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Robert Wyatt - Nothing Can Stop Us CD (album) cover


Robert Wyatt


Canterbury Scene

3.24 | 35 ratings

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4 stars I agree with Mick H's review below, but would like to add a few comments of my own. After 'Ruth...' Wyatt did crop up in all kinds of places, including Eno's Music For Airports, but had stopped writing songs. Apparently his return to recording under his own name was prompted by a financial crisis, and the results were extraordinary. This album compiles a series of excellent singles he released on Rough Trade records in the early 80s, and they demonstrate his remarkable skills as an interpreter of other people's songs. He also selected material from a wide variety of unlikely sources. Stalin Wasn't Stallin' was written shortly after the end of WWII and is an American left wing anthem. Caimenera is a Latin American rabble rouser better known as the sanitised 'Guantanemera'. Grass is by the brilliant Scottish poet/songwriter/comedian Ivor Cutler, who guested on 'Rock Bottom' and who describes Wyatt as 'The cleverest fellow I know'. The ace in the pack, though, is his truly beautiful reading of Chic's At Last I Am Free, for many old school music fans also the most controversial song on the album - never mind singing hymns to Uncle Joe Stalin, how dare he sing a disco song? It was originally coupled with his version of Billie Holliday's Strange Fruit, and the two songs worked together superbly. In prog rock circles cover versions tend to be looked down on as inferior, but Robert Wyatt has frequently shown that an imaginative cover version is better than an uninspired original, and never better than on this collection.
Syzygy | 4/5 |


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