Robyn Hitchcock - S or D, anyone?

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Can I just ask which albums of all of Robyn Hitchcock's out to be searched for or destroyed?
I am very familiar with him from just a few albums, and I really ought to get more, as I am a big fan.
The ones I have are; I Often Dream of Trains (absolutely love it), Eye (love it even more...), Respect (very, very good as well if not quite up to the former 2), Underwater Moonlight (jolly good psychedelic pop; Hithcock at his most angry lyrically!), Nextdoorland (a little cold on this one; has moments but...), Stormfront Hitchcock (only listened once; seemed a pretty decent live album).
So, thus I've only got these 6 CDs... can anyone instruct me which ones I ought to search next... or to avoid, both considering my taste and your own opinions of which are best ?

Tom May, Sunday, 1 December 2002 23:27 (sixteen years ago) Permalink

If you look in the CLASSIC OR DUDS, you'll see I posted a thread about Goor Sir Robyn not too, too long ago.

I'd say, though:


DESTROY: NEXTDOORLAND (though this being a Soft Boys disc, it doesn't really count, does it!), MOSS ELIXER (not horrible, but just not exciting).

Alex in NYC (vassifer), Sunday, 1 December 2002 23:30 (sixteen years ago) Permalink

God when I was thirteen I was a huge Hitchcock fan, for reasons I'm not sure about now. Still like him, just not nearly as much. Eye's my favorite, Fegmania's worthwhile, I like Queen Elvis although most people think it's subpar.

James Blount (James Blount), Sunday, 1 December 2002 23:36 (sixteen years ago) Permalink

Do not destroy Nextdoorland! I think it's better than anything Robyn's done for years and years; it's just too easy to judge it harshly compared to Underwater Moonlight. I'm serious, Alex, go listen to "Mr. Kennedy" really loud on headphones.

Sean Carruthers (SeanC), Sunday, 1 December 2002 23:43 (sixteen years ago) Permalink

Alex; yeah, seen that thread, but it maybe didn't have so much discussion that helped me narrow things down much :-)
Has he done any other reflective, "wistful" acoustic based albums like IODOT and Eye that come close to those two in quality...?
Stuff in the vein of Respect I'd like as well...
It's a shame that most of his albums seem to be out of print at the moment on CD...
So, Element of Light, Fegmania and Globe of Frogs seem to be the initial ones we've got here then... what styles/moods are these ones in? & indeed, folks who know his work, any other S or D's?

Nextdoorland... I may need to listen to it again, as well - only had 2 or 3 listenings, mostly while doing stuff at the same time. "Mr Kennedy" and "La Cherite" stand out though as damnfine Hitchcock, and I like the near-instrumental opener. But... the record seems disappointing overall... I may be wrong, and will obviously give it more chances, but I can't help but feel that doesn't measure up to Underwater Moonlight, or indeed all the solo/Egyptians Hitch. I've heard.

Tom May, Sunday, 1 December 2002 23:55 (sixteen years ago) Permalink

Search Robyn Sings, the new album of Dylan covers.

Jody Beth Rosen (Jody Beth Rosen), Monday, 2 December 2002 00:32 (sixteen years ago) Permalink

Element of Light and Globe of Frogs are both Robyn & the Egyptians in jolly full-on psych-rock trio mode (E of L has that strange mid-'80s drum sound on it, though...!). Fegmania is squishier and keyboardier. Gotta Let This Hen Out! is the solidly good live album from that period

I Often Dream of Trains and Eye are two of a kind (and fabulous)--he hasn't made any other records like those two, though Invisible Hitchcock is sort of in the same vein in parts.

If I had to destroy a couple, it'd probably be Gravy Deco a.k.a. Groovy Decay a.k.a. Groovy Decoy (Hitchcock hates it too) and Moss Elixir (totally dull). Perspex Island is redeemed by "So You Think You're In Love" and not by much else.

