Robyn Hitchcock/Soft Boys: Classic or Dud?

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Just picked up the Matador Records re-release of the Soft Boys' celebrated UNDERWATER MOONLIGHT album, appended with outtakes and deleted tracks. I started backwards with this band, becoming a fan of Robyn Hitchcock's solo career of skewed psychedelic pop back in college, only later discovering his earlier, "punkier" band, The Soft Boys. To my ears, the hybrid of Hitchcock's decidedly off-kilter lyrical fixation with all things surreal and his knack for soaring pop harmonies and melody is absolutely the stuff of legend, but I have friends who consider him a unbearable Syd Barrett clone and/or too clever-clever for anyone's aural benefit. What say you?

Alex in NYC, Monday, 7 May 2001 00:00 (eighteen years ago) Permalink

"Underwater moonlight" is a classic indeed. It's an album that doesent fit in anywhere, its a bit punk, bit power-pop and a bit psychedelic. I havent heard any of his solo stuff so I cant pass any comment on it.

Michael, Monday, 7 May 2001 00:00 (eighteen years ago) Permalink

I love both the Soft Boys and Hitchcock, for slightly different reasons, and have favourites amongst the discographies of both. With the Soft Boys, it's easier to just like it all because there was precious little material, though Underwater Moonlight certainly towers head and shoulder over everything else. With Hitchcock, I find that it's a bit hit and miss. I'm unabashedly a fan of Globe of Frogs, because that was my entry point and has some truly killer songs in "Balloon Man", "Vibrating", Tropical Flesh Mandala" and "Beatle Dennis". That said, I think I almost prefer some of the earlier albums, including I Often Dream of Trains, Fegmania, Element of Light and esp. Gotta Let This Hen Out. The first two I find a bit patchy and anything after Queen Elvis is also patchy. Certainly, Hitchcock's wonko lyrics are an acquired taste, but I'll take the clever surrealism of his lyrics over the stupid cliches that comprise a good chunk of popular music any day.

Short answer: both classic.

Sean Carruthers, Monday, 7 May 2001 00:00 (eighteen years ago) Permalink

Like Alex, I was a fan of Robyn' solo work and then went backwards to the Soft Boys. The Soft Boys are complete CLASSIC. I first picked up A CAN OF BEES and UNDERWATER MOONLIGHT in the early 90s and they totally blew my mind. I couldn't believe that they were so unappreciated in music "history". Even today, people still give you cross looks when you mention the Soft Boys. Not many people know them at all. Hopefully the Matador attention will change that a bit. Their show a few weeks back in Baltimore was attended by about 200 or so folks, which was pretty respectable. Great show. They played "I Wanna Destroy You" so I was satisfied.

As for Robyn's solo stuff, I'd have to say its a mixed bad. In fact, I can't even point to one album that's all classic. But there's so much great stuff scrambled in there that its hard to dismiss any of them totally. Probablly my favorites would be GLOBE OF FROGS, EYE, ELEMENT OF LIGHT, and QUEEN ELVIS. That looks like mostly mid-period Hitchcock to me.

But for a career, I'd give Robyn in his various guises a CLASSIC.

Tim Baier, Monday, 7 May 2001 00:00 (eighteen years ago) Permalink

Ooops, I meant Robyn's solo career is a mixed "bag". Its not "bad", its a "bag" dammit!

Tim Baier, Monday, 7 May 2001 00:00 (eighteen years ago) Permalink

Underwater Moonlight is absolutely wonderful. There seems to be a perfect balance between Robin's unsettling wierdness and killer psych- pop tunes, which all to often tips towards 'being a loony'later on. A Can of Bees is worth having too. The best of Hitchcock's solo career is probably "Gotta Let this Hen Out", but unfortunately IMHO the whimsy overwhelms all else after "Fegmania". The later albums are all but unbearable, although I haven't heard them all. I'd say his best before date was around 1985.

