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Robert Wyatt - Rock Bottom CD (album) cover


Robert Wyatt


Canterbury Scene

4.30 | 784 ratings

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5 stars Looney tunes. (Sorry, bad joke)

Former Soft Machine and Matching Mole's drummer and vocalist Robert Wyatt, was undoubtly a genuinely weird and melancholic person before he fell out the window, and broke his spine. In the reissue Wyatt informs us that about half the album was written in Venice, quite a while before that accident. Some of his friends, including his future wife Alifie were working there on the film Don't Look Now (Nicolas Roeg). A nightmarish, supernatural, haunting mood piece on loss and guilt. Like in the film, in real life, unforeseen disaster strikes, and he is hospitalised for eight months. Even if Wyatt himself says he doesn't consider the incident that left him paralyzed from the waist down disasterous, or important for how this album turned out. As a listener its impossible not to think that this has everything to do with hitting Rock Bottom. This album is a true, classic piece of great art in every thinkable way. Its unique, virtouos, beautiful and fun. With one heartsstopping, jawdropping moment of musical perfection after another. Still the listening experience is painful and heartwrenching, so I've probably played it a little less to death than my other top ten desert island discs. Nothing I've heard compares to the emotional impact this album has on me. Beyond Canterburyjazz, avantprog or any other attempt to describe what we're hearing. The lyrics are in itself very touching and geniously mad. from Alifie:

...Alifi my larder Alifi my larder Not nit not nit no not Nit nit folly bololy Burlybunch, the water mole Hellyplop and fingerhole Not a wossit bundy, see ? For jangle and bojangle Trip trip Pip pippy pippy pip pip landerim...

If I haven't already started earlier on, I always break down and start sobbing uncontrollably in the beginning of the last track; Little Red Robin Hood Hit the Road. When Mike Oldfield's guitar copies the way Wyatt sings the garden of England... That's the sound of a guitar gently weeping.

Rock Bottom is not just Mr. Wyatt's artistic peak, but also a peak for music and humanity in general.

Rocktopus | 5/5 |


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