Author Topic: Robert Wyatt  (Read 1932 times)

Dirty Boy

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Robert Wyatt
« on: August 24, 2015, 09:12:50 PM »
A lovely man who makes me feel better about the world knowing that he and his music are in it. Listening to Wyatt is like getting into a warm bath for me (not to say his stuff's mellow, plenty of it is enjoyably batshit).

Rock Bottom is such an amazing piece of work, i hear new things in it all the time and he only went and made his best album within a year of being paralysed for life.

I still haven't heard the Matching Mole stuff. Can i pretend i'm building up to it? Wouldn't mind knowing where to start with his collaborative and compilation work actually. There's a few rarity collections around, would i be right in thinking the recent 'Different Every Time' one is the best one to go for?

Don_Preston

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Re: Robert Wyatt
« Reply #1 on: August 24, 2015, 09:23:38 PM »
Definitely recommend the Theatre Royal Drury Lane live album. Recordings a bit rough, but adds to the rawness.

Wish I could get the Around RW album by Orchestre National de Jazz. Seems to be out of print now.

Dirty Boy

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Re: Robert Wyatt
« Reply #2 on: August 24, 2015, 09:28:56 PM »
If that's the one where he does Henry Cow songs i think i've got it somewhere.

Edit: scratch that, i'm thinking of 'Concerts' by HC on which Wyatt turns up.
« Last Edit: August 24, 2015, 09:40:39 PM by Dirty Boy »

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Re: Robert Wyatt
« Reply #3 on: August 24, 2015, 09:53:54 PM »
A lovely man who makes me feel better about the world knowing that he and his music are in it.

Absolutely. Have you read 'Different Every Time', the biography that came out last year (from where the compilation you mentioned took its name[nb]Well yes, technically, it's from a lyric on 'Sea Song', but you know what I mean.[/nb]? If not, definitely check it out, you'll end up liking him even more. There's also a bloody good documentary from BBC4 up on Youtube, where he does live versions of several of his tracks as well, which is well worth checking out. Between the book and the documentary, I managed to figure out exactly where he lives, if I should ever go potty and take up stalking.

'Rock Bottom' is indeed amazing, and as you say, rewards repeated listens. I'm also quite fond of 'Dondestan', though that could be because it was the first Wyatt album I ever heard. And of course, his work on the first three Soft Machine albums, especially the fantastic 'Moon In June' is terrific.



Dirty Boy

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Re: Robert Wyatt
« Reply #4 on: August 24, 2015, 10:16:25 PM »
I've just recently finished the biography which sent me back to the albums again with a renewed sense of awe and respect. Shleep is getting played excessively at the moment.Can't argue with the likes of Maryan and Free Will And Testament, but my favourite at the minute is Alien. I love how haunting that chord progession is...

Angrew Lloyg Wegger

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Re: Robert Wyatt
« Reply #5 on: August 24, 2015, 10:22:18 PM »
Not much to add except that Rock Bottom and the second Soft Machine album are two of my favourites right now. Checked out that BBC4 doco a while back, lovely stuff. I know what you mean about the haunting chord progressions DB, Gharbzadegi off of Old Rottenhat is another good example, something about the chorus of that one makes me feel all funny.

I posted this in the 'great pictures thread in GB', think it deserves to go here as well:

Dirty Boy

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Re: Robert Wyatt
« Reply #6 on: August 24, 2015, 10:30:11 PM »
^he's one of the voices on Medulla int'ee?

I like this one

Actually, The Unthanks did a fine cd of Wyatt covers, including the Uncoverable one.

Re: Robert Wyatt
« Reply #7 on: August 25, 2015, 02:18:23 PM »
Why's it uncoverable? Even Tears for Fears made quite a good fist of it 30 years ago. I'd say the first Matching Mole album is essential, the second one less so. Of the solo albums, I think "Shleep" is my favourite. "Ruth ... " is great too, and usually overlooked. "Nothing Can Stop Us" - the compilation of his Rough Trade e.p.s from the early 80s is a must.

Top guest appearances - Scritti's "The Sweetest Girl"; "Launderette" by Vivien Goldman; "Put A Straw Under Baby" by Eno and "Vanceremos" by Working Week.


NoSleep

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Re: Robert Wyatt
« Reply #8 on: August 25, 2015, 03:50:15 PM »
A lovely man who makes me feel better about the world knowing that he and his music are in it. Listening to Wyatt is like getting into a warm bath for me (not to say his stuff's mellow, plenty of it is enjoyably batshit).

Rock Bottom is such an amazing piece of work, i hear new things in it all the time and he only went and made his best album within a year of being paralysed for life.