Dr. C, Monday, 7 May 2001 00:00 (eighteen years ago) Permalink

Classic: the title "The Lonesome Death of Ian Penman" (in response to IP's sarky review of _A Can of Bees_)

Dud: Never heard a single solitary note, so I wdn't know. Naturally I hate him.

mark s, Monday, 7 May 2001 00:00 (eighteen years ago) Permalink

I saw the re-united soft boys out here in san francisco a few weeks back, and they were quite good...played my favourites, Queen of Eyes and I Wanna Destroy You. Plus they were backed up by the mighty Young Fresh Fellows, so that added lots. I've always liked Underwater Moonlight, especially the Rykodisc Cd reissue of 5 or so years back, which had 5 or so extra tracks, including a good one called Nobody Like You. My favourite Soft Boys, though, would be the very silly Live at the Portland Arms. Mostly sort of acoustic, filled with ad- libs, wit and oddball cover songs. Hitchcock solo I haven't enjoyed as much, as I guess I like the rockier / poppier side of the Soft Boys, albeit partly because of the somewhat odd lyrics...I like some of his LP I Often Dream of Trains. I certainly know some people who can't stand his lyrics, though.

paulsheridan, Tuesday, 8 May 2001 00:00 (eighteen years ago) Permalink

Has made a career flogging a particular brand of stereotypical English weirdness (cf Glen Baxter) - some good tunes on Underwater Moonlight but he leaves a bad taste in the mouth. No connection at all. Dud.

Tom, Tuesday, 8 May 2001 00:00 (eighteen years ago) Permalink

I'm of much the same opinion as Tom...But oddly today I kept finding myself singing to myself a typically anoying solo-career-era song of his. Now I've started fuckin' doing it again. Thanks guys.

duane zarakov, Wednesday, 9 May 2001 00:00 (eighteen years ago) Permalink

one year passes...
classic - twisted dark humour, a touch of verbosity, snarling and prowling guitars and a dark dark heart. i had very low expectations of "nextdoorland" the new album but it's entirely fantastic. have not heard anything as thrilling as "strings" all year...

commonswings, Tuesday, 24 September 2002 14:18 (sixteen years ago) Permalink

He's sooooooooo weird.

DeRayMi, Tuesday, 24 September 2002 14:26 (sixteen years ago) Permalink

The Soft Boys are on point rather like a steeple but I just can't get on with Hitchcock's solo stuff. I have a friend who has a catalogue of it but it just doesn't seem to have... the edginess of the Soft Boys. When he's on his own, it's like Rob tries too hard to be a Barrett but he's too sane to make it work. I can't listen to it.

But Underwater Moonlight is somethig else. I Wanna Destroy You is an alltime winner. I also really like He's A Reptile.

Roger Fascist (Roger Fascist), Tuesday, 24 September 2002 14:31 (sixteen years ago) Permalink

hehe...once i saw the title of the thread i knew Sean would be all over this as when we met he had a soft boys t-shirt.

haven't heard soft boys myself but will pick it up if i see it.

Julio Desouza (jdesouza), Tuesday, 24 September 2002 14:49 (sixteen years ago) Permalink

Soft Boys are definitely classic to me, Hitch more of a mixed bag. I am a bit wary that the Soft Boys new record (out now, as they say in the papers) will do damage to the band's rep; I haven't heard the record yet, but I did hear some of the songs on the reunion tour and they definitely skewed toward the diminishing returns side of Hitch's more recent works.

The Minor Fall, The Major Lift

TMFTML (TMFTML), Tuesday, 24 September 2002 14:53 (sixteen years ago) Permalink

"Underwater Moonlight" is a great record.

The rest of The Soft Boys and Hitchcock's output is very hit and miss.

The only Hitchcock album that I have heard that is consistent front to back is "Globe of Frogs". I used to have a few others from that time period, but there would generally only be a song or two worth hearing and the rest pretty dull. It has been a long time since I have heard any of this music.

Hitchcock seemed to put out a record every six months for a few years back in the day, which is probably a primary reason why they are kind of spotty.

earlnash, Tuesday, 24 September 2002 17:07 (sixteen years ago) Permalink

I gotta pay closer attention to what's going on in the world. I had no clue that Nextdoorland was even on the way. I just picked it up now. It's weird, because I was actually wearing my Soft Boys shirt again the other day, Julio, and I don't think I've put it on since that last time when you saw it. Huh.

Sean Carruthers (SeanC), Friday, 27 September 2002 22:52 (sixteen years ago) Permalink

two years pass...
"...I don't KNOW WHY
She never gets anywhere

(Wonder why I never posted on this thread before? Been listening to the Rykodisc reissues and the 2-disc overview of Soft Boys stuffage all week.)

