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

2020-03-24
Bill Rieflin RIP – The sad news reaches us today of Bill Rieflin's death. Rieflin was best known as a drummer in bands ranging from post-punk to industrial to indie-rock to progressive rock, including work with The Blackouts, Ministry, Nine Inch Nails, Swans, Land, and King Crimson. Rieflin had been battling cancer for several years, and succumbed to it on March 24. He was 59. » Read more

2020-03-17
Cruise to the Edge and Seaprog 2020 Festivals Postponed – The worldwide outbreak of the novel coronavirus has started to produce casualties in the music world, and festivals are not immune. We've had word that both the Cruise to the Edge (originally slated for March 27 - April 1) and Seaprog (originally June 5-7) have been postponed to later dates, with those dates to be announced. » Read more

2020-03-06
McCoy Typer RIP – Word reaches us today of the passing of one of the most influential pianists in the history of jazz, McCoy Tyner. His tenure with John Coltrane in the early 60s includes some of the most treasured recordings of the era, including My Favorite Things and A Love Supreme. After leaving Coltrane's group, he had a long and successful solo career. He was 81. » Read more

2020-02-18
Jon Christensen RIP – Word reaches us today of the passing of Norwegian drummer Jon Christensen, a musician whose sensitive playing did much to help define the atmospheric sound of ECM jazz recordings. His work with Jan Garbarek, Bobo Stenson, Terje Rypdal, and many more was sensitive and varied, adapting to a wide variety of styles while maintaining a distinct identity of its own. Christensen was 76. » Read more

2020-01-21
Gong Announces UK Tour for 2020 – Having spent the last few years touring the world, including dates in Japan with psych legend Steve Hillage, multiple headline European tours and festivals, America’s Cruise to the Edge festival, a South America headline tour, and a headline performance at Tomorrow Festival in China, the band have won the hearts of both traditional and modern Gong fanbases. During this live journey, Gong has delved further into the truly psychedelic, exploratory, and mind-expanding side of the music. » Read more


Previously in Exposé...

The Residents - WB:RMX & 12 Days of Brumalia – If you need a Christmas album to scare your family and friends, look no further. The 12 Days of Brumalia was released as a downloadable album on the Residents web site in December of 2004, and is now...  (2005) » Read more



Listen & discover



Print issues