Sunday, August 06, 2006

Robyn Hitchcock

Solo acoustic seems to be one of the better settings for Robyn Hitchcock, offsetting his sometimes unfortunate production choices when working with a full band. I Often Dream Of Trains was an early career highlight, where he regained some momentum after the disastrously over-produced Groovy Decoy. Later in his career Eye served as a welcome change of pace from his fussily produced, but otherwise excellent, A&M releases.

While cleaning out my basement recently I found a cassette tape of Robyn doing a bunch of covers live in the studio. Here is a nice little version of Morrissey’s "Everyday Is Like Sunday" from that tape. According to the tape cover this song dates to the A&M era. The tape even lists an A&M A&R contact with phone number (what do you think the chances are that guy is still at A&M?). These were probably intended as B-sides, but to my knowledge none of them ever emerged on any commercial releases. Pretty much everything Robyn recorded for A&M is now out-of-print, but I would love to see Robyn release a whole album of some of his better acoustic covers.


Anonymous said...

wow ive been a hitchcock fan for over twenty years and thought i had most everything...this i have not got...great stuff...any chance of you listing what else is on this mysterious tape of yours..cheers
mick d

Pete Bilderback said...

Hi Mick,

The tape was recorded as demos for A&M back around 1993. I think the plan was to release some of the material as b-sides, but none of it was ever released commercially. Tapes of the session did end up circulating among Hitchcock fans in the mid 90s however.

Here is the total contents of the tape (all covers):

The Wind Cries Mary, Polly on the Shore, Everyday is Like Sunday, Take a Chance with Me, Senor (Tales Of Yankee Power), Yer Blues, Dominoes,Calvary Cross, Dominoes (alt. take), Chinese White,
The Wind Cries Mary (alt. take)

It is all very nice stuff delivered in a very intimate style.