Ned Raggett (Ned), Friday, 21 January 2005 18:23 (fourteen years ago) Permalink

As I get older, Robyn is becoming my favorite musician. I bought Can of Bees a long time ago and thought it was good... then I finally heard Underwater Moonlight a few years before the Matador reissue came out... and since then, I've become a bit obsessed. He's one of those artists who never seems to put out anything that I don't like, including individual songs. His songwriting is remarkably consistent, but not samey because his lyrics are usually very good if not terrific.

polyphonic (polyphonic), Friday, 21 January 2005 18:29 (fourteen years ago) Permalink

I love A Can of Bees. I couldn't stop listening to it last fall.

Trip Maker (Sean Witzman), Friday, 21 January 2005 18:42 (fourteen years ago) Permalink

Totally classic (with longueurs, of course). How Demme managed to film a dull RH gig...?

Anyone knocked out by the new Gillian Welch collab?

Dr Morbius (Dr Morbius), Friday, 21 January 2005 18:49 (fourteen years ago) Permalink

He's the best. I've loved pretty much all of his records at one time or another. A couple of interesting ones that don't get mentioned too much are that Rykodisc set, Invisible Hitchcock, and the last few, especially Jewls for Sophia and Moss Elixer. Also You and Oblivion which has some of my favorites.

danh (danh), Friday, 21 January 2005 18:54 (fourteen years ago) Permalink

As I think is almost required among fans, I have a bootleg of one of his solo acoustic performances, in this case one I taped myself back in 1995 at McCabe's in LA. He previewed a fair amount of Moss Elixir material along with digging up various old faves and random numbers, and of course was his usual dry self on stage. I'm trying to remember if I ever got it converted to digital or not...

Ned Raggett (Ned), Friday, 21 January 2005 18:57 (fourteen years ago) Permalink

Any thoughts on Nextdoorland by the Soft Boys?'s a bit spotty but I def. think "Mr. Kennedy" is one of my fav SB songs ever....It's totally like onOFFon my Mission of Burma, not disappointing but not a classic, held up by a few genuinely great songs....

M@tt He1geson (Matt Helgeson), Friday, 21 January 2005 19:05 (fourteen years ago) Permalink

Nextdoorland was my third favorite record of 2002, if memory serves. By contrast, onOFFon did nothing for me.

polyphonic (polyphonic), Friday, 21 January 2005 19:07 (fourteen years ago) Permalink

Those Nextdoorland songs didn't hold up live when they did that Underwater Moonlight show. I actually never bought it because of that show. They were totally lifeless next to the classics. Pretty, but lifeless.

danh (danh), Friday, 21 January 2005 19:10 (fourteen years ago) Permalink

I think "Underwater Moonlight" is about half-classic. The title track is great, "Kingdom of Love" is the all-time best rip of the Hollies' "Long Cool Woman." I give Kimberley Rew credit for it, though--great guitar work, really distinctive. I also like the earlier Soft Boys stuff OK, but I don't think it's all that great.

I guess I like "Element of Light" all right, and there are times I put on "Mossy Liquor" or "Moss Elixor" or whatever that's called depending on whether you have the LP or CD. RH is good, kind of a one-trick drugged pony ride though. I probably still prefer Syd Barrett or John Lennon, though.

eddie hurt (ddduncan), Friday, 21 January 2005 19:12 (fourteen years ago) Permalink

Yeah, I found Nextdoorland to be kind've a let down.

Alex in NYC (vassifer), Friday, 21 January 2005 19:13 (fourteen years ago) Permalink

Anyone knocked out by the new Gillian Welch collab?

It's kinda strange. I do like it - not necessarily knocked out though. It had this implicit "this is Robyn's grown-up serious record" feeling to it. Almost if it's in reaction to the relatively freewheeling Luxor album.

Gator Magoon (Chris Barrus), Friday, 21 January 2005 23:43 (fourteen years ago) Permalink

To clarify, I don't want him to make another crustacean album either.

Gator Magoon (Chris Barrus), Friday, 21 January 2005 23:44 (fourteen years ago) Permalink

The new one's excellent; the first and last tracks steal it, but so much else is great; "English Girl", who else would reference Merle Haggard and Ronald Searle? Even better was seeing him live a few months ago, in a nicely small (if difficult to find) venue in Newcastle, the Cluny...