Among the Soft Boys' stuff, search out the way-out-of-print _Wading Through a Ventilator_--their response to punk was to play exactly the same stuff as they would've otherwise, except incredibly fast. (I had "Vyrna Knowle is a Headbanger" stuck in my head earlier today.) I used to love _Two Halves for the Price of One_, the studio side of which has now crept onto _Underwater Moonlight_.

Douglas, Monday, 2 December 2002 00:54 (sixteen years ago) Permalink

Second Element of Light. It's been a while since I've heard it, but I don't remember the drum sound as being that dated. Either way, a lot of the songs on that one are still favorites to this day, whereas a lot of his stuff doesn't do it for me now.

hstencil, Monday, 2 December 2002 01:31 (sixteen years ago) Permalink

search: live shows and bootlegs of same. he's approx 100 times better live than on record.

toby (tsg20), Monday, 2 December 2002 13:43 (sixteen years ago) Permalink

Search then: Storefront Hitchcock DVD. One of the few live performances that I'm interested to watch on TV.

dave225 (Dave225), Monday, 2 December 2002 14:09 (sixteen years ago) Permalink

Among the Soft Boys' stuff, search out the way-out-of-print _Wading Through a Ventilator_--their response to punk was to play exactly the same stuff as they would've otherwise, except incredibly fast. (I had "Vyrna Knowle is a Headbanger" stuck in my head earlier today.)

I was always struck by the fact that most of the songs are about blowjobs.

Search: I Often Dream Of Trains, Element Of Light. Destroy: Most of the rest. I was a big fan until I realized just how childish and silly his viewpoint really is.

Christine "Green Leafy Dragon" Indigo (cindigo), Monday, 2 December 2002 14:56 (sixteen years ago) Permalink

I like Queen Elvis although most people think it's subpar.

"One Long Pair of Eyes" and "Madonna of the Wasps" are
great, and the whole album is pretty consistently good. Robyn did a solo acoustic version of "One Long Pair of Eyes" on MTV once,
and good lord, it was sublime.

Albums that haven't been mentioned yet:
Black Snake Diamond Role: good, and worth getting if you're hooked, especially for "Brenda's Iron Sledge." Has some real silly moments, like "Do Policemen Sing?".

The Soft Boys: A Can of Bees and Invisible Hits. For a while, I actually favored these over Underwater Moonlight (but nowadays, I find myself listening to UM more). I can see why people might be turned off by them, since they are really, really goofy. But I'd say "Wey Wey Hep Uh Hole" is one of Robyn's great irresistible pinnacles of goofiness (alongside "Uncorrected Personality Traits"). Track down the Rykodisc 2-CD best-of/rarities (which really should've been just a rarities collection, since fans would have the albums anyway...), which has a hilarious a cappella (barring some stomping and splintering wood sound effects) rendition of "The Book of Love." (correct me if I'm wrong, but I think that collection had all of Wading... except for "Vyrna...")

I found the Storefront Hitchcock DVD at Wal-Mart, of all places, for less than $7 (!!), so keep an eye out for that.

Ernest P. (ernestp), Monday, 2 December 2002 18:54 (sixteen years ago) Permalink


And I like PERSPEX ISLAND plenty.

doug (doug), Monday, 2 December 2002 19:00 (sixteen years ago) Permalink

NEXTDOORLAND is terrific, don't listen to Alex.

polyphonic (polyphonic), Monday, 2 December 2002 19:17 (sixteen years ago) Permalink

What's all this "don't listen to Alex" stuff? I'm just submitting my opinion, not establishing a law or anything (but when I do, watch out!)

Alex in NYC (vassifer), Monday, 2 December 2002 19:53 (sixteen years ago) Permalink


polyphonic (polyphonic), Monday, 2 December 2002 19:57 (sixteen years ago) Permalink

Alex should often be listened to (note I only asked that you don't destroy Nextdoorland); I still think Nextdoorland is one of the best albums of the year though.

