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Robert Wyatt

Canterbury Scene

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Robert Wyatt Nothing Can Stop Us album cover
3.23 | 41 ratings | 6 reviews | 7% 5 stars

Good, but non-essential

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Boxset/Compilation, released in 1982

Songs / Tracks Listing

1. Born Again Cretin (3:08)
2. At Last I Am Free (4:15)
3. Caimanera (5:20)
4. Grass (2:38)
5. Stalin Wasn't Stallin' (2:59)
6. Shipbuilding (2:59)
7. Red Flag (3:07)
8. Strange Fruit (3:35)
9. Arauco (4:33)
10. Trade Union (3:42) *
11. Stalingrad (5:33) °

Total Time 41:49

Line-up / Musicians

All songs performed by:
Robert Wyatt except
* Performed by Disharhi featuring Abdus Salique, Esmail Shek, Kadir Durvesh
° Performed by Peter Blackman
All songs engineered by Skipper Kidron except 'red Flag' and 'Born Again Cretin' by Allen Marlow

- Bill MacCormick / bass (3,8)
- Harry Beckett / flugelhorn (3)
- Mogotsi Mothle / double bass (2,7)
- Frank Roberts / keyboards (2,7)
- Esmail Shek / tabla (4,9)
- Kadir Durvesh / shehnai (4,9)

Releases information

Vinyl LP Rough Trade ROUGH 35 (UK)

CD Rough Trade ROUGH CD 35 (1986,UK)

Thanks to ProgLucky for the addition
and to projeKct for the last updates
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ROBERT WYATT Nothing Can Stop Us ratings distribution

(41 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of progressive rock music(7%)
Excellent addition to any prog rock music collection(39%)
Good, but non-essential (32%)
Collectors/fans only (17%)
Poor. Only for completionists (5%)

ROBERT WYATT Nothing Can Stop Us reviews

Showing all collaborators reviews and last reviews preview | Show all reviews/ratings

Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by Syzygy
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
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.
Review by UMUR
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
3 stars "Nothing Can Stop Us" is a collection of songs released as singles (A-sides and B- sides in the late 70s and early 80s by UK progressive rock artist Robert Wyatt. The compilation was released through Rough Trade Records in March 1982. All tracks are covers of other artists except the opening track "Born Again Cretin" which is penned by Robert Wyatt himself.

Robert Wyatt became a member of the Communist Party of Great Britain in 1982 and his political beliefs are displayed in the choice of songs for the album. Song titles like "Stalin Wasnīt Stallinī", "Red Flag", "Stalingrad" and "Trade Union" say more than words. The latter is actually quite an oddity on the album as it features arabian ethnic singing and instrumentation by guest group Disharhi. Most tracks are performed solely by Robert Wyatt though and we get to hear quite a lot of his fragile and distinct sounding voice on "Nothing Can Stop Us" as well as his percussion skills and great ideas for keyboard playing. The music ranges from slightly experimental music to more simple pop/rock but all tracks are relatively interesting. The Spanish language "Caimanera" features a slightly silly holiday type mood, which isnīt that interesting though.

The sound production is a bit lo-fi and canīt match the excellent productions on his first three solo albums and to my ears itīs a minor issue, that the material isnīt packed in a well sounding production. "Nothing Can Stop Us" is a political protest album and some people will as a consequence of that probably find it offensive but it does feature a lot of intriguing moments for fans of experimental music. Fans of Robert Wyatt should definitely check it out even though itīs not his best release by any means. A 3 star (60%) rating is warranted.

Review by snobb
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
2 stars This Wyatt's album is very controversial one. It contains a collection of singles Wyatt recorded for newly founded Rough Trade label in few years (and he didn't release studio album at that period at all).

By its structure A side contains singles' A-sides, and album's B-side - singles' B-sides (in chronological order). The only original composition on all album is opener quirky "Born Again Cretin". All other compositions are covers of songs of different time and musical genres, but many of them are common theme - they are leftist (often -radical) ideology hymns in one or another form. Even "Red Flag", Communist Party hymn found place there between them.

Musically album is quite minimalistic and often simplistic, but contains few Wyatt's excellent songs at the same time ( Chick song's "At Last I'm Free" is one of greatest Wyatt's song ever). Unfortunately, after very few first songs things turn to bad direction on this album. "Caimanera" is a version of "Guantanamera", the famous Cuban pop song appropriated as a nationalist/anti-imperialist anthem. Wyatt sings in Spanish, and the song is a total disaster. Similar case is "Arauco" - Chilean protest song. Two them would be enough to make album less attractive, but it's still a beginning of serious troubles.

American song "Stalin Wasn't Stallin'" could be understandable in historical contest, but huge dose of Soviet nostalgia, even sung a-Capella, in early 80s (read - Cold War time) sounds as misunderstanding (softly speaking).Even more terrible is music-less narrative poem "Stalingrad", closing this album. Billie Holiday's "Strange Fruit" cover sounds almost as lyric ballade in such neighborhood.And even more pity - all these songs are extremely simple and uninteresting musically.Terrible combination...

Everyone familiar with Wyatt's solo works perfectly knows his love to leftist propaganda, but quite often when the music is great you can just ignore these foolish naive things ( I can hardly imagine Wyatt killing 10% of England's population,as Stalin done with Soviet Union, in local GULAGs for his crazy ideas). But when bloody ideology wins against music, it becomes difficult to accept it.I wonder how Wyatt himself see these his songs from nowadays position.OK, it's possibly more his private business, but I know at least few European countries (free countries, not ruled by dictators, and placed on the world list of free countries higher than UK or France), where propaganda of fascism and communism both are banned (because these two radical ideologies are anti-human by their nature), and I expect Wyatt would have serious problems when singing some songs from this album in public there.

In all, few songs are really great (Wyatt will return to them in his later albums), all other are very controversial and musically often hardly interesting material.Album mostly for Colombian guerrillas,if they care about such things....

Latest members reviews

4 stars Born Again Cretin was on the C81 cassette given away with NME, and introduced a new post-punk audience t the strange world of Robert Wyatt, who had been coaxed out of retirement by Green from Scritti Politti. A series of highly eclectic 7"s followed on the ubercool Rough Trade label, culminating ... (read more)

Report this review (#114522) | Posted by mixmastermorris | Thursday, March 8, 2007 | Review Permanlink

3 stars Just a brief comment on this album.... interesting and rewarding efforts here by Wyatt but I certainly wouldn't highlight 'Stalin wasn't Stallin' as the jewel here. Apart from the misguided politics of a song celebrating one of history's greatest mass murderers on the grounds that he defended ... (read more)

Report this review (#52293) | Posted by | Wednesday, October 19, 2005 | Review Permanlink

4 stars Look at any Robert Wyatt discography and it seems to be the case that he didn't record or release anything between 75's "Ruth..." and this lesser known gem from 1982. It's tempting to think that his confidence and self-belief evaporated completely during this time as the realisation sunk in th ... (read more)

Report this review (#29845) | Posted by Mick Haldane | Sunday, August 29, 2004 | Review Permanlink

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