4-4
    5-2
    Average: 4.0571
     
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  17. Lance LaSalle

    Lance LaSalle Prince of Swollen Sinus Thread Starter

  18. pocketcalculator

    pocketcalculator Forum Resident

    Location:
    New York City
    “Death and Love” - when the synths came in at the beginning, I thought Robyn was going for the Pet Shop Boys, but when the guitar and vocals come in, it’s clear it’s a Roxy homage. The programmed drums keep one foot in the Pet Shop camp, but I like the overall vibe. I just wish it were more than this. (Sorry, I’ll see myself out.) it’s unsubstantial, but there’s still something irresistible to it while it lasts. 4/5.
     
  19. Lance LaSalle

    Lance LaSalle Prince of Swollen Sinus Thread Starter

    Yes, it sounds like a re-write of "More Than This", which of course Robyn covered back in the late 80s. It's enjoyable, though.

    3.7/5
     
  20. MattR

    MattR Forum Resident

    Location:
    Sheffield, UK
    Death and Love
    The Bryan Ferry fixation rears its head again! I'm not the biggest fan of waves of synth like this, but it is a gorgeous melody, and an attempt to do something out of his usual wheelhouse, so bonus points for that. But somehow it isn't nearly as memorable as it should be. 3.5/5
     
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  21. Great Face For Radio

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

    Location:
    London N13
    I concede that this song has a nice hook and a decent melody but it's so far removed from what I got into RH for in the first place that I find it hard to listen to. I'm not against him diversifying and exploring other styles and genres (and he does it well at times) but this sort of synth-dripping AOR is anathema to me. As others have pointed out, it's a blatant Roxy Music rip-off but quite why in 2013 he was attempting to parody Roxy circa 1982 is anyone's guess. It's almost like a betrayal of his own instincts.

    Also, from a lyricist of his undoubted stature, I find it hard to forgive the sheer cliched laziness of the line "I won't be a fool no more". Leave that sort of thing to the likes of Bon Jovi.

    Death And Love 2/5.
     
  22. noyoucmon

    noyoucmon Forum Resident

    Location:
    Chicago
    I didn't come here to be negative, I only stumbled upon this thread for the first time just now, but Love from London is my least favorite Hitchcock album bar none, and I've got them all. I did recently buy a vinyl copy after owning only the CD since its release, so I'll be revisiting it and it has a chance for me to change my opinion. Hitchcock is easily one of my favorite artists.
     
  23. Great Face For Radio

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

    Location:
    London N13
    Welcome aboard. You won't find any arguments from me on that count.
     
  24. brownie61

    brownie61 Forum Resident

    Death and Love

    I quite like this one. I don’t get the Roxy Music vibe that most of you seem to hear in this song, but I really like what Robyn has done with the song. I focus much more on the guitars, which are much more up front than the synthesizers, which I barely notice. The song sways like a boat gently rocking on a lake, and I like the way it makes me feel. It’s calming and soothing, which is a good thing. The lyrics don’t really suit the vibe of the music, so I don’t pay much attention to them.

    4/5
     
  25. Shriner

    Shriner Forum Resident

    Location:
    Ann Arbor, MI, USA
    Death -- yes, absolutely a rewrite of More Than This and doesn't sound like a whole lot of other songs in the catalog. It doesn't make it unpleasant, though. I don't like it as much as Strawberries, but I *do* like it, so it's a weaker 4/5.
     

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