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. chrism1971

    chrism1971 Forum Resident

    Location:
    Glos, UK
    Thanks for posting this link. That sort of clears it up. Those titles ('Lobsterman' etc) were listed by Robyn in the early 1990s Yep Roc edition of Can of Bees (which is the CD version I own). I'm pretty sure they're all fictitious and put in as a little Hitchcockian prank, apart possibly from Bonde MTeko Stomp which I seem to remember actually was an instrumental.

    The April 1979 tracks I referred to earlier were the tracks (well, most of them) which ended up on Invisible Hits and the last recorded for the SB with Andy Metcalfe and Jim Melton.
     
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  2. chrism1971

    chrism1971 Forum Resident

    Location:
    Glos, UK
    [​IMG]

    Barney Bubbles designed the cover (and the Radar LPs for Elvis Costello, Nick Lowe etc). End of '77 Andrew Lauder set up Radar with £1 million from Warner Brothers (a lot of money in the 70s). Andy Arthurs was a 'power-pop' artiste given production duties at this session, Regent's Park Studios March 1978.
    I always liked this record and it neatly marshalled the guitar sound - Kimberley had only played in the band for 2 or 3 months.

    British radio DJ Tony Blackburn played it on his 'National Pop Panel' one afternoon on BBC Radio One (the only legal pop station in the UK). Barry quite liked it but Yvonne definitely didn't. 4.5/5
     
  3. Lance LaSalle

    Lance LaSalle Prince of Swollen Sinus Thread Starter

    Ah so Kimberly had joined by this point. Thanks, I was unsure of the exact timeline because the only biographical material I’ve read were the liner notes of 1976-81 and I’m afraid I’ve lost those. And thanks for that cover!
     
  4. A solid 4/5 for Anglepoise Lamp,
     
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  5. Guy E

    Guy E Senior Member

    Location:
    Antalya, Turkey
    I'm of the same mind. I love Capt. Beefheart, but I don't enjoy that ingredient in Hitchcock's/Soft Boys work.

    I bought Anglepoise Lamp on 45, hot off the presses, and I absolutely loved it. I got the RAW EP shortly after and didn't like it as well, but that's OK; the band's growth was certainly heartening. I may be getting ahead of the thread here, but I was thrilled to finally see a Soft Boys album one evening at Bleecker Bob's and I snapped-up a copy of Can of Bees. The album was a letdown for me. It felt cobbled-together, a couple of live tracks, little-to-none of the chrome-plated precision that made Anglepoise Lamp so powerful. Hitchcock didn't return to similarly intense vocal harmonies until Olé Trantula! (getting WAY ahead of the thread now).

    I don't know how Hitchcock feels about Anglepoise Lamp, but Andy Arthurs' production polish wasn't embraced on the various aborted Radar album sessions. But I sure am glad to have it.
     
    Last edited: May 25, 2020
  6. crozcat

    crozcat Forum Resident

    Location:
    Sweden
    Anglepoise Lamp was a bit of a let down after the great Give It To The Soft Boys EP - somewhat boring to me, not as intense and interesting.
    The fact that they didn´t choose it as a single themselves says they weren´t too keen on it either, I think. Could be wrong, of course.
    Still, a pretty good pop song. 3/5
     
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  7. chrism1971

    chrism1971 Forum Resident

    Location:
    Glos, UK
    There's more to say about the real Can of Bees later...
     
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  8. brownie61

    brownie61 Forum Resident

    Oh boy, a Robyn Hitchcock thread! Lance, how do you find the time to do more than one of these?!

    Looking forward to joining in very soon. :)
     
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  9. Shriner

    Shriner Forum Resident

    Location:
    Ann Arbor, MI, USA
    Lamp -- my first 4/5 so far. It's a bit muddy to my ears, but I think it was the right choice to release as a single for the time and a precursor to the effortless "pop" songs RH would write as the years go on.
     
  10. Mr. Odd

    Mr. Odd Forum Resident

    Location:
    Boston, MA, USA
    Thanks, that was very helpful! To add the the confusion, some of those tracks such as "Vegetable Girl" are found on a bootleg called "Underwater Moonlight [Rehearsals]" along with many other mislabeled tracks. A pity we can't get some sort of official information from someone involved.
     
  11. Guy E

    Guy E Senior Member

    Location:
    Antalya, Turkey
    The real Can of Bees is, and always will be the original LP on the Two Crabs label.

    But you are clearly a knowledgeable fan and I'm not averse to embracing a bit of historic revision... if it sounds good. :cool: Hitchcock has revisited and mucked with his albums on several occasions.
     