Tom May (Tom May), Friday, 21 January 2005 23:52 (fourteen years ago) Permalink

five months pass...
Classic. Underwater Moonlight will be all over my Top 100 80's lists whenever we do it.

Cunga (Cunga), Wednesday, 6 July 2005 23:51 (thirteen years ago) Permalink

I'm very fond of I Often Dream of Trains.

Ian Riese-Moraine has been xeroxed into a conduit! (Eastern Mantra), Thursday, 7 July 2005 00:09 (thirteen years ago) Permalink

I still defend Perspex Island.

Alfred Soto (Alfred Soto), Thursday, 7 July 2005 00:21 (thirteen years ago) Permalink

soft boys--classic
robyn hitchcock--classic

i'd say that the best way to experience robyn these days is to see him live--he's got such a wealth of great songs at this stage in his career. And usually, the more recent songs sound better in person than they do on record. there are a few live shows on's live music database if you're curious.

also worth seeking out is the soft boys' live at portland arms LP (some of which is on the ryko overview). hilarious and unplugged.

and ned, it sounds as though we were probably at the same mccabes show in 1995--i think my friend and i were the only teenagers in the house. if you ever digitize your tape, i'd love to relive it.

tylerw, Thursday, 7 July 2005 01:17 (thirteen years ago) Permalink

also, in the middle of one of those 1995 mccabes shows, i realized that i was sitting next to none other than adam duritz. true story.

tylerw, Thursday, 7 July 2005 01:19 (thirteen years ago) Permalink

No mention of Old Pervert or Insanely Jealous?

Jamey Lewis (Jameys Burning), Thursday, 7 July 2005 02:21 (thirteen years ago) Permalink

insanely jealous old pervert?

chief of chaff (Jody Beth Rosen), Thursday, 7 July 2005 02:24 (thirteen years ago) Permalink

Robyn was a streak of genuine weirdness on the alt pop charts in the eighties, his records definitely helped get through high school back then. The live shows were incredible, the improvised stories he'd spin between songs always made sense.

He's one of two people I ever asked for an autograph. Philip Glass was not in a good mood when I walked up, 15 years old & nervous, having spotted him in the lobby during the intermission to the Knee Plays... can't blame him for scowling at me. Robyn on the other hand was impossibly cool about the awkward situation, saying while signing my copy of Trains "well y'know it's no good having heroes, especially once you get to know them and realize they have all the same problems..." I assured him that was the point.

milton parker (Jon L), Thursday, 7 July 2005 06:23 (thirteen years ago) Permalink

one month passes...
I noticed the similarities between the Left Banke's I Haven't Got the Nerve tune and I Wanna Destroy You a few weeks ago. Who knows? It's a good tune either way but thought someone might appreciate it.

Cunga (Cunga), Tuesday, 30 August 2005 08:11 (thirteen years ago) Permalink

Underwater Moonlight is one of the best records ever made.

zeus, Tuesday, 30 August 2005 08:21 (thirteen years ago) Permalink

nine months pass...
The Soft Boys (esp. Can of Bees, Underwater Moonlight and Invisible Hits, the cream of the crop) are absolute classic. No doubt about it. Nextdoorland is really good as well, esp. Mrs. Kennedy.

As for Robyn Hitchcock, his first album, Black Snake Diamond Role continued the Soft Boys course honorably - "Acid Bird" especially is classic. Also, his third, I Often Dreamt of Trains is excellent too. Hilarious (and very British) songs like "Uncorrected Personality Traits" and "Sometimes I Wish I Were a Pretty Girl" ( I could ---- myself in the shower..) sit next to absolutely gorgeous quiet and sad songs. His 80s and 90s stuff gets a bit too slick for my tastes, losing its classic edge - some good moments though. Haven't heard his most recent stuff...mixed bag, as other said.