Sean Carruthers (SeanC), Monday, 2 December 2002 20:12 (sixteen years ago) Permalink

Since I never really answered the question, though, I'm really partial to Globe of Frogs and think Queen Elvis is mostly fine. For the earlier material I love Fegmania and Gotta Let This Hen Out, and I Often Dream of Trains is a nice alternate choice. I wouldn't really destroy any of it, but I don't often listen to Groovy Decay (Gravy Deco), Moss Elixir or Eye. There are a couple of his albums that are maddening because they're largely forgettable but have killer songs that make them essential (the aforementioned "So You Think You're in Love" on Perspex Island and, for me, "Viva SeaTac" on Jewels for Sophia).

Sean Carruthers (SeanC), Monday, 2 December 2002 20:15 (sixteen years ago) Permalink


Jaz Coleman (vassifer), Monday, 2 December 2002 20:16 (sixteen years ago) Permalink

On another listen, "Nextdoorland" is slightly better; as well as the archetypally Hitchcockian melodic appeal of "Mr Kennedy", "Unprotected Love" is a charmer and "My Mind is Connected to Your Dreams" very good. The first half is pretty good, but it does lose focus and appeal after Track 5 for a while I feel.
Not a bad album indeed, but a little disappointing on the whole, woudl be my verdict.

Tom May, Monday, 2 December 2002 21:27 (sixteen years ago) Permalink

six years pass...

Someone out there knows I love him.

Every man I fall in love with loves Robyn Hitchcock. I keep falling in love over and over again.


More Goth Than Your Grandmother (Bimble), Monday, 11 May 2009 02:49 (ten years ago) Permalink

Thanks Bimble.

I've been on a big Hitchcock kick lately- finally got aroung to hearing Gotta Let This Hen Out. Acid Bird and The Car She Used to Drive are sublime as played by the Egyptians. And of course I've been digging Eye- he never ceases to amaze with just his acoustic and his voice. One of my favorite songwriters.

ColinO, Monday, 11 May 2009 03:01 (ten years ago) Permalink

Excuse me, please listen to his latest album Goodnight Oslo, which has not been mentioned yet on this thread. It's very good indeed.

Fishes, You Hit Me With A Flounder (Dr. Joseph A. Ofalt), Monday, 11 May 2009 22:28 (ten years ago) Permalink

think it was mentioned on another Hitchcock thread, but yeah, Goodnight Oslo is great! maybe one of his best!

tylerw, Monday, 11 May 2009 22:34 (ten years ago) Permalink

This is the main Hitchcock thread, which has just a few posts on Oslo:

Robyn Hitchcock/Soft Boys: Classic or Dud?

EZ Snappin, Monday, 11 May 2009 22:42 (ten years ago) Permalink

I gotta give some more listens to Goodnight Oslo- I definitely like what I've heard.

And thanks Tyler for that live show- it smokes! I gotta find myself some more Soft Boys material, I only have the expanded Underwater Moonlight.

ColinO, Tuesday, 12 May 2009 04:10 (ten years ago) Permalink

Absolutely love "I'm Falling" from the new record - "There's a thin line between what you do and what you should/every time I cross it I just feel insanely good."

clotpoll, Saturday, 23 May 2009 19:18 (ten years ago) Permalink

was just listening to respect this week; fabulous record.

elliot easton ellis (get bent), Saturday, 23 May 2009 19:22 (ten years ago) Permalink

"Arms of Love"!

Bud Huxtable (Alfred, Lord Sotosyn), Saturday, 23 May 2009 19:23 (ten years ago) Permalink

Arms of Love damnit yes yes yes yes yes

Sacriligiously Dead (Bimble), Saturday, 23 May 2009 22:24 (ten years ago) Permalink

I looked that song up after over ten years! Out of the blue it came to me!

Sacriligiously Dead (Bimble), Saturday, 23 May 2009 22:25 (ten years ago) Permalink

two years pass...

"the cheese alarm" is ringing

reggie (qualmsley), Friday, 17 June 2011 19:27 (seven years ago) Permalink

The live I Often Dream of Trains is pretty nice

coffeetripperspillerslyricmakeruppers (Latham Green), Friday, 17 June 2011 19:55 (seven years ago) Permalink

four months pass...

tylerw, Monday, 24 October 2011 17:37 (seven years ago) Permalink

Neat. There was a fake Robyn on there a couple of years ago.

