Label: Yep Roc Records - YEP 2217 • Format: DVD Album, Deluxe Edition, Limited Edition, Special Edition Phenakistoscope EditionCD • Country: US • Genre: Rock • Style: Alternative Rock, Acoustic, Experimental
It is Hitchcock's first acoustic-based album, debuting a style he would continue to use throughout his career. After the break-up of The Soft BoysHitchcock recorded two solo albums — 's Black Snake Diamond Role and 's poorly received Groovy Decay — before hitting an artistic slump mitigated only by some collaborations with Captain Sensible. Hitchcock worked odd jobs, including a stint as a gardener and a journalist.
He wanted to make a fully solo album that, he would later comment, "only I Billy Strange - Dancing Hits Of 65 be blamed for". The album was recorded in the space of a few days under the working title Crystal Branches taken from a line in the song "Winter Love", not originally included in the track listing. Hitchcock contributes vocals, acoustic and electric guitar and piano.
The vinyl Bop Til You Drop - B.O.P. - The Underground EP ran to fourteen tracks, Album) by the 'classical' "Nocturne". In between, Hitchcock's lyrics reference gravestones, the ghosts of derelict trams and falling leaves, the subtext of beautiful death surfacing in almost every song including the surreal-absurdist "Furry Green Atom Bowl", in which he depicts "roots in the earth and kidneys in the body", wryly commenting that "That's the way to stay".
Characteristically, Hitchcock punctuates his imagery with plenty of humour and stark, wintry arrangements which resist any descent into gloom. The album's title track accounts a train journey through Basingstoke in which he dreams of love between the buffet car and the corridor, as the winter sun falls outside the train windows.
More than 20 years later, Hitchcock would expand on this semi-hallucinatory situation in an evocative novelette accompanying the box set "I Wanna Go Backwards", which details the presumably invented dream-experience which underpins the lyric, and was almost certainly conceived subsequently.
Inthe album was reissued on CD with tracks taken from Hitchcock's recent B sides. One of these, "The Bones In The Ground", is an archetypal death-comedy lyric delivered Album) a mock serious manner. A later CD edition saw yet more extras thrown in, all of which were demos Album) tracks originally included, bringing the listing to a sprawling twenty-four titles.
A third CD edition saw the previous demo bonus tracks dropped, along with "Mellow Together", whilst adding yet more. All songs written by Robyn Hitchcock.
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