Nick Wilson, Friday, 2 June 2006 05:54 (thirteen years ago) Permalink

I absolutely like his later stuff too. He does pop after all, and pop may well benefit from a slick production (that being said, the rawer sound of "Underwater Moonlight" doesn't make that album any less excellent, partly because the songs he wrote for that album are better than any songs he has been able to write since)

Geir Hongro (GeirHong), Friday, 2 June 2006 09:20 (thirteen years ago) Permalink

three months pass...
i was overcome with the need to listen to robyn hitchcock's "i often dream of trains" this evening, but alas, i am unable to find my copy of it anywhere. i'm feeling rather distraught about all this. i haven't ripped and ipodified that one yet and now i'm terrifically disappointed that i didn't.

anyway: classic. i heard solo hitchcock first, and have always had a preference for the early stuff, though i did snag a copy of "spooked" and found it quite entertaining. the 90's stuff often bores me, though certainly "moss elixir" has it moments. but "trains" and "fegmania!" are my favorites.

soft boys, also classic. picked up the matador rerelease of "underwater moonlight" when it came out and loved it. played that this evening in lieu of "i often dream of trains".

Emily B (Emily B), Friday, 15 September 2006 05:00 (twelve years ago) Permalink

Listened to "Fegmania" the other day and it is absolutely ace. Particularly "The Man With The Lightbulb Head" and "My Wife And My Dead Wife".

Geir Hongro (GeirHong), Friday, 15 September 2006 18:39 (twelve years ago) Permalink

New Robyn Hitchcock w/band album coming out soon on Yep Rock. The track I've heard (something about a Rocketship) sounded promising.

dlp9001 (dlp9001), Friday, 15 September 2006 20:35 (twelve years ago) Permalink

i've always had mixed feelings, I loved it all but kinda grew out of some of the wackier stuff. Now I look at something like Trains and the stuff that's a bit "silly" I have to skip over, but the other stuff is some of the most beautiful music ever.

He played at Oberlin when I was there to a small crowd and encored with Autumn is Your Last Chance.

I also have a severe soft-spot for Queen Elvis.

Dan Selzer (Dan Selzer), Friday, 15 September 2006 20:58 (twelve years ago) Permalink

A Can of Bees and the comp "76-81" is all you need in my opinion. Underwater Moonlight just doesn't do it for me really and Robyn's solo stuff has never been my cup of tea.

Randall Weeber (yoyoweb), Saturday, 16 September 2006 01:22 (twelve years ago) Permalink

I've heard that Robyn Hitchcock and the Venus 3 on Yep Yoc -- it's the guys from the Minus 5 backing him up. Peter Buck and Scott McCaughey and the other guy (forget his name). It's pretty good, very power pop.

mcd (mcd), Saturday, 16 September 2006 03:00 (twelve years ago) Permalink

A Can of Bees is a much more uneven affair than Underater Moonlight. 'Anglepoise Lamp' is one of Hitchcocks's best song though, strange, that nobody mentioned that in the thread.

zeus (zeus), Saturday, 16 September 2006 10:39 (twelve years ago) Permalink

haha, maybe that movie is good, i have no idea — but the cover of that soundtrack is the worst.

tylerw, Friday, 19 October 2018 18:33 (eight months ago) Permalink

I'm looking forward to his Nashville show in November - I haven't seen him with a band since the Jewels For Sophia tour.

EZ Snappin, Friday, 19 October 2018 19:11 (eight months ago) Permalink

EZ you didn’t catch any of the Venus 3 tours?

valet doberman (Jon not Jon), Saturday, 20 October 2018 12:09 (eight months ago) Permalink

Unfortunately not. I lived too far away from any of the shows.

EZ Snappin, Saturday, 20 October 2018 16:06 (eight months ago) Permalink

three weeks pass...

Last night's show was a lot of fun. Loose and freewheeling set in a tiny club. One of the benefits of Nashville is he plays hometown shows often enough that he can pick and choose his venues.

EZ Snappin, Saturday, 10 November 2018 22:07 (seven months ago) Permalink

Bummed I couldn't get also tickets to his Bluebird Cafe acoustic set tonight but such is life.

EZ Snappin, Saturday, 10 November 2018 22:08 (seven months ago) Permalink

Last nights show solo or band?

valet doberman (Jon not Jon), Saturday, 10 November 2018 22:37 (seven months ago) Permalink

Band. Him and the Fabs. Good setlist:

EZ Snappin, Saturday, 10 November 2018 22:42 (seven months ago) Permalink

Try again:
Hitchcock setlist

EZ Snappin, Saturday, 10 November 2018 22:43 (seven months ago) Permalink

Winchester! Love that one ... don't think I've ever heard him play it live.

tylerw, Saturday, 10 November 2018 23:41 (seven months ago) Permalink

It was a first for me!