I still haven't heard the Matching Mole stuff. Can i pretend i'm building up to it? Wouldn't mind knowing where to start with his collaborative and compilation work actually. There's a few rarity collections around, would i be right in thinking the recent 'Different Every Time' one is the best one to go for?

He retired from stopped making music last year to concentrate on politics.

Matching Mole are worth a look, especially their two studio albums, Matching Mole, & Matching Mole's Little Red Record. They're the original post rock band (there was no such term in those days, of course) and several of their tunes continued to be played by Hatfield & The North (who also featured Robert Wyatt on vocals as a guest on one track of their first album) if you can track down any of their live recordings.

Make sure to get Nothing Can Stop Us, a compilation of all his 7" singles on Rough Trade in the late 70's/early 80's which finds him making cover versions of variously relevant songs with his, then new, outlook that he wished to be unequivocally political in his output (inspired by having heard a track or two of Rock Bottom on the US's propaganda radio station Voice of America; he never wanted them to accidentally play his music again).

I have another compilation called Flotsam Jetsam which has various collaborations, guest appearances and one-off tracks from the 60's (with Hendrix) through to the 80's (with Jerry Dammers and Happy End).

I have an EP (demo quality) called A Short Break where he teams up with Chris & Cosey (only on one of the tracks).

It goes without saying that Rock Bottom is the best rock album of all time (and a definitive Canterbury album) but Old Rottenhat gets played almost as much here, followed by Dondestan.

Re: Robert Wyatt
« Reply #9 on: August 25, 2015, 03:52:52 PM »
Where should I start?  I know a few Wyatt songs and love them, but WHEEREEE

NoSleep

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Re: Robert Wyatt
« Reply #10 on: August 25, 2015, 03:57:18 PM »
Get Rock Bottom. You can't go wrong with that.

NoSleep

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Re: Robert Wyatt
« Reply #11 on: August 25, 2015, 04:01:52 PM »
Karen Mantler's The Official Robert Wyatt Fan Club Song is worth a listen (for any fans, that is), based loosely on the Mickey Mouse Fan Club Song.

http://www.disco-robertwyatt.com/images/Robert/torwfcs/index.htm

http://www.disco-robertwyatt.com/images/Robert/torwfcs/TheOfficialRobertWyattFanClubSong.mp3

Dirty Boy

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Re: Robert Wyatt
« Reply #12 on: August 25, 2015, 06:55:53 PM »
Quote from: poodlefaker
Why's [Sea Song] uncoverable?
Ah, i dunno really. It's just such a personal and emotionally raw song that it's hard to imagine anyone coming close to capturing the poignant majesty of it imo (and even though it was written before his accident, the lyrics describe his unfortunate situation to a downright eeire degree).
Quote from: Angrew Lloyg Wegger
Not much to add except that Rock Bottom and the second Soft Machine album are two of my favourites right now. Checked out that BBC4 doco a while back, lovely stuff. I know what you mean about the haunting chord progressions DB, Gharbzadegi off of Old Rottenhat is another good example, something about the chorus of that one makes me feel all funny.
I've still not heard that album (anyone heard the Animals film soundtrack?), but love the live take on Gharbzadegi from the BBC doc. Been listening to Cuckooland today. A bit patchy maybe, but Forest is another one for the 'chord changes that make your tummy go all funny' pile.

Imagine if Wyatt was your grandad, how ace would that be?

NoSleep

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Re: Robert Wyatt
« Reply #13 on: August 25, 2015, 07:20:01 PM »
He's Grand Maester Pycelle's half brother[nb]Well, the actor who plays him in Game Of Thrones[/nb].

He's likely named after his mother and father's good friend Robert Graves (through whom they met).

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Re: Robert Wyatt
« Reply #14 on: August 25, 2015, 07:40:58 PM »
I was going to make the same point about his half brother, but say that he was Scaroth, last of the Jagaroth, but wasn't sure if the crossover between Wyatt fans and Doctor Who fans began and ended with me.

NoSleep

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Re: Robert Wyatt
« Reply #15 on: August 25, 2015, 07:43:48 PM »
His half brother's also in Star Wars.

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Re: Robert Wyatt
« Reply #16 on: August 25, 2015, 07:49:01 PM »
He gets around, doesn't he? He's also been married to Eileen Atkins and Isla Blair, which I'm mildly impressed by.

Angrew Lloyg Wegger

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Re: Robert Wyatt
« Reply #17 on: August 25, 2015, 08:04:31 PM »
He gets around, doesn't he? He's also been married to Eileen Atkins and Isla Blair, which I'm mildly impressed by.

