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Posted by: JimmyEightCats from: New Haven,CT on
Geeks hate it when their heroes disappoint them, especially when their heroes sign to major labels.
Robyn Hitchcock had a devoted cult following in the mid-eighties, even though only one of his albums either solo or with his band the Soft Boys had managed to get released in the states. He blended John Lennon, Syd Barrett and Bob Dylan to become a classic English eccentric. Like your favorite uncle, but if he frequently showed up at your home with Prawns and Zucchini. When Creem Magazine ran a Hitchcock cover with the caption “God Walks Among Us”, his fans took it as fact, not hyperbole. Like Springsteen in 1976 and the Hold Steady today, he reminded a lot of people of why they loved rock to begin with. All this fervor get him signed to the major label A&M after years of small indie labels.
He promptly begins to make the least interesting music of his career culminating in “Perspex Island”, where some amazing songs are ruined by the major label polish.
Since leaving the major labels behind he’s regained his muse recording for the kinds of labels he started off with.
His latest “Ole Tarantula” features a supergroup of sorts with REM’s Peter Buck and Scott McCaughey of the Minus 5 plus appearances from members of the Soft Boys.
It’s easily his best electric album in twenty years. And in “(A Man’s Got to Know His Limitations)Briggs” he someone manages to write a downright moving song based on the Dirty Harry movie “Magnum Force”.
Robyn Hitchcock plus arcane movie references make me one happy music AND movie geek.
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