Monday, November 24, 2008

Robert Wyatt ~ Rock Bottom

Simply this is one of my favourite records of all time. For me the first three tracks (the original LP side 1) are perfect. After his fall which left him paralysed, Wyatt recorded this solo album, though the material was written prior to his accident. The music is beautiful, oceanic and dreamlike as no other recording before or since has matched. Full of Wyatts otherworldly voice, bubbling synths, home made percussion and the great, late Ivor Cutler whose participation was inspired. Lyrically it’s personal, anguished, surreal and heartbreaking. The production by Floyd’s Nick Mason is so subtle and empathic as is the playing by everyone else, including Mike Oldfield, Richard Sinclair and Hugh Hopper. The highlight will always be “Sea Song”. This is sublime, fluid, emotive songwriting at its very best.

This re-issue is part of Domino’s complete release of Wyatt’s back catalogue. I believe it hasn’t been remastered, but does re-instate the original pencil drawing by Wyatt’s wife Alfreda Benge who also did the colour painting for the 1998 re-issue. The packaging is very nice. These are digipack releases with booklet including full credits and lyrics. Domino do very good re-issues and this doesn’t disappoint.


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