EZ Snappin, Saturday, 10 November 2018 23:50 (seven months ago) Permalink

I haven’t kept up w him in years but nice to see Madonna. Aleah liked Queen Elvis and thought it was unjustly maligned.

dan selzer, Sunday, 11 November 2018 00:48 (seven months ago) Permalink

Madonna of the Wasps was lovely as always. The surprising Queen Elvis highlight was Freeze. As close to ferocious as I’ve heard from him.

EZ Snappin, Sunday, 11 November 2018 01:03 (seven months ago) Permalink

He played Winchester?!?!?!

Fuck you!

So jealous

valet doberman (Jon not Jon), Sunday, 11 November 2018 01:04 (seven months ago) Permalink

He apparently played it at the Bowery show last month, too

EZ Snappin, Sunday, 11 November 2018 01:19 (seven months ago) Permalink


I seriously absolutely could not get out of the thing I had to leave town for that weekend

valet doberman (Jon not Jon), Sunday, 11 November 2018 03:28 (seven months ago) Permalink

He's played it 4 times this year. I'm glad to see it back in rotation after 30 years.

EZ Snappin, Sunday, 11 November 2018 03:36 (seven months ago) Permalink

I just really hope he tours with band some more.

valet doberman (Jon not Jon), Sunday, 11 November 2018 04:50 (seven months ago) Permalink

I hope so too. I know solo Hitchcock is a much easier logistically but I like when he mixes it up.

EZ Snappin, Sunday, 11 November 2018 05:13 (seven months ago) Permalink

my god, this setlist from Woodstock NY on the 14th:

Set 1
01- Robyn walks on...
03-The Abyss
04-I Pray When I'm Drunk
05- Robyn banter...
06-52 Stations
07- Robyn banter...
08-The Lizard
09- Robyn banter...
10-I Want To Tell You About What I Want
11- Robyn banter...
12-I Often Dream Of Trains
14-Luminous Rose
15- tuning and Robyn banter...
16-You & Oblivion
17- Robyn banter...
18-Sinister But She Was Happy
19- tuning and Robyn banter...
20-I'm Only You
21- Robyn banter...
22-The Queen Of Eyes

Set 2
23-Robyn banter...
24-Flavour Of Night
25- Robyn banter...
26- ? ? ? ? ?
27- ? ? ? ? ? (new song)
28-Ring Them Bells (Bob Dylan)
29-Autumn Is Your Last Chance
30- Robyn banter...
31-Victorian Squid
32-The Cheese Alarm
33-NY Doll
34- Robyn banter...
35-Madonna Of The Wasps
36- Robyn banter...
37-The Devil's Coachman
38- Robyn banter...
39-The Ghost Ship
40- tuning and Robyn banter...
41-Saturday Groovers
42-Robyn banter...
43-Gene Hackman
44-My Wife & My Dead Wife
45-tuning > Calvary Cross (Richard Thompson)
46- Robyn banter...
47-Raymond Chandler Evening
48-Queen Elvis

#BreakingTheWorld (sleeve), Saturday, 17 November 2018 02:02 (seven months ago) Permalink


EZ Snappin, Saturday, 17 November 2018 02:07 (seven months ago) Permalink


Hunt3r, Saturday, 17 November 2018 04:49 (seven months ago) Permalink


he's touring...something. covering something but now I can't remember what....anyway I keep wanting to see him (he plays SF constantly, like, it seems, twice a year at least) and missing him, and in fact have NOT seen him since the early 90's at this point.

akm, Saturday, 17 November 2018 07:27 (seven months ago) Permalink

He's got a gig in SF covering John Wesley Harding next month.

JoeStork, Sunday, 25 November 2018 01:38 (seven months ago) Permalink

I read that as the musician at first and thought it seemed odd.

dan selzer, Sunday, 25 November 2018 01:50 (seven months ago) Permalink

I saw him in Providence, RI on Nov. 17. He was great and played a few songs on piano, as well as three Dylan covers. Here's the set list, according to

Set 1:
Trying to Get to Heaven Before They Close the Door
(Bob Dylan cover)

I Pray When I'm Drunk

My Wife and My Dead Wife
(Robyn Hitchcock and The Egyptians song)

The Lizard

Dismal City

I Got the Hots
(The Soft Boys song)

Brenda Bad Vibes
(new, unrecorded song)

