Robert Wyatt: His Greatest Misses (Ryko/EMI)

 |   |  1 min read

Robert Wyatt: Sea Songs
Robert Wyatt: His Greatest Misses (Ryko/EMI)

The story of this lifelong Marxist, musician, essayist and British intellectual is perhaps too complex too go into here, but here is the short-hand.

Drummer in the innovative jazz-rock outfit Soft Machine in the late Sixties; formed the short-lived Matching Mole in the early Seventies; fell from a window in '73 and has been in a wheelcahir since; musical allies include Pink Floyd, Brian Eno, Roxy Music's Phil Manzanera; recorded a definitive version of Elvis Costello's Shipbuilding at the height of the Falklands War; has released a series of idiosyncratic albums (he writes, sings, plays keyboards and percussion); and in 2001 curated the Meltdown festival in London.

His '03 album Cuckooland was nominated for the Mercury Prize. 

And of course there is much more, but let's also note his unusual or unexpected covers (the Monkees' I'm A Believer among them).

This beautifully presented import of his '04 Japanese compilation (with drawings he did age 6) is an excellent introduction to his fragile and high voice, his slightly slippery jazz phrasing and melodies, and interesting lyrics ("Given free will but within certain limitiations, I cannot will myself to limitless mutations").

These 17 tracks include Heaps of Sheeps (with Eno), Free Will and Testament (with Paul Weller), I'm a Believer (Fred Frith, Nick Mason of Pink Floyd), Little Red Ridin Hood Hit the Road, the '98 remastered version of Shipbuilding . . . 

Robert Wyatt has always been an Elsewhere favourite so after this the recommended journey starts with his '74 album Rock Bottom (think about that title, he's got a sense of humour) and the follow-up Ruth is Stranger Than Richard, the excellent five-disc EPs set (with a soundtrack and a remix disc) and then Cuckooland.

Check this out too . . . 

Share It

Your Comments

Strong Comet - Jun 14, 2010

Hi,

For all Robert Wyatt information, please visit the Robert Wyatt website: http://www.strongcomet.com/wyatt/

Cheers!

Strong Comet

post a comment

More from this section   Music articles index

Various Artists: The History of Rhythm and Blues 1942-52 (Rhythmandbluesrecords/Southbound 4 CD Set)

Various Artists: The History of Rhythm and Blues 1942-52 (Rhythmandbluesrecords/Southbound 4 CD Set)

If the previous collection in this excellent series -- which went from country blues in the Twenties to swing, boogie and jump jive in the early Forties -- laid out the ground, this equally fine... > Read more

Marlon Williams: Make Way For Love (Caroline)

Marlon Williams: Make Way For Love (Caroline)

Late last year when Marlon Williams was back in New Zealand for a short while and playing a couple of shows at the Pt Chevalier RSA in Auckland, it was my pleasure to be invited to conduct an... > Read more

Elsewhere at Elsewhere

GUEST WRITER MADELINE BOCARO sees Patti Smith in NYC acknowledging her classic album Horses 40 years on

GUEST WRITER MADELINE BOCARO sees Patti Smith in NYC acknowledging her classic album Horses 40 years on

Jeez . . . "Do you know how to pony?"    We are here at the famous Beacon Theater in New York City, Patti Smith's adopted homeplace to find out. And the ghosts are all... > Read more

EPs by Yasmin Brown

EPs by Yasmin Brown

With so many CDs commanding and demanding attention Elsewhere will run this occasional column by the informed and opinionated Yasmin Brown. She will scoop up some of those many EP releases, in... > Read more