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Ruth Is Stranger Than Richard [CD]

Robert Wyatt Audio CD
4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
Price: 12.22 & 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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Frequently Bought Together

Ruth Is Stranger Than Richard + Rock Bottom + Shleep
Price For All Three: 33.95

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  • Rock Bottom 9.74
  • Shleep 11.99

Customers Who Bought This Item Also Bought

Product details

  • Audio CD (27 Oct 2008)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Format: CD
  • Label: Domino Records
  • ASIN: B001F9Y26I
  • Other Editions: Audio CD  |  Vinyl  |  MP3 Download
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 93,449 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

1. Muddy Mouse A
2. Solar Flares
3. Muddy Mouse B
4. Five Black Notes and One White Note
5. Muddy Mouse C/Muddy Mouth
6. Soup Song
7. Sonia
8. Team Spirit
9. Song for Che

Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
12 of 14 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Side Ruth is not as good as Side Richard 30 April 2003
Format:Audio CD
Well this is Robert's third album and it's true it's not as haunting and beautiful as Rock Bottom. There are a few dull jazzy jams to fill side Ruth - Yes, Side A was called Ruth and Side B was called Side Richard. This is lost on the CD of course. Anyway, you must hear at least once the strange humour of Soup Song where Robert sings he is an ingredient in a bowl of soup! Side Richard is fantastic and totally worthy of the genius of Wyatt. It's made of a sequence of interludes called 'Muddy Mouse ', co-written with Fred Frith, that keep coming in between songs with different lyrics each time. the last Muddy Mouse turns into Muddy Mouth in typical Wyatt slip and the album finishes leaving you wanting to listen again and again to this exquisite little mouse.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Strange and haunting, but full of fun. 7 May 2014
Format:Audio CD
Ruth is Stranger than Richard is Wyatt's official second solo album after Rock Bottom, and again serves up a fantastic and appetizing feast of musical soup.
The Richard side is typified by a series of musical poems about boy scouts and brownies entitled Muddy Mouse. These are at once funny and disconcerting. Robert's frail alto voice is simply accompanied by piano on these pieces. The third Muddy Mouse piece segues into Muddy Mouth, which is a beautiful example of the ease at which Robert users his voice as an instrument. Solar Flares another example, comparable with an alto sax or muted trumpet.
Side Ruth opens with the hilarious Soup Song, in which Robert imagines himself as an ingredient in a bowl of soup, featuring the lyrics " there's a mushroom on my eyelid, there's a carrot down my back". There's more jazz with Sonia and yet another song, Team Spirit, where Robert imagines himself as an inanimate object, this time a football! The album ends jazz style with Song for Che, but no review of a Robert Wyatt album would be complete without a mention of Alfie's cute and funny illustrations which line the CD cover.
Don't buy this if you expect music that follows rules and is mainstream radio material. Wyatt is an acquired taste, but one very much worth acquiring for the vast wealth of music he has created himself in line with his own inner visions.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 4.6 out of 5 stars  9 reviews
13 of 13 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Sadly underrated 16 Sep 2002
By Gary Gomes - Published on
Format:Audio CD
After Rock Bottom, Wyatt followed up with this less well-balanced, but more eclectic follow-up. The caliber of songqriting is extraordinary, and the line-up (Gary Windo, Mongezi Fesa, Fred Frith, Brian Eno, the amazing Laurie Allen) reads like a who's who of the avant garde of the time. I alway enjoyed this somewhat more than "Rock Bottom" because its attitude was more fun. Wyatt had seemed to come to grips with his paralysis and was realizing more of what he could do by the time this album came out.
It has the same dreamy, shimmering atmosphere as "Rock Bottom" but is no less brilliant. This was one of the few times that I have heard jazz, avant garde, and pop sensibilities blended so seamlessly. A great work!
Gary Gomes
7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Robert Wyatt is the one who started it all! 5 Oct 2002
By Carl Johnson - Published on
Format:Audio CD
Not too much to say. In my mind, this is the best recording Robert ever did. There are tunes that are lighter than the songs on Rock Bottom, though this album is not as conceptually well thoughht out. The center peice is Solar Flares, which features some excellent guitar space work. It is this song that I feel is the best thing Robert has ever done. Astounding!
You wouldn't have had much of your european progressive rock in the seventies if it were not for this man and his legacy. He still influences your on-the-edge players today! Almost perfect, eclectic spin!
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Classic 13 Sep 2010
By Bill Your 'Free Form FM Print DJ - Published on
Verified Purchase
I have, like so many days, spent all day listening to Robert Wyatt. Doing so is an experience like no other. After his work with Soft Machine and paralyzing accident, he created solo work that is both accessible, insular, deeply personal, and completely universal.

At the height of the "singer-songwriter" era, Wyatt released Rock Bottom. James Taylor was singing about love lost. Wyatt was singing about legs lost; having to redefine life from his wheelchair. He set this to an incredibly ideosyncractic compound of pop, rock, space and jazz. Simply, there is nothing like it, and if more singer-songwriters had taken it as a touchstone, the music world would be a much more interesting place.

Not enough people did, so Wyatt had to pick up his own gauntlet, and without repeating himself, he put out Ruth Is Stranger Than Richard.

And it is equally as brilliant. Solo piano ruminations, New Orleans blues, free jazz, vocalizing: Wyatt takes so much music here and wraps it into songs, songs that work together in perfect coherence. What amazes about Ruth Is Stranger Than Richard is not the command of styles, but how Wyatt sculpts all these together in an album that is deeply intimate for all those fortunate enough, and ballsy enough, to listen. This is not the shining silver arches of 1970s art rock, jazz fusion, adult rock, but a genius letting you into his one room cottage industry--where he crates music that no one else can.

Look at the back cover, how Wyatt draws himself, a bug on wheels. The professor is paralyzed, dragging the music car behind him. The reference is pointed, earthy, and incredibly funny.

"Without little push from your shine covered boot........I'm the one face down in the mud, I'll be stuck here forever unless you kick me hardy." Wyatt says in "Teen Spirit."The professor can't move. But he can say this to song, say this to us, say this to himself.

How much bigger do you want? How much more personal can a singer, a songwriter, get?
4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars a classic record - timeless and inspiring. 24 May 1999
By A Customer - Published on
Format:Audio CD
i've been listening to this record for over ten years - and i am always impressed and inspired by it. nothing on earth sounds quite like this record but then again nothing on earth really sounds like Robert Wyatt for that matter. accessible yet slightly avante garde - musicians should listen and learn.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Another Fine Wyatt Disc 27 May 2000
By Michael Topper - Published on
Format:Audio CD
The oft-overlooked companion to "Rock Bottom", "Ruth Is Stranger Than Richard" lacks its predecessor's spiritual flow but checks in with a number of highlights, most notably the long cut "Team Spirit", which sounds like a pretend-pop song gone wrong thanks to the singer's inimitable vocal style. Wyatt's brand of avant-jazz-prog instrumental is in fine form throughout, although all of the little bits and pieces of "Muddy Mouse" which take up side one can get on one's nerves a bit. It doesn't feel as essential as "Rock Bottom" from either a lyrical or musical standpoint, but that kind of album comes only once in an artist's career anyway--and "Ruth" offers up strange delights of its own.
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