Also, LOL how there are like 8 robyn threads and a different one gets bumped whenever something new happens.

Axolotl with an Atlatl (Jon Lewis), Monday, 24 October 2011 18:34 (seven years ago) Permalink

Seeing him twice in the next couple of months, looking forward to it - once doing Eye, the other supporting Scritti Politti in a small pub.

toby, Monday, 24 October 2011 19:24 (seven years ago) Permalink

yeah i never know which thread to revive.
going on six years since i've seen hitchcock! wtf, he just doesn't want to play around here.

tylerw, Monday, 24 October 2011 19:25 (seven years ago) Permalink

If I lived in the UK I would be all over those EYE shows (for the US ones he's performing solo but the UK ones feature a chamber ensemble).

Axolotl with an Atlatl (Jon Lewis), Monday, 24 October 2011 19:59 (seven years ago) Permalink

Jon, you still haven't posted your picks for "pure classicness" off each album.

Gerald McBoing-Boing, Monday, 24 October 2011 22:13 (seven years ago) Permalink

new digital "best of" out now I guess
nothing from moss elixir! or respect, for that matter...

tylerw, Tuesday, 25 October 2011 17:58 (seven years ago) Permalink

1. I Wanna Destroy You
... 2. Kingdom of Love
3. Only the Stones Remain
4. The Man Who Invented Himself
5. I Often Dream Of Trains
6. My Wife and My Dead Wife
7. If You Were a Priest
8. Balloon Man
9. Madonna of the Wasps
10. So You Think You're in Love
11. Queen Elvis
12. I Feel Beautiful
13. Mr. Kennedy
14. Full Moon in My Soul
15. Adventure Rocket Ship
16. Goodnight Oslo

tylerw, Tuesday, 25 October 2011 18:01 (seven years ago) Permalink

I thought no "Yip Song" was odd.

EZ Snappin, Tuesday, 25 October 2011 19:59 (seven years ago) Permalink

yeah. tracklisting is hard to argue with as a "greatest hits" but half the fun of hitchcock is uncovering the hidden gems.

tylerw, Tuesday, 25 October 2011 20:13 (seven years ago) Permalink

I need to do the "one song from each record" Hitchcock playlist. It'd be a fun exercise.

EZ Snappin, Tuesday, 25 October 2011 20:17 (seven years ago) Permalink

i imagine if you got ten hitchcock fans to do that you might get ten totally different playlists.

tylerw, Tuesday, 25 October 2011 20:43 (seven years ago) Permalink

Respect gets none...

dlp9001, Tuesday, 25 October 2011 20:55 (seven years ago) Permalink

just checked, those accursed A&M albums aren't on spotify.
pretty weird that what were probably his best selling albums are unavailable. i wonder when the rights revert back to him? never?

tylerw, Tuesday, 25 October 2011 20:58 (seven years ago) Permalink

i imagine if you got ten hitchcock fans to do that you might get ten totally different playlists.

Heck yeah but as a primer for someone with a massive back-catalogue, that's a solid set of songs.

half the fun of hitchcock is uncovering the hidden gems.

Indeed, this is probably ALL the fun for me these days! Though I did just spin "Gotta Let This Hen Out", such a classic live album!

Gerald McBoing-Boing, Tuesday, 25 October 2011 21:07 (seven years ago) Permalink

I Often Dream of Trains is a classic October album.

your way better (Eazy), Tuesday, 25 October 2011 21:08 (seven years ago) Permalink

Wow. No "Chinese Bones" or "Vibrating" on that comp.

lumber up, limbaugh down (Alfred, Lord Sotosyn), Tuesday, 25 October 2011 21:10 (seven years ago) Permalink

Here's my quick "One From Each Album" list, with a bonus list of officially released odds and sods and appended tracks (had to get Invisible Hitchcock and You & Oblivion cuts in even if they've been officially excised; I wish I could still start people on Robyn with Invisible Hitchcock), many of which I like more than the ones that he chose first time around for the albums. This isn't a "hits" list, just a favored track from each.