Hurry for the Sky
(Robyn Hitchcock & The Venus 3 song)

I'm Only You

Saturday Groovers
(Robyn Hitchcock & The Venus 3 song)

Queen Elvis
(with harmonica)

Set 2:
Somewhere Apart
(Robyn Hitchcock and The Egyptians song) (Robyn on piano)

Flavour of Night
(Robyn on piano)

Ring Them Bells
(Bob Dylan cover) (Robyn on piano)

Balloon Man
(Robyn Hitchcock and The Egyptians song)

Luminous Rose
(Robyn Hitchcock and The Egyptians song)

The Devil's Coachman
(Robyn Hitchcock and The Egyptians song)

Chinese Bones
(Robyn Hitchcock and The Egyptians song)

The Cheese Alarm

(new, unrecorded song)

Sally Was a Legend

Dead Guys
(new, unrecorded song)

I Wanna Destroy You
(The Soft Boys song)

You and Oblivion

Visions of Johanna
(Bob Dylan cover)

Jazzbo, Monday, 26 November 2018 19:06 (seven months ago) Permalink

one month passes...

One of my favorite bootlegs:

So, This Leaked (Capitaine Jay Vee), Monday, 7 January 2019 19:14 (five months ago) Permalink

This is really enjoyable, thanks!

Hunt3r, Tuesday, 8 January 2019 07:26 (five months ago) Permalink

three months pass...

i have been listening to tons of underwater moonlight and a can of bees recently, and i'm ready to spread out. what is the greatest robyn hitchcock solo album of all time?

these are not all of the possible side effects (Karl Malone), Sunday, 21 April 2019 14:58 (two months ago) Permalink

I like Fegmania.

dan selzer, Sunday, 21 April 2019 15:36 (two months ago) Permalink

you should listen to something like uncorrected personality traits and determine if you want more raved up psychedelia or acoustic psychedelia.

if the former go to fegmania, if the latter go to I often dream of trains.

campreverb, Sunday, 21 April 2019 16:02 (two months ago) Permalink

Going back through time:

Propellor Time
A Star For Bram
Element of Light
I Often Dream of Trains (also the IODOT in NY live version)
The “While Thatcher Mauled Britain” rarities comp included in the I Wanna Go Backwards box set

Or search for the long and short versions of my Verities & Verdigris spotify RH playlist

NB my favorite versions of a lot of the post 2000 material are in live audience recordings available for free from, especially shows from the Venus 3 tours.

valet doberman (Jon not Jon), Sunday, 21 April 2019 18:12 (two months ago) Permalink

Start with the first one IMO. Black Snake Diamond Rock

Emperor Tonetta Ketchup (sleeve), Sunday, 21 April 2019 18:27 (two months ago) Permalink

don’t forget to check out the “wading through a ventilator” 12” from ‘84 which is singles tracks and unreleased stuff all recorded in ‘77

personally i really like “eye” from 1990 which is mostly acoustic iirc but i like the songwriting

budo jeru, Sunday, 21 April 2019 18:42 (two months ago) Permalink

Gotta Let This Hen Out is the most natural segue from Soft Boys to the Egyptians.

everything, Sunday, 21 April 2019 19:29 (two months ago) Permalink

black snake diamond role

J. Sam, Sunday, 21 April 2019 19:37 (two months ago) Permalink

Gotta Let This Hen Out is the most natural segue from Soft Boys to the Egyptians.

Turned me onto the Higsons.

dan selzer, Sunday, 21 April 2019 20:23 (two months ago) Permalink

my Verities & Verdigris spotify RH playlist

Seconding this

mick signals, Sunday, 21 April 2019 20:32 (two months ago) Permalink

black snake diamond role and moss elixir (which i'm not really aware of many digging).

