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Greatest Misses [CD]

Robert Wyatt Audio CD
4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (11 customer reviews)
Price: 10.43 & FREE Delivery in the UK. Details
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Robert Wyatt is a rare bird. His remarkable career began forty years ago drumming and singing for Soft Machine, a post-psych outfit tied to the “Canterbury Scene” of the late ‘60s that yielded Pink Floyd & Gong among others. His ensuing and far longer solo period speaks volumes
of Wyatt’s value and endurance as an ... Read more in Amazon's Robert Wyatt Store

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for 45 albums, 3 photos, discussions, and more.

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Greatest Misses + Rock Bottom
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Product details

  • Audio CD (7 Jun 2010)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Format: CD
  • Label: Domino Records
  • Other Editions: Audio CD  |  MP3 Download
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (11 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 5,570 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Listen to Samples and Buy MP3s

Songs from this album are available to purchase as MP3s. Click on "Buy MP3" or view the MP3 Album.

Song Title Time Price
Listen  1. P.L.A. 2:290.79  Buy MP3 
Listen  2. Worship 5:500.79  Buy MP3 
Listen  3. Heaps Of Sheeps 4:580.79  Buy MP3 
Listen  4. Free Will And Testament 4:140.79  Buy MP3 
Listen  5. I'm A Believer 4:560.79  Buy MP3 
Listen  6. Sea Song 6:250.79  Buy MP3 
Listen  7. Little Red Robin Hood Hit The Road 6:090.79  Buy MP3 
Listen  8. Solar Flares 5:360.79  Buy MP3 
Listen  9. At Last I Am Free 4:190.79  Buy MP3 
Listen10. Arauco 4:350.79  Buy MP3 
Listen11. The Age Of Self 2:510.79  Buy MP3 
Listen12. Alien 6:500.79  Buy MP3 
Listen13. Shipbuilding 3:040.79  Buy MP3 
Listen14. Memories Of You 2:590.79  Buy MP3 
Listen15. Muddy Mouse (b)0:510.79  Buy MP3 
Listen16. Mister E 4:210.79  Buy MP3 
Listen17. Foreign Accents 3:480.79  Buy MP3 

Product Description

BBC Review

This compelling introduction to Robert Wyatt's career was initially released in 2004–by, in Wyatt's words, "a thoughtful chap in Japan brought these tunes together as a sort of canter around my back-catalogue". A canter it is, through the unique rhythms and cadences of the former Soft Machine vocalist's musical world, one that takes in tender pop, light prog and gentle jazz, plus the mesmerising innocence, and bluntness, of his rough, Kentish accent.

But to call this set His Greatest Misses is a little disingenuous: two hits nestle in this record, both of them written by other people. Wyatt's take on The Monkees' I'm a Believer was a hit single in 1975, after he returned to making music after the fall from a window that left him paralysed from the waist down. Thirty-five years later, it's still a delicious confection: Wyatt delivering his message of love plainly and frankly as fidgety guitars and Motown pianos add colour to the ends of his lines. His version of Shipbuilding, which Elvis Costello and Clive Langer wrote for him in 1982, is even better: he brings an almost unbearable rawness to the story of the Falklands War, returning work to the shipyards but threatening death to men at sea. Hearing his trebly warble deliver everyday phrases like "Well, I ask you", then tell us about the "people who get killed", you are listening to one of pop's greatest performances.

But Wyatt's own material is also more accessible than many would imagine. Sea Song, from his debut album Rock Bottom, is free-form in melody, but full of gorgeous hooks and touching lyrics ("You're terrific when you're drunk / I like you mostly late at night / you're quite all right"). Woodwind-heavy early track Solar Flares is propulsive and addictive; 1992's Heaps of Sheeps teems with perky keyboards and backing vocals; while Mister E from 2003's Mercury-nominated Cuckooland plays like a duet from a Hollywood film.

Nevertheless, there's plenty of oddness here too–Muddy Mouse (b), a dissonant minute-long tale about what "cubs and brownies do at night after a boring day", being a perfect example. But even here, tenderness and warmth bubbles through every second and syllable, reminding us of the palpable greatness of this Great British Eccentric. --Jude Rogers

