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Robert Wyatt

Canterbury Scene

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Robert Wyatt The Animals Film album cover
3.49 | 19 ratings | 2 reviews | 11% 5 stars

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Singles/EPs/Fan Club/Promo, released in 1982

Songs / Tracks Listing

1. The Animals Film (Part 1) (15:15)
2. The Animals Film (Part 2) (12:56)

Total Time 28:11

Line-up / Musicians

- Robert Wyatt / keyboards, piano, percussion, vocals, composition

Releases information

12" Vinyl Rough Trade ROUGH 40 (UK)

CD Rough Trade R3172 (UK, 1994)

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ROBERT WYATT The Animals Film ratings distribution

(19 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of progressive rock music(11%)
Excellent addition to any prog rock music collection(37%)
Good, but non-essential (42%)
Collectors/fans only (11%)
Poor. Only for completionists (0%)

ROBERT WYATT The Animals Film reviews

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Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by Tom Ozric
4 stars The music of Robert Wyatt has never been that easy to categorise ; his early solo albums are Canterbury in a strange kind of way, but afterwards he re-emerged as a left- field, 'alternative' artist, dealing mainly with politics. This mini-album, clocking in at 28min 11secs, is the soundtrack to a Victor Schonfeld film, 'Animals', and according to the sleeve notes, the film deals with how humans treat/misuse animals, and, for example, how people wearing fur coats 'love' animals - quote ; " Because it's not about animals - it's about us. It's about human nature and the atrocities some factions of it can blandly commit " end quote. Robert W obviously watched the film, and created some 'music' to go with the gruelling footage. This 'music' shows RW can still experiment, especially when handed some synths - I don't know what equipment he is using, but the sounds are unique, and the way each 'snippet' of 'music' is composed and played by this man alone, is well thought out and, I guess, relative to what the film content would be (I haven't seen it). You can hear Robert patting away on a small drum kit, noodling around with synths, piano, his Riviera keyboard (used extensively on Rock Bottom - it makes a strange, swirling sound - half synth/half organ) and his distinctive vocalizings, all of which sound very interesting and engaging, but it really is hard to describe this 'music' without actually hearing it for yourself. The moods can be quirky, dark and, at times, mysterious. It's not for everyone, but a very interesting release indeed.
Review by UMUR
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
3 stars "The Animals Film" is a soundtrack album by UK progressive rock artist Robert Wyatt. The album was released through Rough Trade Records in 1982. After leaving Soft Machine, his short adventure with Matching Mole, his near fatal accident which left him paralyzed from the waist down, and the release of a couple of very critically acclaimed solo albums ("Rock Bottom (1974)" in particular), Robert Wyatt didnīt really release any new solo material (except for some singles and EPs) before releasing "The Animals Film" and the political protest cover song album "Nothing Can Stop Us" in 1982. In the intermediate years he had howeve collaborated with a vast number of different artists including Henry Cow, Phil Manzanera, Hatfield and the North and Carla Bley.

The music on "The Animals Film" is composed for a documentary film featuring the same title from 1981 directed by Victor Schonfeld and Myriam Alaux, and narrated by actress Julie Christie. A documentary film showing human cruelty against animals. Robert Wyatt had become a member of the Communist Party of Great Britain in 1982 and was what some people might refer to as a left wing activist in those days. His agenda became more and more political in the late 70s to early 80s.

The music on the album fits the unpleasant subject of the film very well. Entirely composed and played by Robert Wyatt the music is rather experimental and atmospheric in nature. Itīs dark and occasionally even a bit unpleasant. The tracks mostly consist of keyboards/synths and percussion (that sometimes sounds like a drum machine). The music is mostly instrumental and the only vocals found on the album are Robert Wyatt humming a melody using his voice as an instrument.

The sound quality is a bit lo-fi and canīt be compared to the high quality professional productions on his 70s albums. It sounds like it was recorded in a murky basement somewhere. Thereīs no doubt that "The Animals Film" is an album for the select few. It completely lacks mainstream appeal and even fans of Robert Wyatt should be cautious before purchasing the album. Personally I find the album relatively intriguing and a bold statement by Robert Wyatt regarding animal rights. A 2.5 - 3 star (55%) rating is warranted.

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