by Robert WyattRobert Wyatt


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Only Robert Wyatt could put together a project like this and not have punters sneering it down as a rake for cash. Issued by Ryko/Hannibal in 1999 and stateside by Thirsty Ear, EPs contains five short discs documenting various periods in Wyatt's long solo career. There are singles, odd B-sides, live cuts, alternate versions, and remixes. While it's true this could have come out as a tidier double disc, or had its tracks spread thin as bonus material over remastered reissues, Wyatt's far too sensitive to his fans to rake together something so haphazardly. So here with a detailed sessionography and Wyatt's own humorous liners are the tracks, presented in the order in which they were originally recorded and released. Disc one, Bits, features material from 1974, and contains an unreleased extended take of the single "I'm a Believer" -- with Fred Frith, Richard Sinclair, Nick Mason, and Dave MacRae accompanying -- and its flip, "Memories." Then there's the A-side cover of Chris Andrews' "Yesterday Man" along with an alternate of its backing track, "Sonia." This disc is topped off with a rather indulgent version of "Calyx," recorded live at Drury Lane in the same year -- and it reeks of proggish wankery. At least it's at the end of the disc. Pieces is the second platter here; it begins in 1982 with Wyatt's awesome cover of Elvis Costello's "Shipbuilding" and contains both flips for the 12" version, Eubie Blake's "Memories of You" (which was also on the 7") and Thelonious Monk's "'Round Midnight." This disc is rounded out with a couple of compilation offerings: "Pigs...(In There)" from the Liberator: Artists for Animals set from 1988, and "Chairman Mao," once available on an ReR Quarterly edition. Disc three is comprised of the four-song Work in Progress, released by Rough Trade in 1984. The fourth disc is Wyatt's soundtrack for Victor Schonfield's 1982 The Animals Film, a harrowing documentary depicting humankind's horrific treatment of other members of the animal kingdom. Assembled of bits and pieces, it feels rather ragged, but is still essential for anyone who collects Wyatt's material. The final disc is a weird delight, containing four remixes of tunes from the artist's 1998 comeback album, Shleep. But these aren't just remixes doled out to a bedroom beat producer. They were done by Nigel Butler and Angie Dial from the unfinished masters as the album itself was being recorded. In sum, then, for the price, this is a gentle, untidy heap of Wyatt's odd 'n' sods, but given its packaging and designed order to be taken piecemeal one disc at a time, it's positively infectious.

Product Details

Release Date: 11/17/2008
Label: Domino Records Uk
UPC: 5034202204626
catalogNumber: 0220462

Album Credits

Performance Credits

Robert Wyatt   Primary Artist,Percussion,Trumpet,Drums,Bass Guitar,Keyboards,Vocals
Philip Catherine   Guitar
Evan Parker   Soprano Saxophone
Gary Windo   Bass Clarinet,Alto Saxophone,Tenor Saxophone
John Greaves   Bass Guitar
Nick Mason   Drums
Mongezi Feza   Trumpet
Alfreda Benge   Choir, Chorus
Brian Eno   Synthesizer,Synthesizer Guitar
Fred Frith   Guitar,Violin
Hugh Hopper   Bass Guitar,Keyboards
J. Alan Johnson   Choir, Chorus
J. Johnson   Background Vocals
Chucho Merchán   Double Bass
Paul Weller   Guitar,Gut String Guitar
Richard Sinclair   Bass Guitar
Dave Stewart   Keyboards
Laurie Allan   Drums
Chikako Sato   Violin
Paul John Weller   Guitar,Vocal Harmony

Technical Credits

Robert Wyatt   Composer,Liner Notes
Nick Mason   Producer
Alfreda Benge   Artwork
Nigel Butler   Producer,Remixing
Charles Rees   Engineer
Jody Gillett   translation

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