Origin: London, England
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While at art school in London around 1972, Robyn Hitchcock was a member of the college band the Beetles. He later moved to Cambridge, did some busking and joined a series of local bands: B.B. Blackberry and the Swelterettes, the Worst Fears, and Maureen and the Meatpackers. He gave up that fabulousness to join his next band and stepping stone to stardom, Dennis and the Experts.
They expertly renamed themselves The Soft Boys, soon after Hitchcock’s arrival and made their bid for fame. One EP and two albums later in the late 70’s they disbanded. Hitchcock reached for the stars again and launched a prolific solo career. His musical and lyrical styles have been influenced by the likes of Bob Dylan, John Lennon, and Syd Barrett. Hitchcock’s lyrics tend to include surrealism, comedic elements, characterizations of English eccentrics, and melancholy depictions of everyday life.
Hitchcock released his solo debut, Black Snake Diamond Röle in 1981, which included instrumental backing by several former Soft Boys. In 1984, he formed a new band, The Egyptians, comprising former members of the Soft Boys, resulting in their 1985 debut Fegmania! These and other recordings may explain why he has been persistently branded as eccentric or quirky for much of his career.
Nevertheless, Robyn Hitchcock and The Egyptians popularity grew with the 1986 album Element of Light and were subsequently signed to A&M Records in the U.S. The album Globe of Frogs, released in 1988, further expanded their reach, as the single “Balloon Man” became a college radio and MTV hit, followed in 1989 by “Madonna of the Wasps” from their Queen Elvis album. In 1989 they also teamed up with Peter Buck of R.E.M. and Peter Holsapple of The dB’s, playing two gigs as Nigel and the Crosses performing mostly covers.
Blending folk and psychedelia with a wry British nihilism, Robyn describes his songs as ‘paintings you can listen to.’ His most recent album, The Man Upstairs, is a bittersweet love letter to a vanishing world. Produced by legendary folk-rock svengali Joe Boyd (Pink Floyd, Nick Drake) the album was critically acclaimed by MOJO, UNCUT and THE QUIETUS.
His solo self-titled album is set for release April 21, 2017. Hear Robyn Hitchcock’s tune, “I Want To Tell You About What I Want,” on K-ZAP 93.3 FM and on K-ZAP.org at various times of day.
Black Snake Diamond Röle (1981)
Groovy Decay (1982)
I Often Dream of Trains (1984)
Fegmania! (1985) – with the Egyptians
Element of Light (1986) – with the Egyptians
Globe of Frogs (1988) – with the Egyptians
Queen Elvis (1989) – with the Egyptians
Perspex Island (1991) – with the Egyptians
Respect (1993) – with the Egyptians
Moss Elixir (1996)
Jewels for Sophia (1999)
Olé! Tarantula (2006) – with the Venus 3
Goodnight Oslo (2009) – with the Venus 3
Propellor Time (2010) – with the Venus 3
Tromsø, Kaptein (2011)
Love from London (2013)
The Man Upstairs (2014)
Robyn Hitchcock (2017)