Vocalist, composer and multi-instrumentalist Robert Wyatt's career extends from the beginnings of the psychedelic era to the present day. This album started its life as simply a collection of the two BBC Top Gear sessions that Robert recorded in 1972 and 1974. But as we worked on it, Robert became more and more involved in it, until it ended up in its final form. In addition to the Top Gear recordings, there is a previously unheard and little known 1973 soundtrack for a short experimental film, two recent works with old collaborator Hugh Hopper and finally a 2003 home demo of a new song that did not end up on Robert's new release "Cuckooland". "Throughout a career as singular and honest as his expressive voice, Robert Wyatt has remained a true progressive."
Out of print and hard to get 2009 UK Domino label 14CD box set comprising singlular and prominent English exp- and artrock musician and radical political singer/singwriters 9 studio albums and including the 5-disc EP's box illuminating various periods in Wyatt's long solo career - singles, odd B-sides, live cuts, alternate versions, and remixes. It begins with "Rock Bottom" (1974) which was made after Wyatt had been permanently confined to a wheelchair following a fall from a high window the previous year. Following "Ruth Is Stranger Than Richard" (1975), Wyatt took an extended break, returning reinvigorated in 1980 with a series of excellent singles on the Rough Trade label, with some B-sides generously given over to other artists. All are collected together on "Nothing Can Stop Us" (1982).
This compelling introduction to Robert Wyatt’s career was initially released in 2004 – by, in Wyatt’s words, “a thoughtful chap in Japan brought these tunes together as a sort of canter around my back-catalogue”. A canter it is, through the unique rhythms and cadences of the former Soft Machine vocalist’s musical world, one that takes in tender pop, light prog and gentle jazz, plus the mesmerising innocence, and bluntness, of his rough, Kentish accent.
Cardboard sleeve reissue features remastering in 2013 and the high-fidelity Blu-spec CD2 format (compatible with standard CD players). Of all the projects Robert Wyatt created apart from his tenure with Soft Machine and Matching Mole, The End of an Ear has to be the strangest, and among the most beautiful and misunderstood recordings of his career. Recorded near the end of his membership in Soft Machine, End of an Ear finds Wyatt experimenting far more with jazz and avant-garde material than in the jazz-rock-structured environment of his band.
Cardboard sleeve (mini LP) reissue from Matching Mole features 2013 remastering and the high-fidelity Blu-spec CD2 format (compatible with standard CD players). Includes bonus tracks. Maybe it's because Wyatt relinquished his firm upper hand on the songwriting (everybody in the band pens material) and production (Robert Fripp takes over), but this is a distinct comedown from Matching Mole's debut.
Robert Wyatt must hold a special place in many proghead's hearts as he was at the forefront of the progressive movement from 66 until his grave fall from a fourth story window which has kept him in a wheelchair. Even since then, Robert has been a real prog talent. He had started in the Wilde Flowers (which split into Soft Machine and Caravan) and held the drum stool and singing mike for years before leaving to found Matching Mole but had also participated to many projects involving many musicians at the forefront of progressive music before his fall. While at the hospital, he started to write one of the most personal and intimate album ever "Rock Bottom", realizing that he would never walk again let alone drumming…
Cardboard sleeve (mini LP) reissue from Matching Mole features 2013 remastering and the high-fidelity Blu-spec CD2 format (compatible with standard CD players). Includes bonus tracks. The opening track, "O Caroline," is indicative of Wyatt at his best: art rock with a human face, a playful vocal, and soul. Much of the record is instrumental improvisation, though, with the humor largely confined to the song titles ("Instant Pussy," "Dedicated to Hugh, But You Weren't Listening").
Recording Date 1974 - 1998. This is a superb collection. It's not just an outtakes/alternate takes/odds'n'sods set. It brilliantly catalogues Robert's history, compressing it into 5 short, absolutely essential CDs gorgeously packaged by Alfreda Benge and stacked inside a lovely plasticised blue box. After this, you really hardly need anything else.