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Robyn Hitchcock

Robyn Hitchcock is one of England's most enduring contemporary singer/songwriters and live performers. Despite having been persistently branded as eccentric or quirky for much of his career, Hitchcock has continued to develop his whimsical repertoire, deepen his surreal catalog, and expand his devoted audience beyond the boundaries of cult stature. He is among alternative rock's father figures and is the closest thing the genre has to a Bob Dylan (not coincidentally his biggest inspiration).

Starting his career as a folkie in Cambridge, England, Hitchcock has been compared to such other British folk-rock figures as Roy Harper and the Incredible String Band, specifically because of his acoustic guitar and loopy vocal style, though his rock voice bears shades of John Lennon and Syd Barrett. Switching gears early to front the Soft Boys, a punk-era band specializing in melodic, chiming jangle pop and clever lyrics (Underwater Moonlight remains a classic of the genre), it wasn't long before he quit the band life and made his solo debut. Black Snake Diamond Role (1981) confirmed his reputation as an oddball thanks to his titles "Brenda's Iron Sledge" and "Acid Bird," among others. The psychedelia of Groovy Decay (1982) followed, as did the all-acoustic I Often Dream of Trains (1984). By 1985, Hitchcock's unpredictable songsmithing coalesced on Fegmania! Later that year, the live document Gotta Let This Hen Out! demonstrated his command of the stage. In 1988, he landed his first major U.S. label contract with A&M Records and followed the signing by releasing the ambitious Globe of Frogs (1988) and Queen Elvis (1989). He continued to record (Perspex Island, 1991; Respect, 1993) and receive college radio airplay, though once the momentum of the A&M years begun to lag, Hitchcock bounced back in 1996 with the return-to-form Moss Elixir (Warner Bros.), which embraced his folk roots. Storefront Hitchcock, the soundtrack to the Jonathan Demme-directed concert film, followed in 1998.

Upon release from his contract with Warner Bros., Hitchcock self-released A Star for Bram (Editions PAF!, 2000), a collection of outtakes and leftover recordings from the Jewels for Sophia (1999) sessions. In 2002 he released Robyn Sings, a double-disc collection of Bob Dylan songs culled from various live appearances in America and abroad during 1999-2000. The stripped-down Luxor followed in 2003, released in conjunction with his 50th birthday. In 2004, he took not only a bit role in Jonathan Demme's remake of The Manchurian Candidate, but released Spooked (Yep Roc Records) a one-off collaboration with alternative country artists Gillian Welch and David Rawlings, recorded over a period of six days in Nashville. A Japanese-only compilation of his work was released in 2005, while 2006 offered This Is the BBC, a collection of his BBC sessions from the '90s, as well as Olé! Tarantula, a new batch of surreal pop tunes recorded with members of the Minus 5.

In 2007, Hitchcock became the subject of a documentary by director John Edginton (Robyn Hitchcock: Sex, Food, Death... and Insects) -- a behind-the-scenes look at Hitchcock's work with Nick Lowe, John Paul Jones, Peter Buck, Bill Rieflin, Gillian Welch, and other collaborators in the Venus 3 project. A companion live EP of the Venus 3's subsequent American tour was released at the same time. In late 2007, Yep Roc began reissuing all of Hitchcock's earlier work, culminating in the boxed collection I Wanna Go Backwards. Hitchcock delved back into the archives for 2008's Shadow Cat, a collection of unreleased material from the latter half of the '90s, and also for Luminous Groove, a box set of early Egyptians releases and rarities. Goodnight Oslo, his second release with the Venus 3, and the live CD/DVD set I Often Dream of Trains in New York arrived in 2009. The following year, Hitchcock dropped Propellor Time, a collaboration with the Smiths’ Johnny Marr, Nick Lowe, and John Paul Jones (as well as the Venus 3) that was three years in the making. An all-new solo outing, Love from London, arrived on March 4, 2013, a day after his 60th birthday. The Man Upstairs, a self-described collection of "new originals, classic covers, and little-known gems" produced by legendary folk producer Joe Boyd, was released in 2014. ~ Denise Sullivan & J. Scott McClintock
full bio

