Some would argue that well-loved Britpop surrealist Robyn Hitchcock is only now reaching his creative peak as a singer/ songwriter, while others prefer the brashness of the Soft Boys. But just about everyone can agree that his delightfully disturbing 80s recordings were widely slept on.
Cue the Yep Roc label, which has thoughtfully released the five-disc I Wanna Go Backwards box set. It packages generously expanded versions of underappreciated Hitchcock albums like his 1981 solo debut, Black Snake Diamond Role (with Thomas Dolby on keyboards!), 1984's oddly romantic I Often Dream Of Trains and the personally revealing dream sequence of 1990's Eye, and adds two discs of B-sides, outtakes and demos.
Hitchcock's superb musicianship and songcraft may surprise you. In addition, there are accompanying notes, photos, drawings, prose and poetry that you'd expect from the renaissance geezer. In December, 1982's Groovy Decay will be available on the Yep Roc site as a digital-only release, followed by another multi-disc box in 2008, rumoured to be called Bad Case Of History, with three additional albums recorded with the Egyptians and another B-sides and outtakes collection along with more snaps, doodles and such. Phew.
Robyn Hitchcock rocks the Mod Club Wednesday (November 14).