Exposé Online banner

Robert Wyatt — Rock Bottom
(Thirsty Ear thi 57045.2, 1974/1998, CD)

by Mike McLatchey, Published 2014-11-18

Rock Bottom Cover art

McLatchey's Top Tier #30

Not all of my favorites will have the hipster cred this album does, it might even be one of the few albums Spin magazine and I would both give a 10/10 to. In fact I first heard of this piece from the back of one of the old Tower Records Pulse magazines in the 80s, which was a list of 10 great "art rock" albums. I then found a promo copy of it at the nearby used record store. Put it on and went "huh?" I was a big Mike Oldfield fan so I found a way in through "Little Red Robin Hood Hit the Road," but it took a while to appreciate it as a whole. By the 90s I was completely hooked on it. It really is, borrowing something in the description, "emotionally charged" and unlike even its follow up it's a very atmospheric, even cosmic, album with lots of layers. There are so many great moments on it. Ivor Cutler's contributions slay me every time, Oldfield's guitar parts as previously mentioned, Wyatt's awesome vocals whether coming straight at you or through brilliant studio trickery, the funny and brilliant lyrics (Wyatt was clever from Soft Machine forward), Hugh Hopper's and Richard Sinclair's basswork, the sense of humor even in the face of tragedy etc. Overall this is a one of a kind, even in Wyatt's own discography.


Filed under: Reissues, 1998 releases, 1974 recordings

Related artist(s): Hugh Hopper, Robert Wyatt, Mike Oldfield, Richard Sinclair

Latest news

2017-10-13
Moonjune to Distribute Tony Levin's Back Catalog – It has been announced that Moonjune will now handle distribution for Tony Levin's catalog of releases. These great albums will now be a bit easier to get hold of, so check out the site and see what you're missing. The veteran of King Crimson and Stick Men worked with a host of great players on these albums, and we've reviewed most of them over the course of the years. » Read more

2017-09-26
Bandcamp Shines Light on Niches We Like – Bandcamp has developed into one of the best places to discover new music, and even a lot of old music is showing up there. In addition, their staff has been producing periodic articles spotlighting some interesting stylistic areas. On 20 September, they published one called "The New Face of Prog Rock" which bears checking out. » Read more

2017-09-06
Holger Czukay RIP – Holger Czukay, a musical experimentalist without boundaries who has been involved with expanding the sound palette of rock music since the late 60s, has died at the age of 79. After studying with Karlheinz Stockhausen in the early 60s, he became fascinated with the possibilities of rock music, and was a co-founder of the pioneering group Can. He leaves behind an impressive body of work both as musician and producer. » Read more

2017-08-22
John Abercrombie RIP – Another of the greats of jazz guitar has left us. John Abercrombie plied his way through a beautiful series of albums on the ECM label as well as bringing his talent to bear on albums by many of jazz's greatest artists. From his early work in the group Dreams to Gateway and outstanding work with Billy Cobham, Jack DeJohnette, Kenny Wheeler, and many more to his own trios and quartets, he brought a unique instrumental voice to the world. » Read more

2017-07-27
Yestival Dates Beef up the Beat – Word reaches us that Dylan Howe (son of guitarist Steve Howe) will be joining Yes on their "Yestival" tour, drumming alongside longtime band member Alan White. » Read more


Previously in Exposé...

Azigza - From X to Y – This three-song CD is intended as a sort of preview of Azigza’s upcoming full-length release, which should be out sometime in 2003, hopefully before too late in the year. I first heard this San...  (2003) » Read more



Listen & discover



Print issues