Blue Plate Special: Robyn Hitchcock
Robyn Hitchcock is an English singer-songwriter and guitarist born on March 3, 1953, in London, England. He first gained prominence as the lead vocalist and guitarist of the psychedelic rock band The Soft Boys in the late 1970s. After the band disbanded in the early 1980s, Hitchcock embarked on a solo career, releasing his debut album, “Black Snake Diamond Röle” in 1981, forming a new backing band called The Egyptians in 1984, including former Soft Boys members, releasing two albums and a compilation before returning to solo work.
I was introduced to his music in 1989 by my fiancée (now wife) who was a huge fan, and caught one of his shows in Sacramento in support of the 1990 release of his second solo album, Eye. I believe she first saw him opening for REM on their Green tour (the t-shirt for which we still have).
Throughout his career, Hitchcock has released over 20 albums and collaborated with numerous musicians, including R.E.M., Nick Lowe, and Gillian Welch. His music is known for its blend of surreal and whimsical lyrics with melodic, guitar-driven pop and rock. Hitchcock has been described as a cult artist and a key figure in the alternative rock and indie rock scenes. In addition to his music career, Hitchcock has also acted in several films and TV shows and is a respected visual artist, having designed album covers and exhibited his paintings and drawings. He continues to tour and release new music, maintaining a loyal fan base and critical acclaim.
With such an extensive back catalog, it’s difficult to create a short list like this, but here are some of my favorites:
The Yip Song – from the album Respect (1993)
Balloon Man – from the album Globe of Frogs (1988)
I Wanna Destroy You – from the Soft Boys album Underwater Moonlight (1980)
Sometimes I Wish I Was a Pretty Girl – from the album I Often Dream of Trains (1984)
So You Think You’re In Love – from the album Perspex Island (1991)
Adventure Rocketship – from the album Olé! Tarantula (2006)
Flesh Cartoons – from the album Eye (1990)
One Long Pair of Eyes – from the album Queen Elvis (1989)
Driving Aloud – from the album Respect (1993)
Chinese Bones – from the album Globe of Frogs (1988)
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