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Robert Wyatt - I'm A Believer CD (album) cover

I'M A BELIEVER

Robert Wyatt

 

Canterbury Scene

3.92 | 5 ratings

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Matti
Prog Reviewer
4 stars 20-Year Chronological Run-Through pt. Twelve: 1974.

On 1 June 1973 Robert Wyatt fell out from a window at a birthday party and was paralyzed from the waist down. It was the end of the Matching Mole band project, but a beginning of a new phase. The much praised album Rock Bottom (released in June 1974) shows that Wyatt re-invented himself as a musician and songwriter. Two months later he released this single. Electric guitar and violin on both songs are played by Fred Frith (Henry Cow). Wyatt plays keyboards, and on bass is Richard Sinclair (Caravan, Hatfield and the North).

'I'm a Believer' is a song written by Neil Diamond and it was a No. 1 hit for The Monkees in 1966. Wyatt's version, produced by drummer Nick Mason of Pink Floyd, reached No. 29 in the UK chart. The lively version is both faithful enough in the spirit to the original and truly Wyatt's and his backing band's own interpretetation. It also features Dave MacRae (Nucleus) on piano.

'Memories' was written by bassist Hugh Hopper in the mid-60's for The Wilde Flowers, the proto band of the whole Canterbury scene; Soft Machine and Caravan were founded on its ashes. I'm not familiar with other versions (including one by Soft Machine) of this song, but Wyatt's slow version is beautiful. Frith's violin is a wonderful additional element in it. Happily I now realize that I've heard a fairly good live version of 'Memories' in a private prog mini festival with my friends a few years ago (and I also have the gig taped and burnt on a cd-r).

This is an excellent individual single. Both songs were ten years later contained on a 4-track ep, and therfore are included also in Wyatt's 2-disc compilation album Eps (1999).

Matti | 4/5 |

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