Been listening to Robyn Hitchcock’s new CD, “Ole! Tarantula,” a lot lately. It’s a darned good album. The best thing Hitchcock has done since the incredible Jewels for Sophia/Star for Bram combo in 1999. In fact it may be his very best album.

Robyn Hitchcock is one of those rare artists who has never done a really sucky album. Even Groovy Decay was OK, though certainly not up to the rest of his work. I first started listening to him when I got reviews for my Dimentia 13 albums and it seemed like every one of them mentioned how influenced I was by the Soft Boys — a band I’d never even heard of at the time. I bought some Soft Boys records and indeed I could see why people assumed they’d been an influence. I liked them a lot and started getting their leader Robyn Hitchcock’s solo records too.

Pretty much nothing I listened to in the 80’s has aged well. Everything was so incredibly bad for that decade that the things that stood out as being great now seem just OK. Even so, Robyn Hitchcock’s 80’s output still doesn’t make me gag, other than for the fact I played those records way too much for lack of anything better to listen to that was contemporary.

Ole! Tarantula’s best songs:

New York Doll
Adventure Rocket Ship
(A Man’s Gotta Know His Limitations) Briggs

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15 Responses

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  1. Anonymous
    Anonymous December 14, 2006 at 10:32 am |
  2. Jinzang
    Jinzang December 14, 2006 at 4:31 pm |

    I’m enjoying Brand New’s new album, “The Devil and God Are Raging Inside Me.” But I’ve always been a sucker for a sad song.

  3. Infernon
    Infernon December 14, 2006 at 7:29 pm |

    Holy crap, Brad!

    Do more album reviews! This is good stuff.

  4. Waylon
    Waylon December 14, 2006 at 9:32 pm |

    Brad, I know this is unrelated but just ran across this and the related link on the worst horse….I’m gleefully awaiting the fall out that will no doubt insue.


    Thanks Brad!

  5. Drunken Monkey
    Drunken Monkey December 15, 2006 at 1:45 pm |

    Nice groovy music.

  6. Anonymous
    Anonymous December 15, 2006 at 9:38 pm |

    80’s music that aged well:
    The Clash, Mission of Burma,U2, Talking Heads, Tom Tom Club,REM, Tracy Chapman, Elvis Costello, The Police, Sting, The Pretenders, UB40, Peter Gabriel, Phil Collins, The Smiths, Tom Petty & the Heartbreakers, XTC, Violent Femmes, Sonic Youth, Jesus and Mary Chain, Joy Division, New Order, Depeche Mode, Art of Noise, The Eurythmics, The Cure, Blondie, Joe Jackson, Run DMC, George Clinton and the PFunk AllStars, 10,000 Maniacs,Peter Tosh, Bob Marley’s Uprising,
    Laurie Anderson’s Big Science,

    Oh, and Pink Floyd’s The Wall

    Back to an earlier topic, Avalokitesvara (Kannon) and the Virgin Mary at least for me, resonate in the same way. “She who has made the great vow to listen to the prayers of all sentient beings in times of suffering.” Could aptly be referring to both.

  7. Dan
    Dan December 16, 2006 at 4:17 am |

    “80’s music that aged well

    UB40, Peter Gabriel, Phil Collins, XTC, Depeche Mode, Run DMC”


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  12. yak
    yak January 11, 2007 at 5:03 am |

    Yeah, great voice, great lyrics, great songs. I lost track of him some eighteen years ago and was so happy to find he was still recording when Spooked came out. Love that man!

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  15. E. Charles
    E. Charles October 22, 2008 at 1:08 pm |

    Heh. I just discovered Robyn Hitchock, and I was drawn to this one because of the Minus 5 connection (i.e. Peter Buck, Scott McCaughey, ect). It really is amazing; one of those CDs I listen to over and over.

    Then again so is Black Snake Diamond Role. The only other Robyn Hitchcock album I’ve listened to is I Often Dream of Trains, which is impressive, but has yet to really grab me.

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