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

2018-11-16
The Seventeenth Dream of Dr Sardonicus Festival Tickets Now Available – Fruits de Mer Records and their merry crew of psychedelic explorers are getting set to present the next The Seventeenth Dream of Dr. Sardonicus Festival. The dates are set for August 2-4, 2019 at The Cellar Bar in Cardigan, Wales. They've also announced that the legendary Groundhogs will top the bill. » Read more

2018-11-02
Charles O'Meara (C.W. Vrtacek) RIP – A true musical original has left us. Charles O'Meara, who recorded under the name C.W. Vrtacek, was a wild-card musical talent, ranging from complex progressive rock to introspective modern compositions, with stops at many places inbetween. » Read more

2018-10-17
Eurock Documentary Seeks Funding – We've been fans and fellow travelers with Archie Patterson and his Eurock project on the journey to discover great music. After many years of promoting and trying to spread the word,a new phase is beginning: a documentary film. Things like this don't just happen, and money does not magically appear to make it happen, so it's up to the fans to get it done. » Read more

2018-09-29
Marty Balin RIP – One of the architects of the 60s psychedelic sound of San Francisco has died at the age of 76. Marty Balin was a singer, songwriter, and guitarist who was one of the founders of Jefferson Airplane. After the split of the original Airplane, Balin went on to form the highly successful Jefferson Starship. » Read more

2018-09-25
Help the Psychic Equalizer Avoid Extinction – Last year we reviewed the debut album by Psychic Equalizer, a musical project of Hugo Selles. He's now working on the ambitious follow-up to that release, and is seeking funding from listeners around the world. » Read more


Previously in Exposé...

Satoko Fujii Orchestra East - Before the Dawn – Reviewing this CD for a magazine like Exposé is a bit of a challenge. On the one hand, it could be described as modern big-band jazz, and is certainly being marketed (if the term marketing can...  (2004) » Read more



Listen & discover



Print issues