Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Robyn Hitchcock and the Egyptians Queen Elvis Covers

This was a treasure back in the day, and I distinctly remember getting on a bus and traveling across South Minneapolis so that I could pick this up, on cassette, along with the Replacements' Don't Tell a Soul. I would have preferred CD, but getting these two albums on cassette was worth it because, well, how could you take one and not the other?

Queen Elvis was released without the title track. Listeners would have to wait for Robyn to put that track out on his Eye album (and I got that one in the summer of 1990 in Winona, Minnesota before going there for school--ugh, the horrible, horrible memories just arrive in floods when I do these posts).

Each and every track is a distinct and thoroughly plotted piece of genius. There are no muff tracks. There are no throwaways. These songs were culled from dozens of songs that would end up as B-sides and whatnot and would resurface in later years. This was Robyn being prolific and specific, which means he was being his usual self.

I love the cover and the typography. The colors are wonderfully balanced together, and the design is stunning. This was the more commercially-oriented era for Robyn and his backing group. It didn't last and it didn't succeed in breaking him to a massive audience. His work--and this CD in particular--was brilliantly conceived and executed by the fey indifference of the masses is a guarantee you can make any day of the week.

There are things buried on this album that continually resurface in the works of others, and will continue to do so for centuries. The cosmic particles that pass through all of us are smashed into this thing, and we are all beings of timeless, vibrating energy.

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