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Rock Bottom Import

16 customer reviews

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Music

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Biography

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

Visit Amazon's Robert Wyatt Store
for 58 albums, 3 photos, discussions, and more.

Product details

  • Audio CD (5 May 1998)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Format: Import
  • Label: Thirsty Ear
  • ASIN: B000006AXS
  • Other Editions: Audio CD  |  Vinyl  |  MP3 Download
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (16 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,394,514 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

1. Sea Song
2. A Last Straw
3. Little Red Riding Hood Hit The Road
4. Alifib
5. Alife
6. Little Red Robin Hood Hit The Road

Customer Reviews

4.5 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

50 of 50 people found the following review helpful By "djfolkfinger" on 2 Nov. 2003
Format: Audio CD
Trying to explain what this remarkable album sounds like to someone who has never heard it before isn't easy. And I suppose that's unsurprising, as it's a record that demands more than a few casual listens before one can make sense of it. However, with patience and time, it seeps into the listener's brain as if by osmosis, and gradually reveals its condiderable beauty and charm.
More than anything, Rock Bottom is a record to be felt, and it feels like a dream. Swirling, drifting currents of sound wash out of the speakers, Wyatt's abstract lyrics coming accross like a poem that is difficult to understand in a literal sense, yet one instinctively knows exactly what is meant. It is remarkably visual music - it would be the perfect soundtrack to film of newly discovered creatures that live undisturbed on the ocean floor. Fittingly, as the sea and its inhabitants are recurring themes in the lyrics. I can think of few other albums (well, none) which namecheck brine, porpoises, baby sperm whales and starfish!
I won't dwell much on the merits of the individual tracks - the album is best appreciated as a whole in one sitting. However, my personal highlight is the exquisite Alife, Wyatt's deeply personal long song about his relationship with Alfreda Benge, who painted the beautiful album cover.
Love and hope abound on this album. Wyatt began writing the songs shortly before suffering the accident which left him confined to a wheelchair, and finished them during his long convalescence. Unsurprisingly, there is a palpable sense of uncertainty about the future in his fragile vocals, but ultimately the overwhelming feeling is one of positivity and acceptance. Maudlin self pity doesn't even appear on his emotional register.
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful By "simoncangas2" on 25 Nov. 2005
Format: Audio CD
The best thing about Wyatt's albums is that it sounds very simple on the outside, but if you delve in deeper, it sounds very structured and complicated. His lyrics (and wonderful cracked voice) potray a sadness, but always however with a faint ray of hope.
The album never decides to stay on a particular vein for very long, as you least expect it an outburst of free jazzy trumpets come out, and Wyatt melancholicly fights his way through them.
I won't go into the history behind the album as you can most probably (such as him being on a wheelchair, and part of the album centred on Venice) find it on other more detailed or even better reviews!
I'm just giving a personal account on why Rock bottom has had such a great impact on me recently.
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36 of 38 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on 14 Jun. 2002
Format: Audio CD
This is one of those albums I daren't play too often, in case I lose the absolute sense of awe that it inspires on each playing. The fabulous piano, the clashing trumpet fanfares, Wyatt's unique voice, the lyrics, the whole melting pot....I can remember exactly where I was when I first heard this and I hadn't heard anything quite like it before, having very much come from a punk/new wave background with all those 3 minute 1-2-3-4 thrash songs (which I still love too) but this is something else. And I never knew any of the background to this album until recently, it has always just provided one of those 'instant connection' moments because this album comes right from the heart of Wyatt there is no bowing to other people's taste or opinions. This is the one I play when I'm really depressed because it is so uplifting without being horribly jolly. Now I know the guy had just been paralysed it has taken on a new dimension - the sincerity and soul searching is just so intense and honest, without any hint of self-pity or wallowing in misery. This is the one I'll take with me to the desert island
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Dr. D. B. Sillars VINE VOICE on 24 Nov. 2008
Format: Audio CD
Simply this is one of my favourite records of all time. For me the first three tracks (the original LP side 1) are perfect. After his fall which left him paralysed, Wyatt recorded this solo album, though the material was written prior to his accident. The music is beautiful, oceanic and dreamlike as no other recording before or since has matched. Full of Wyatts otherworldly voice, bubbling synths, home made percussion and the great, late Ivor Cutler whose participation was inspired. Lyrically it's personal, anguished, surreal and heartbreaking. The production by Floyd's Nick Mason is so subtle and empathic as is the playing by everyone else, including Mike Oldfield, Richard Sinclair and Hugh Hopper. The highlight will always be "Sea Song". This is sublime, fluid, emotive songwriting at its very best.

This re-issue is part of Domino's complete release of Wyatt's back catalogue. I believe it hasn't been remastered, but does re-instate the original pencil drawing by Wyatt's wife Alfreda Benge who also did the colour painting for the 1998 re-issue. The packaging is very nice. These are digipack releases with booklet including full credits and lyrics. Domino do very good re-issues and this doesn't disappoint.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Peter Hill on 4 Nov. 2013
Format: Audio CD
Having now reached a certain age i've recently been listening to albums that i missed first time around and which are now generally considered as 'classics'.
I was aware of Robert Wyatt back in his Soft Machine days, although i always considered the band too "jazzy" for my tastes at that time, but i did like his forays into more mainstream music with singles such as 'I'm a believer' and 'Shipbuilding', the latter being an all time favourite of mine.
I came to this album with some trepidation but was determined to give it a fair trial and have listened to it on numerous occasions and in many different environs e.g in the car, on headphones, in bed and just quietly sitting.
You can see (hear) why some people find it a difficult proposition as it has relatively little structure and with the off kilter singing/playing it just makes it a truly unique/weird experience (depending upon your point of view?).
Is it jazz, experimental, avant-garde (maybe all three) but it's certainly never boring.
I'd heard 'sea song' before when done by The Unthanks and it's probably the most accessible song on the album, or maybe my familiarity makes it so.
There were other bits i liked too e.g the cute piano ending on 'a last straw' and the almost prog-like opening on the second 'little red robin hood hit the road' but i found the overwhelming free jazz (or however it's defined) feel which imbued the rest of the album just too much for me.
Is it a classic or just the emperors new clothes, i don't honestly know, but i am glad i (eventually) heard it but it's not an album i'd want to return to again.
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