Tuesday, July 06, 2010
Jango Song Of The Day-Robert Wyatt
Album:His Greatest Misses
The title of this CD is a joke about Robert Wyatt's lack of commercial success. But Shipbuilding was a top 40 hit in England in 1982. Of course Wyatt is best known as a pioneer of the British progressive rock scene as a founding member of Soft Machine. He was born Jan. 28, 1945 in Bristol, England and learned to play drums from American drummer George Neidorf. In 1966, he formed Soft Machine with Mike Ratledge, Kevin Ayers and Daevid Allen. Hugh Hopper joined in 1968. Wyatt left Soft Machine in 1970. He recorded a solo album but then formed Matching Mole with David Sinclair of Caravan. They were about to record their third album when on June 1, 1973, Wyatt fell out of a third floor window during a drunken party. He became a paraplegic and is confined to a wheelchair. He recorded the solo album Rock Bottom and had a top 30 hit in England with his cover of I'm A Believer produced by Pink Floyd drummer Nick Mason. The BBC wanted Wyatt to appear on Top Of The Pops in a regular chair but relented and Wyatt appeared in his wheelchair. He continued to record his own music and guest on other's records until Shipbuilding reached #36 on the British chart in 1982. Shipbuilding was released only as a single but it's on a few comps including His Greatest Misses which was originally released in Japan in 2004. Shipbuilding is an anti-war song and you might be familiar with Elvis Costello's version on the 1983 album Punch The Clock. Producer and organist Clive Langer wrote Shipbuilding but he didn't like his own lyrics. He played the song for Costello at a party and Costello wrote new lyrics and then Wyatt recorded it. So Wyatt's version is not a cover. Robert Wyatt currently records for Domino Records and his latest CD Comicopera was released in 2007 and they have also re-released a lot of Wyatt's music on CD. Here's the video for Shipbuilding by Robert Wyatt.