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Customer Reviews

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4.6 out of 5 stars
4.6 out of 5 stars
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
56 of 57 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Thoroughly recommended 18 Jan 2005
By jdian
Format:Audio CD
I have to admit that Robert Wyatt was one of those artists that had always passed me by. Like many people I loved his version of Shipbuilding but he'd never really registered until I recently caught the excellent recent BBC documentary on his life and work. So this new complilation seemed the ideal opportunity to catch up.
Wyatt's obviously adored by a huge number of fellow musicians, and collabrators on these tracks range from household names, like Paul Weller, Mike Oldfield and various members of Pink Floyd and Roxy Music, to more 'leftfield' artists such as Fred Frith and Ivor Cutler. Although each of them plays a full part in creating the overall sound on the pieces here, the arrangements are generally very simple and direct, there's no room for over-long solos.
For most people the songs will stand or fall depending on what they think of Wyatt's voice which is one of those you'll probably either love or hate. Describing it as generally high pitched with a sort of estuary gutteral delivery may make it seem like Joe Pasquale, but you get the general idea. For me Wyatt comes across as one of the greatest interpreters I've ever heard. If you're aware of Elvis Costello's version of Shipbuilding featuring Chet Baker you'll know it's incredibly beautiful in its own right but somehow Wyatt finds the extra emotional vulnerability in the lyrics that takes the song to another level. That's also strongly evidenced by some of the other covers here, particularly his incredible version of 'At last I am free' which is worth the price of the CD in itself.
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17 of 17 people found the following review helpful
Format:Audio CD
It speaks volumes about the career of Robert Wyatt that the only other Amazon review thus far of this excellent introduction to the work of one of our finest and most original singer songwriters centres on the fact that a fellow countryman is a bit annoyed about the case and insert of this album. Just a thought but rather than land this majestic music with a single star perhaps he could print off the Amazon list of songs for reference? By the way the language on the album cover is Japanese.

Wyatt's career spans four decades and includes numerous albums and collaborations. It can be daunting as you approach the starting gate and this re-release by Domino is to much welcomed as a entry point to the works of the great man. As for the music Wyatt's wispy and wistful singing is here in all its glory as are some of his greatest songs. His ability since the days of Soft Machine to be transcend the musical boundaries of jazz, soul and incorporate avant-garde impulses is amply represented by the song choices on "Greatest Misses". However as other reviewers beyond Amazon have noted Wyatt of course is being slightly disingenuous since two of the songs here were in fact "hits". His brilliant "English" cover of Neil Diamond's "Im a believer" sung in his Kent accent still sounds as fresh to today as when he performed it on Top of the Pops and amazingly gathered complaints form some Neanderthal viewers because he performed it in his wheelchair. And then of course there is his truly epic cover of Elvis Costello's "Shipbuilding" released at the height of the flag waving zenith of the Falklands War campaign which Wyatt makes his own infusing it with his own special passion and strained regret.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Loved this 13 Dec 2012
By peewit
Format:Audio CD|Verified Purchase
Beautiful music and beautiful voice - some really great stuff here I really love 'Sea Song' and 'I am a Believer '- on top of all this I really am with Robert Wyatt on the way he sees the world - just buy it
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
Format:Audio CD|Verified Purchase
This draws on a range of Robert Wyatt's solo work. He is always an interesting listen. As my friend Adam Dale was fond on observing, you had to give your arse a long scratch to get into what the man was putting out. But after a lifetime of scratching, on and off-cos not everything of his is listenable, I have appreciated the musical journey he sets out. This would be a good starting point for anyone who does not have Robert Wyatt in their music collection. And again I have to appreciate Adam Dale's message to me all those years ago (1970-to be precise) you have to invest serious listening time for this to take hold, but when you do, it strangles you with beauty and simplicity. Like George Orwell, Mr Wyatt looks at the world face on and at times with an honesty that is brutal, uncompromising but always in a structure that provides hope. This compilation makes you think and lifts the spirits and singing along with Robert Wyatt-we make a beautiful nasal drone, like an aeroplane in full throttle, lifting off, the space between sky and ground accelerating away beneath our feet.
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5.0 out of 5 stars The perfect introduction :-) 7 May 2014
Format:Audio CD
I would highly recommend His Greatest Misses to a new listener who hasn't been initiated into the delights of Robert Wyatt's esoteric and idiosyncratic music. There are two chart hits in this collection, I'm a Believer and the beautiful, haunting rendition of Elvis Costello's Shipbuilding which Robert is most famous for. Along side these slices of pure pop, we have the moody and dark progressive rock of Little Red Robin Hood, featuring Ivor Cutler, the humorous Eno produced Heaps of Sheep, and Wyatt's piece de resistance, the hauntingly beautiful Sea Song. Arauco, which is in Spanish shows off what a deceptively accomplished singer Robert is, his working class southern estuary accent perfectly suited to the Spanish lyric. Robert's voice is a thing of frail beauty, tho an acquired taste, one worth acquiring. In a world poisoned by the X Factor, there are few unique voices left to be heard. Robert's voice is agile and instrument like, poignant and deeply heartfelt. Recommended tracks also include his unique cover of Chic's At Last I Am Free, which is a moment of true beauty, giving this old disco track a whole new dimension. It wouldn't be right not to mention Poor Little Alfie, a tribute to Robert's wife and muse Alfie, who contributes lyrics, art and occasional vocals.
This album is a grower, put it on repeat and let it sink in, don't expect to love every track at first listen, it takes repeatedlistens to fully reveal it's secrets.
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