"The Man Who Invented Himself"
"Fifty Two Stations"
"Trams Of Old London"
"The Man With The Lightbulb Head"
"Leppo & The Jooves (live)"
"Chinese Bones"
"The Devil's Coachman"
"Glass Hotel"
"She Doesn't Exist"
"1974 (live)"
"No, I Don't Remember Guildford"
"Daisy Bomb"
"Not Dark Yet (live)"
"Penelope's Angles"
"Creeped Out"
"N.Y. Doll"
"Goodnight Oslo"
"Cathedral (live)"
"Propellor Time"


"I Watch The Cars No. 2"
"My Favourite Buildings"
"Heaven (live)"
"The Face Of Death (live)"
"The Can Opener"
"The Abandoned Brain"
"A Day In The Life (live)"
"More Than This (live)"
"Polly On The Shore"
"Tropical Flesh Mandala (Kershaw Session Version)"
"Birds In Perspex (This Is The BBC Version)"
"Zipper In My Spine"
"For Debbie Reynolds"

EZ Snappin, Tuesday, 25 October 2011 21:27 (seven years ago) Permalink

Nice choices, quite surprised by some but anyone who stumps for "The Abandoned Brain" is a-ok in my book! I'll have to ponder my own list.

Gerald McBoing-Boing, Tuesday, 25 October 2011 21:44 (seven years ago) Permalink

I thought everyone liked "The Abandoned Brain"! How could you not?

EZ Snappin, Tuesday, 25 October 2011 21:47 (seven years ago) Permalink

I think it's a matter of having heard it in the first place! You have to have the 12", the way-out-of-print "Invisible Hitchcock" or have sprung for the "I Wanna Go Backwards" box. In other words, dedicated Robyn fans!

Gerald McBoing-Boing, Tuesday, 25 October 2011 23:27 (seven years ago) Permalink

I was never really a huge RH fan, but a few years back I caught a show of his (Peter Buck was playing guitar) and toward the end of the set they ripped through a spot-on cover of "See Emily Play". I was mesmerized.

epistantophus, Thursday, 27 October 2011 22:33 (seven years ago) Permalink

one of those AV Club setlist things w/ Robyn,64430/

tylerw, Wednesday, 2 November 2011 17:19 (seven years ago) Permalink

Thanks for the tip tyler!

EZ Snappin, Wednesday, 2 November 2011 17:41 (seven years ago) Permalink

hey, while this thread is up here, anyone have the "rout of the clones" bootleg? i have it on tape, but no way to digitize...

tylerw, Wednesday, 2 November 2011 18:01 (seven years ago) Permalink

I'll get it to you. Any other requests? You have Portland Arms, I assume? And Day They Ate Brick?

EZ Snappin, Wednesday, 2 November 2011 18:12 (seven years ago) Permalink

thanks! yeah, i've got portland arms. not sure about day they ate brick, what's on that? was actually thinking about compiling the ultimate soft boys live album, since robyn doesn't seem to want to do it. but most of the stuff i have is on tape, and I slept on the just add cones website downloads ... :(

tylerw, Wednesday, 2 November 2011 18:14 (seven years ago) Permalink

Day They Ate Brick is the Radar demos. I'll see what my best-sounding live stuff is and get it to you. Probably not today though.

EZ Snappin, Wednesday, 2 November 2011 18:16 (seven years ago) Permalink

jk, really appreciate it!

tylerw, Wednesday, 2 November 2011 18:19 (seven years ago) Permalink

two months pass...

sounds interesting...
The Floating Palace

Curated by renowned English eccentric Robyn Hitchcock, The Floating Palace is an intimate evening of free-wheeling musical collaboration featuring KT Tunstall, Eliza & Martin Carthy, Krystle Warren and Howe Gelb.

It's a simple concept: musicians admire each other, are a little envious of each other, and, given the chance, like to play with each other. But normally they only get the chance to do this in the studio, or after hours. For the first time before a paying audience, we present a carousel of exceptional 'roots' artists; all lit within by their passion for music, accompanying each other on songs they know and songs they've only just met.