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  12. bzfgt

    bzfgt The Grand High Exalted Mystic Ruler

    Location:
    New Jersey
    It is a great song. Anglepoise lamps are kind of anthropomorphic...
     
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  13. bzfgt

    bzfgt The Grand High Exalted Mystic Ruler

    Location:
    New Jersey
    Lobsterman is a real song, whether or not it existed at the time of the "second album."

    Robyn Hitchcock - Lobsterman [Demo}
     
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  14. chrism1971

    chrism1971 Forum Resident

    Location:
    Glos, UK
    Thanks! Clearly my knowledge of the early years doesn't extend to later stuff. Note to self: try not to speculate from now on.... :)
     
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  15. pocketcalculator

    pocketcalculator Forum Resident

    Location:
    New York City
    “anglepoise” definitely has better production than the Wading Through A Ventilator and Can of Bees and the arrangement is much sharper too. I like but don’t love the song itself, but the recorded performance elevates it and makes it a pleasure to listen to.
     
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  16. pocketcalculator

    pocketcalculator Forum Resident

    Location:
    New York City
    I am guessing that some of the sharpness and new brightness in the sound comes from Kimberley.
     
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  17. dthomas850

    dthomas850 Forum Resident

    Location:
    Cleveland, Ohio
    I've only heard "Anglepoise Lamp" a few times so far but man, this is a good track. Live version sounded really cool also. Kinda reminds me of XTC's Go2 era a little bit. I really need to get around to listening to these tracks soon. This is some good stuff for sure!
    4/5 but will undoubtedly increase!
     
  18. Lance LaSalle

    Lance LaSalle Prince of Swollen Sinus Thread Starter

    Not really a problem when it's just one song per day! I have a weird, irregular schedule with lots of hours off during the day. Plus I make a lot of typos.
     
    Last edited: May 25, 2020
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  19. Summer of Malcontent

    Summer of Malcontent Forum Resident

    'Anglepoise Lamp' is all the potential of the band so far unleashed in one headlong sugar rush. Again, it's four songs rolled into one, but they're rolled with finesse, the arrangement is exquisite (those thrown-away harmonies!) and the band plays the hell out of it. The lyrics are surrealistic nonsense, but there are plenty of good lines in the mix and that mood of comic threat that lies behind (it now occurs to me) almost all of the band's best songs.

    I find the live version that was released on the third version of A Can of Bees less energetic than the single recording (though not for lack of effort), and Hitchcock changes some of the lyrics for no good reason (e.g. a severed foot in the soot becomes a severed hand in the sand).

    I don't do the scoring thing, but maybe I'll make an exception for the 5s. Don't see how this could be improved, so 5/5.
     
  20. Summer of Malcontent

    Summer of Malcontent Forum Resident

    'I Wanna Go Backwards' and 'So You Think You're in Love' are also actual songs (or would be), and apparently 'D Song' is an alternate title for 'Goodbye Maurice or Steve'. And 'Beautiful Scream' and 'The Great Crustaceans' certainly sound like plausible Soft Boys titles!
     
  21. Summer of Malcontent

    Summer of Malcontent Forum Resident

    Compare the style to Bubbles' sleeve for Costello's 'Accidents Will Happen', also on Radar:

    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    . . . though a lot of these sleeves were deliberately released inside-out, so you can be forgiven if you don't recognize it!
     
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  22. Mr Snow

    Mr Snow Forum Resident

    Location:
    Brighton
    Great thread. I'd like to query some of the details recently posted about the Radar sessions, when I've checked my own records.

    Look forward to following this ongoing...
     
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  23. Lance LaSalle

    Lance LaSalle Prince of Swollen Sinus Thread Starter

    Our votes for "(I Want to Be an) Anglepoise Lamp":

    1-0
    2-0
    3-1
    4-3
    5-2
    Average: 4.1667
     
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  24. Lance LaSalle

    Lance LaSalle Prince of Swollen Sinus Thread Starter

    Today's song is "Fatman's Son", written by Robyn Hitchcock and produced by Andy Arthurs.


    Lyric is HERE. I'm not sure if it's 100% accurate: the link says "subjugate"; however, my ear hears either "soubriquet" of "soft bouquet".

    Anyway, I'll include another Youtube link below in case the above YouTube link doesn't work for you.

    Another version of this song was recorded circa 1979 and was included on some reissues of A Can of Bees. It is so similar to this single version (microsopically different vocal arrangment, slightly different sound) that I don't plan to hold it up separately. In fact...I think that the two videos might be the two different versions, with the below being the original B-side version.
     
    Last edited: May 26, 2020
  25. Lance LaSalle

    Lance LaSalle Prince of Swollen Sinus Thread Starter

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