Hunt3r, Monday, 22 April 2019 05:42 (two months ago) Permalink

For something from each era:
80s solo: I Often Dream Of Trains
80s with the Egyptians: Fegmania
90s solo: Eye
90s with a band: Jewels For Sophia
00s with the Venus 3: Ole Tarantula
10s: Robyn Hitchcock (eponymous)

Gerald McBoing-Boing, Monday, 22 April 2019 14:42 (two months ago) Permalink

honestly, i don't think you can go wrong with any of his records through the early 2000s — some of 'em are spottier than others, but I don't think any are bad. and i'd throw in a hearty recommendation for invisible hitchcock, his mid-80s rarities collection. he's the kind of songwriter whose outtakes can be better than others' best work.

and xp — i love moss elixir ... was glad that the last time I saw him he broke out "sinister but she was happy"

tylerw, Monday, 22 April 2019 14:45 (two months ago) Permalink

Funny, I've been listening to Moss Elixir all month ... one of those situations where I randomly found the long-lost disc, tossed it into my car player and have been too lazy to switch it out. After not hearing it for ages (maybe even since its release?) I've been having a great time reacquainting myself with it while driving around through a wet gray muddy spring.

One Eye Open, Monday, 22 April 2019 15:09 (two months ago) Permalink

lol the archival part of ilxor is a favorite aspect of this joint.
elixir didnt get many votes there but plenty support.

I Often Dream Of Polls - your favorite Robyn Hitchcock album (ends May 9)

also somebody guessed moss’s popularity at release was newbs or pent-up demand. for me it was sorta the opposite i was a soft boys/bsdr era fan, had sorta lost patience with him around globe, and this album seemed like such a piece of formalistic structured BEAUTY, intensified by some if his better poetic psych-verse.

damn i probly wrote it somewhere else in those back pages, but i will always rep for _this is how it feels_ as one of the most beautiful love songs ever. “It’s a sideways glance, in a full on world.”

Hunt3r, Monday, 22 April 2019 17:35 (two months ago) Permalink

moss elixir was the first new Hitchcock record that I was on board for — i had spent the previous few years gorging on the rhino / ryko reissues ... in retrospect, it kinda feels like two or three separate albums jammed together, but it still all works for me. "this is how it feels," yeah, that one is fantastic. always loved "heliotrope" too, it just sparkles.

tylerw, Monday, 22 April 2019 18:05 (two months ago) Permalink

Yeah Heliotrope is gorgeous, plus there’s Mossy Liquor - the versions of De Chirico Street and Beautiful Queen on there are great.

JoeStork, Monday, 22 April 2019 19:07 (two months ago) Permalink

this thread caused me to listen to newer hitchcock- i’d never actually listened to goodnight oslo. It is so very very to “what i want/expect in hitchcock,” and played/arranged really well to my tastes. I almost automatically like it so much that i don’t trust my opinion. I’ll def listen more.

meanwhile his more recent s/t is more “not quite what i want to hear from him- like country-rockified song, or roots americana-fied song? mmm- no? the very slightly different personas he adopts in some of the songs is pretty interesting, i’m not quite sure if i’m just imagining those tho. did this album’s songwriting, esp lyrically, “feel” different to anyone else?

Hunt3r, Saturday, 27 April 2019 17:03 (one month ago) Permalink

Yes it did. It’s a good album and I REALLY want to see him in front of his current semi official backing band but you can definitely hear Nashville in it.

Spooked of course being a previous record with a strong country side.

Goodnight Oslo is great. Propeller Time kind of rode over it for me though. The goodnight Oslo tunes, like the Ole Tarantula tunes, really came to life on tour imo and so I listen to live recordings when I want to hear them.

valet doberman (Jon not Jon), Saturday, 27 April 2019 17:20 (one month ago) Permalink

I'm not a huge fan of the recent self-titled record but at least his countrified leanings are natural and not an act. It seeps into your pores here in Nashville and he's been here a few years now.

EZ Snappin, Saturday, 27 April 2019 17:26 (one month ago) Permalink

I held no opinion about Robyn Hitchcock until I saw him open for the Psychedelic Furs at a gig I attended in 2017. While the Furs basically left me cold (though part of it was my not being 100% into the concert), Hitchcock awed me with the strength of his songs and surprisingly (for me anyway) witty banter in between songs. He was alone on stage with his guitar but he made his part of the performance feel like something amazing and massive. That's when I became an instant fan of his. BTW, if my friend Stephanie (who is the biggest Robyn Hitchcock fan I know) is checking out this thread, STOP LURKING, SWEETIE! COME JOIN US.

The Colour of Spring (deethelurker), Wednesday, 1 May 2019 20:03 (one month ago) Permalink

Did RH play "The Ghost in You" at that gig?

valet doberman (Jon not Jon), Wednesday, 1 May 2019 20:23 (one month ago) Permalink

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