Robyn Hitchcock is joined by award winning Scottish songstress KT Tunstall, folk legends Martin and Eliza Carthy, American singer Krystle Warren and alt country experimentalist Howe Gelb.

Make sure you don't miss this very special evening if the Floating Palace swings by your city. You can catch them live on the following dates:

05/02/2012 - Glasgow ABC1 as part of Celtic Connections 2012
06/02/2012 - Gateshead, The Sage
08/02/2012 - London, Barbican Centre
11/02/2012 - Brighton, Dome
12/02/2012 - Coventry, Warwick Arts Centre

tylerw, Thursday, 26 January 2012 18:10 (seven years ago) Permalink

In high school, my local public library had Invisible Hitchcock. It was brilliant!

โตเกียวเหมียวเหมียว aka Don Nots (Mount Cleaners) (Mount Cleaners), Thursday, 26 January 2012 18:15 (seven years ago) Permalink

Fucker always does such interesting events in the UK.

Axolotl with an Atlatl (Jon Lewis), Thursday, 26 January 2012 18:17 (seven years ago) Permalink

i know! was sort of disappointed that the Floating Palace wasn't, you know, actually a boat. Though I think he's already done shows on boats.

tylerw, Thursday, 26 January 2012 18:18 (seven years ago) Permalink

Yeah he did a thing where he performed on a ferry to the Isle Of Wight and then led people around his favorite places there incl. the beach which inspired "Airscape"

Axolotl with an Atlatl (Jon Lewis), Thursday, 26 January 2012 18:20 (seven years ago) Permalink

One day one of these events will be so compelling I'll simply have to get on a plane.

But I did get to see him with Joe Boyd, which was fun. He usually gets to Boston almost annually so I can't complain too much.

Gotta think he'll be quiet this year, he's been quite prolific lately.

Gerald McBoing-Boing, Friday, 27 January 2012 01:03 (seven years ago) Permalink

five years pass...

It does my heart good to see someone rate Lysander that high. The best song on Perspex Island, IMO.

you've also identified the pulsing heart of Globe of Frogs (vibrating + Chinese bones)

Interesting that you have shorted the green and gold 'indoor' albums (trains/eye). While I agree with conventional wisdom that the former is a robyn peak, I do think eye is a bit overrated, including by robyn himself.

harbinger of failure (Jon not Jon), Saturday, 9 September 2017 15:33 (one year ago) Permalink


the Rain Man of nationalism. (Alfred, Lord Sotosyn), Saturday, 9 September 2017 15:41 (one year ago) Permalink

And in the demons hat
Bah bom.
Bah bom.
Discolored flowers grew
Bah bom.
Bah bom.

harbinger of failure (Jon not Jon), Saturday, 9 September 2017 16:10 (one year ago) Permalink

nothing off I Often Dream of Trains?

campreverb, Saturday, 9 September 2017 17:40 (one year ago) Permalink

Man, I Often Dream of Trains/Fegmania was a great period.

timellison, Saturday, 9 September 2017 18:11 (one year ago) Permalink

one year passes...

When occasionally I get bitter about not having written “Boys Of Summer” I remind myself that Don Henley never wrote “Give Me A Spanner, Ralph”

— Robyn Hitchcock (@RobynHitchcock) January 6, 2019

a Mets fan who gave up on everything in the mid '80s (Dr Morbius), Monday, 7 January 2019 16:21 (five months ago) Permalink

Well, yeah.

Infidels, Like Dylan In The Eighties (C. Grisso/McCain), Monday, 7 January 2019 16:26 (five months ago) Permalink

I daresay it's time for a new odds and sods comp of 2000s outtakes.

Gerald McBoing-Boing, Monday, 7 January 2019 16:31 (five months ago) Permalink

hear hear!
nice recording of robyn's recent dylan celebration here:

tylerw, Monday, 7 January 2019 16:37 (five months ago) Permalink

Oh man I really hope Robyn covers boys of summer

valet doberman (Jon not Jon), Monday, 7 January 2019 18:23 (five months ago) Permalink

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