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4.6 out of 5 stars
16
4.6 out of 5 stars
Format: Audio CD|Change
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on 27 July 2013
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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on 8 September 2012
I know I'm cheating and should go out fo my way to buy all his albums, but the idea of "The Very Best Of Robert Wyatt" seemed too weird to resist.

I've already heard most of Rock Bottom from the perfect "Going Back A Bit" compilation (which is probably out of print now :( )
I read up a bit and it turns out the "consensus", even from Robert, is that "End Of An Ear" was juvenile. I'm still interested in hearing it, but from the tracklisting on Greatest Misses I'd explore his following albums:

Old Rottenhat, Ruth Is Stranger Than Richard, Nothing Can Stop Us, Cuckooland and Dondestan in order of hearing next.
I already own Shleep. I've just realised I haven't left room to put in End Of An Ear and Rock Bottom...
I think the only Robert Wyatt discography that isn't Wiki is this Italian one, half translated, that really lays in Cuckooland.

I think His Greatest Misses would have been better served if I'm A Believer was at the start of the disc. As it would mirror the generic Greatest Hits albums of more chart successful acts. And get the album off to a faster start.

If you are curious about Robert start here.
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on 18 April 2017
Great collection. I listen to them as I drive to work each morning. If you've only hear Shipbuilding you are in for a treat. The amazing I'm free again is the reason I bought this. I'm quite left wing but even I found the politics a little wearing. Mainly a great collection.
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on 13 December 2012
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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on 19 January 2015
Bought for Ship Building, this album provides a resource to dip into Robert Wyatt's output after Soft Machine, revealing the skill and resourcefulness of this talented muso. Arrived promptly and undamaged, this should be a key disc for any collection, and there aren't any misses to be heard on this cd.
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on 17 October 2014
Some good tracks on here and a few that deserved to miss!
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on 28 May 2015
Pleased. Nice gatefold format too.
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on 16 March 2016
A great collection for anyone who wants to get a slice of this unique musician.
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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. It is one of the most powerful anti war songs ever recorded and frankly one of the most powerful songs recorded full stop. It was only beaten to the top spot in John Peel's Festive 50 in 1982 by New Order's "Temptation". With hindsight I'm sure that Bernard and Hooky would accept that Wyatt should have held the crown.

Other highlights include "At last I am free" a song derived from the greatest disco band to "tread the boards" namely Chic, the eerie "Sea Song" which was later covered by Tears for Fears and the Spanish language `Arauco', which charts all the indigenous cultures in Chile that were eradicated by European invaders. Wyatt of course never hid his Marxist beliefs or seemed particularly worried about stirring controversy and this approach also defines his music. Thus quite what musical genre you place "Little Red Robin On The Road', that teams him up with that other great English eccentric Ivor Cutler on harmonium and is underpinned by patois singing is a bit of mystery. But that is the joy of Robert Wyatt and if all "His Greatest Misses" does is lead you on the winding trail of the musical journey of Robert Wyatt-Ellidge and deposit's you in his 2003 masterpiece "Cuckooland" it will have ably done its work. In short this is a great introduction to an artist who we should all embrace and cherish.
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on 7 May 2014
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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