Selected Discography

x

Track List: The Man Upstairs

1. The Ghost In You

2. San Francisco Patrol

3. To Turn You On

4. Trouble In Your Blood

5. Somebody To Break Your Heart

6. Don't Look Down

7. Ferries

8. Comme Toujours

9. The Crystal Ship

10. Recalling The Truth

x

Track List: Love From London

1. Harry's Song

2. Be Still

3. Stupefied

4. I Love You

5. Devil On A String

6. Strawberries Dress

7. Death And Love

8. Fix You

9. My Rain

10. End Of Time

x

Track List: I Often Dream Of Trains In New York

Disc 1

1. Sometimes I Wish I Was A Pretty Girl [Cassette Fragment] [Version]

2. Nocturne

3. Flavour Of Light

4. Cathedral

5. Sounds Great When You're Dead

6. Uncorrected Personality Traits

7. I Used To Say I Love You

8. Winter Love

9. This Could Be The Day

10. Ye Sleeping Knights Of Jesus

11. Trams Of Old London

12. My Favourite Buildings

13. That's Fantastic, Mother Church

14. Heart Full Of Leaves

15. Autumn Is Your Last Chance

16. I Often Dream Of Trains

17. America

18. Up To Our Nex

19. Goodnight I Say

Disc 2
x

Track List: Shadow Cat

1. For Debbie Reynolds

2. Never Have To See You Again

3. Love Affair

4. The Wind Cries Mary

5. High On Yourself

6. Because You're Over

7. The Cat Walks Her Kind Of Line

8. Statue With A Walkman

9. The Green Boy

10. Real Dot

11. Nothing But Time

12. Beautiful Shock

13. Baby Doll

14. Shadow Cat

x

Track List: I Wanna Go Backwards

Disc 1

2. Brenda's Iron Sledge

4. The Lizard

5. Meat

6. Acid Bird

7. I Watch The Cars

9. City Of Shame

10. Love

11. All I Wanna Do Is Fall In Love

12. A Skull, A Suitcase, And A Long Red Bottle Of Wine

13. It Was The Night

14. I Watch The Cars No. 2

15. Give Me A Spanner Ralph

16. It's A Mystic Trip

17. Grooving On A Inner Plane

18. Happy The Golden Prince

Disc 2

1. Nocturne (Prelude)

2. Sometimes I Wish I Was A Pretty Girl

3. Cathedral

4. Uncorrected Personality Traits

5. Sounds Great When You're Dead

6. Flavour Of Night

7. Ye Sleeping Knights Of Jesus

8. This Could Be The Day

9. Trams Of Old London

10. Furry Green Atom Bowl

12. Autumn Is Your Last Chance

13. I Often Dream Of Trains

14. Nocturne (Demise)

15. Winter Love

16. The Bones In The Ground

17. My Favourite Buildings

18. I Used To Say I Love You

19. Chant/Aether

21. I Often Dream Of Trains

22. Not Even A Nurse

23. Slow Chant/That's Fantastic Mother Church

24. Traveller's Fare

Disc 3

1. Cynthia Mask

3. Queen Elvis

4. Flesh Cartoons

5. Chinese Water Python

6. Executioner

7. Linctus House

8. Sweet Ghost Of Light

9. Transparent Lover

10. Beautiful Girl

11. Clean Steve

12. Raining Twilight Coast

13. Agony Of Pleasure

14. Glass Hotel

15. Satellite

16. Aquarium

17. Queen Elvis Ii

18. Century

19. Shimmering Distant Love

20. Lovers Turn To Skulls

21. The Beauty Of Earl's Court

Disc 4

11. My Favourite Buildings

Disc 5
x

Track List: Spooked

1. Television

2. If You Know Time

3. Everybody Needs Love

4. English Girl

5. Demons & Fiends

6. Creeped Out

7. Sometimes A Blonde

8. We're Gonna Live In The Trees

9. Tryin' To Get To Heaven Before They Close The Door

10. Full Moon In My Soul

11. Welcome To Earth

12. Flanagan's Song

x

Track List: Luxor

1. The Sound Of Sound

2. One L

3. Penelope's Angels

4. The Idea Of You

5. You Remind Me Of You

6. Luxor

7. Keep Finding Me

8. Maria Lyn

9. Round Song

10. Ant Corridor

11. Idonia

12. The Wolf House

13. Solpadeine

x

Track List: Robyn Sings

Disc 1

1. Visions Of Johanna

2. Tangled Up In Blue

3. Not Dark Yet

4. 4th Time Around

5. It's All Over Now, Baby Blue

6. Desolation Row

7. Dignity

8. Visions Of Johanna (live)

Disc 2

1. Tell Me Mama

2. I Don't Believe You (live)

3. Baby Let Me Follow You Down

4. Just Like Tom Thumb's Blues

5. Leopard-Skin Pillbox Hat

6. One Too Many Mornings

7. Ballad Of A Thin Man (live)

8. Like A Rolling Stone

x

Track List: A Star For Bram

1. Daisy Bomb

2. I Saw Nick Drake

3. Adoration Of The City

4. 1974

5. I Wish I Liked You

6. Nietzsche's Way

7. The Philospher's Stone

8. The Green Boy

9. Judas Sings (Jesus & Me)

10. Antwoman [dub]

11. I Used To Love You

12. The Underneath

x

Track List: Moss Elixir

1. Sinister But She Was Happy

2. The Devil's Radio

3. Heliotrope

4. Alright, Yeah

5. Filthy Bird

6. The Speed Of Things

7. Beautiful Queen

8. Man With A Woman's Shadow

9. I Am Not Me

10. De Chirico Street

11. You And Oblivion

12. This Is How It Feels

x

Track List: Eye

1. Cynthia Mask

2. Certainly Clickot

3. Queen Elvis

4. Flesh Cartoons

5. Chinese Water Python

6. Executioner

7. Linctus House

8. Sweet Ghost Of Light

9. College Of Ice

10. Transparent Lover

11. Beautiful Girl

12. Raining Twilight Coast

13. Clean Steve

14. Agony Of Pleasure

15. Glass Hotel

