Exposé Online banner

Hatfield and the North — The Rotters' Club
(Virgin V 2030, 1975, LP)

by Mike McLatchey, Published 2017-10-26

The Rotters' Club Cover art

Here's a title I don't really need to relisten to to remember, having played it countless times in the past to the point of having it stamped in the memory. Hatfield were one of music's virtually perfect groups, having two classics to their name and a lot of great live material that was at times even better. The Rotters' Club was their second, and while I prefer the first by a hair due to its wildness and the fact that there was really nothing like it when it first arrived, there's really no appreciable difference in quality between it and this followup except perhaps this one was a bit more accessible and streamlined. It's really highlighted by the presence of the side-long suite “Mumps,” an elaborate composition that almost perfected the marriage of complicated progressive themes and song-like material. The quartet of Richard Sinclair, Pip Pyle, Phil Miller, and Dave Stewart really managed to bring a ton of things to the table such as the quirky sense of humor both in the musical interplay and in the song titles, a real balance between complex, intricate themes and a true fluidity that brought an almost pop sensibility to some very difficult playing. The range of moods applies so much color to the album and gives it that sense of a life journey as a result, not to mention that despite this being such a high level of musicianship there's really no level of pretense at all — there's really nothing epic or symphonic or grandiose about this music at all, it manages to radiate a great deal of charm and humility while blazing through a lot of childlike weirdness. It goes without saying that it's an essential.


Filed under: New releases, 1975 releases

Related artist(s): Phil Miller, Dave Stewart, Hatfield and the North, Pip Pyle, Dirk (Mont) Campbell, Richard Sinclair

Latest news

2019-04-10
The Pineapple Thief to Tour North America – November and December of 2019 will see The Pineapple Thief bringing their music to Canada, Mexico, and the US, and famed drummer Gavin Harrison will be on board. The band has been touring extensively in Europe, but North America will be new territory for them. » Read more

2019-03-25
Scott Walker RIP – Noel Scott Engel, better known as Scott Walker, was one of the most intriguing and enigmatic musical figures in the second half of the 20th Century. His strange career started with The Walker Brothers, an American pop group that featured no one named Walker and no brothers. After moving to England in 1965, they had a series of hit singles. Scott's solo work started with Scott in 1967. Starting in the 80s, his work took an increasingly avant-garde turn. » Read more

2019-03-20
Freedom to Spend Unearths June Chikuma's Archives – Jun (June) Chikuma is well known for her video game and anime soundtracks, but she also released an album of experimental electronic music back in 1986 called Divertimento where she indulged the kind of spontaneity that wouldn't work in a soundtrack. RVNG Int'l label Freedom to Spend is bringing this overlooked item to broader attention with a deluxe reissue. » Read more

2019-03-03
Seaprog 2019 Lineup Almost Complete – The Seaprog festival in Seattle is scheduled for June 7-9 this year, and they've announced their lineup of performers. The revitalized Trettioåriga Kriget will cap Friday night, perennial favorites Marbin are on Saturday, and District 97 will finish off the fest on Sunday night. In support, they've booked a stellar variety of artists from the Northwest and around the world, including EchoTest, Markus Reuter and Trey Gunn, and the live debut of the amazing Troot project. » Read more

2019-02-21
You Can Be Part of an Ambient Electronic Project – The Gesture of History is a new electronic project put together by Sam Rosenthal of Black Tape for a Blue Girl, Steve Roach, and violist Sam Shadow. The music started as an instrumental track Rosenthal was working on for a Black Tape album, but took on a life of its own and demanded further enhancements. The majority of the funds raised will go to manufacturing costs for LP and CD editions, as well as other items as detailed on the Kickstarter page. » Read more


Previously in Exposé...

Tabula Rasa - Ekkedien Tanssi – Ekkedien Tanssi was the second album by this Finnish five-piece who created a type of mellow, melodic prog not unlike the music of Camel. Indeed, this album is comparable in both style and quality to...  (1994) » Read more



Listen & discover



Print issues