I was literally just about to post "What, before Alfie?" then I realised you were talking about Glover. I'm a dunce.

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Re: Robert Wyatt
« Reply #18 on: August 25, 2015, 10:03:59 PM »
He was married before Alfie, of course, and also dated Caroline Coon for a while.

We shouldn't forget how important Alfie is to Robert Wyatt's art, though, from contributing lyrics to designing album covers and generally being there for him through many hard times. That's one thing I liked about the biography I mentioned, that she is represented as such an essential figure.

Re: Robert Wyatt
« Reply #19 on: August 25, 2015, 10:27:23 PM »
I can't get into him to any degree and I hate myself for it. I loved that documentary and admire and respect him but...grrr....dunno what it is.

Brundle-Fly

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Re: Robert Wyatt
« Reply #20 on: August 26, 2015, 01:19:28 AM »
The guv'nor.

I could blah blah on about his albums forever. Love him to bits.  Here are some RW moments that may have slipped under the radar?



https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lPyiW_16_nc

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9bGv13da2ik

Brundle-Fly

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Re: Robert Wyatt
« Reply #21 on: August 26, 2015, 02:08:06 AM »
And by jiminny, if this don't move you , than get a passport to Skaro.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jmQKhoEw2IQ

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Re: Robert Wyatt
« Reply #22 on: August 26, 2015, 09:13:37 AM »
His version of 'At Last I Am Free' might be my favourite cover version of all time.

NoSleep

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Re: Robert Wyatt
« Reply #23 on: August 26, 2015, 09:57:28 AM »
His version of 'At Last I Am Free' might be my favourite cover version of all time.

And it was dedicated to Angela Davis (in an inscription in the run out grooves of the original 7" vinyl version), who had just been freed from prison in the US. I think all of those Rough Trade 7" he put out had inscriptions. The only other I can recall was the one for Caimanera (AKA Guantanamera; the unofficial Cuban National Anthem)/Arauco single, which was dedicated to "those who stayed" in reference to the Cuban boat people who escaped to Florida.

Re: Robert Wyatt
« Reply #24 on: August 26, 2015, 10:11:22 AM »
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kWZs7N7_5EQ

Peel legend covers other Peel legend.

NoSleep

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Re: Robert Wyatt
« Reply #25 on: August 26, 2015, 10:40:31 AM »
Not forgetting that Ivor is featured on Rock Bottom, too.

Don_Preston

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Re: Robert Wyatt
« Reply #26 on: August 26, 2015, 11:40:34 AM »
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SUcZHD77hK8

The End of an Ear, his solo debut, seems to be woefully under-looked.

Features Elton Dean on alto saxophone, too.

Don_Preston

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Re: Robert Wyatt
« Reply #27 on: September 11, 2015, 12:23:12 AM »

Matching Mole are worth a look, especially their two studio albums, Matching Mole, & Matching Mole's Little Red Record. They're the original post rock band (there was no such term in those days, of course)



Finally got around to acquiring the two studio efforts as they donated into my shop. God knows what you were smoking when you labelled them post-rock though. This Heat they're not.  As prog as they come.

NoSleep

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Re: Robert Wyatt
« Reply #28 on: September 11, 2015, 07:43:38 AM »
You can't hear how influential those albums were on (for example) Tortoise? Even by the definition of Post Rock (music developed from the techniques and traditions of Rock [and Roll]), they are definitely Post Rock pioneers, whether they superficially sound like a Post Rock band or not; all of those early bands (Soft Machine, Henry Cow, Matching Mole, Delivery, Quiet Sun, Hatfield & The North, Egg etc) were pioneering Post Rock[nb]Which is just a term conjured by hipster journos to make it seem less like they were actually championing prog rock.[/nb].
« Last Edit: September 11, 2015, 08:33:14 AM by NoSleep »

Dirty Boy

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Re: Robert Wyatt
« Reply #29 on: September 12, 2015, 06:45:36 PM »
I've already kinda said this in the op, but there's something incredibly comforting about yer man Wyatt's music. I always seem to reach for it when i'm down and can't be arsed hearing any other music and it's almost like being wrapped in a big duvet when it's raining outside.

Been spinning Old Rottenhat all week, it's a fucking marvel. Very downbeat for sure (not surprising considering the era it's recorded in), but it hangs together as a record almost as well as Rock Bottom for me. Don't know why it's taken me so long to get round to it. Nothing Can Stop Us is also wonderful.

Has he officially retired now? Comicopera is a good album, but it's maybe not the best 'final' work you could hope for.