16. Satellite

17. Aquarium

18. Queen Elvis II

19. Raining Twilight Coast [demo] [bonus]

20. Agony Of Pleasure [demo] [bonus]

21. Queen Elvis [demo] [bonus]

x

Track List: I Often Dream Of Trains

1. Nocturne (Prelude)

2. Sometimes I Wish I Was A Pretty Girl

3. Cathedral

4. Uncorrected Personality Traits

5. Sounds Great When You're Dead

6. Flavour Of Night

7. Ye Sleeping Knights Of Jesus

8. Mellow Together

9. Winter Love

10. The Bones In The Ground

11. My Favourite Buildings

12. I Used To Say I Love You

13. This Could Be The Day

14. Trams Of Old London

15. Furry Green Atom Bowl

16. Heart Full Of Leaves

17. Autumn Is Your Last Chance

18. I Often Dream Of Trains

19. Nocturne (Demise)

20. Ye Sleeping Knights Of Jesus

21. Sometimes I Wish I Was A Pretty Girl

22. Cathedral

23. Mellow Together

24. The Bones In The Ground

x

Track List: Black Snake Diamond Role

1. The Man Who Invented Himself

2. Brenda's Iron Sledge

3. Do Policemen Sing?

4. The Lizard

5. Meat

6. Acid Bird

7. I Watch The Cars

8. Out Of The Picture

9. City Of Shame

10. Love

12. Happy The Golden Prince

14. It Was The Night

15. Grooving On A Inner Plane

x

Track List: Chronolology (The Very Best Of Robyn Hitchcock)

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 Rocketship

16. Goodnight Oslo

x

Track List: Luminous Groove

Disc 1

3. I'm Only You

5. Goodnight I Say

Disc 2

1. Sometimes I Wish I Was A Pretty Girl

3. Acid Bird

4. The Cars She Used To Drive

6. Brenda's Iron Sledge

11. America

16. I'm Only You

18. Freeze

Disc 3
Disc 4

10. I Am Not Me

12. Beautiful Queen

Disc 5

2. Freeze

x

Track List: Selections From The I Wanna Go Backwards Box Set

1. The Man Who Invented Himself

2. Brenda's Iron Sledge

3. Acid Bird

4. City Of Shame

5. Uncorrected Personality Traits

6. Trams Of Old London

7. Heart Full Of Leaves

8. Traveller's Fare

9. Cynthia Mask

10. Linctus House

11. Beautiful Girl

12. Queen Elvis II

Comments

Report as inappropriate
As far as I'm concerned, there will never b another Robyn Hitchcock. I mean never!!! Simply put an amazing artist
Report as inappropriate
michaelrsmit h
Saw him in Chicago in 2014 . Haven't stopped listening to him since.
Report as inappropriate
marc119
Saw him in Harrisburg, PA this year in hole-in-wall club, on Man Upstairs tour. Phenomenal.
Report as inappropriate
Element of Light - great 80s work which still sounds ahead of its time
Report as inappropriate
gold.brad
Good stuff. The voicing on the bridge sounds like Syd Barrett.
Report as inappropriate
skywalker849 7
love it!
Report as inappropriate
Globe of Frogs is one of my top 10 favorite albums.
Report as inappropriate
The stuff that came out of the 80s made me fall in love with rock n' roll again .
Report as inappropriate
ROBYNS tune RIDE is a real sweet pop number worth repeated listenings. a fine tune crafted by MR.HITCHCOCK
Report as inappropriate
one of the best shows i ever saw was robyn and the flaming lips in cleveland at the agora ballroom 1994or 96 somewhere around that time
Report as inappropriate
I saw Robyn in Seattle a few times too. He puts on an excellent live show. Storyteller and poet extrodinaire .
Report as inappropriate
johndancing9
Robyn is beloved by much of Seattle. He ,his wife and entourage oft stayed at the historic Claremont Hotel where I was a front desk agent and got to chat w them now and again...crea t i v e chaos , love of life,and high integrity...
Report as inappropriate
Our family bumped into him on a street in the Fells Point area of Baltimore. We talked for 5 or 10 minutes before he excused himself to get ready for his gig. Super nice guy. Tried to get my 4 yr. old daughter to sing So You Think You're in Love for him, but she was just too shy. It will always be a great memory for our family.
Report as inappropriate
nadinekessle r
Seen him in UK and US. Bewitching.. . . . . l o v e Michael Stipe on background vocals on 'She Doesn't Exist'
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basketballpa t r i o t
yes
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It's everything I've always wanted.
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30 years of awesome.
Report as inappropriate
similar artists 3/5, Neutral Milk, Syd and GBV i know of. This means this guy gets a thumbs up for the song he's playing and i hopefully hear more, like it, then make a station. wheeee!! Whoooo!!! hoooooooo!!! !
Report as inappropriate
Often mistaken for a yam. Fond of prawns.
Report as inappropriate
pcashwell42
The greatest thing to come out of Great Britain since the Invasion.
Report as inappropriate
jthomassmith
I like this... The Man Who Invented himself... I also like the dots after words...

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