Saturday, August 18, 2012

Lost Track # 5 - Gharbzadegi - Robert Wyatt

Who? Robert Wyatt
Where? Old Rottenhat (Rough Trade)
When? 1985
Why? Are we too old having idols? No, definitely not, especially not when one of them is the great RW, one of our most consisitng idols for over 40 years. The singing, the songmaking, the playing, the enviroment, in no specific order. So very much inspiring over the years, has always been, still is, will always be, as long as he and we lives.
Some of mid/late-eighties albums (Old Rottenhat, Dondestan, some EPs) are a bit over-looked today, in my personal opinion. It's just like "me 'n' my voice 'n' my simple keyboard 'n' some simple persussion, recorded or programmed". But, there's nothing simple about it, no matter it's not a full orchestra involved. It's the EXPRESSION, close to your heart and your mind, that matters
"Gharbzadegi" is the second last song of the album, and the longest, lasting for almost 8 minutes. Just Robert singing solo or in harmony with himself, and the keyboard and the percussion. Just that. And it's magic, it's big music, a very beauitiful hymn.
What does the title mean? Well, it's Persian and Robert's singing it: "Gharbzadegi means nothing to me Westernitis to you".
And regarding Robert, there are millions of reason coming back to him, be sure I will.


  1. Hi Oax,

    Yep... I agree that some of Robert's eighties albums are cruelly undervalued. But Robert Wyatt just goes on being Robert Wyatt, and for that we are all grateful!

    The version of "Gharbzadegi" here is indeed quite sparse, but it's a tune that's lent itself to more expansive arrangements over the years - I'm thinking of the eleven-or-so minute version on "Soup Songs Live", or a nine-minute version I heard at the Royal Festival Hall in 1999, or the one recorded by Robert and friends for the BBC in 2003, all featuring superb trombone work from Annie Whitehead.

    best wishes,
    Minty the PP

  2. Hi Minty!
    Yeah, the "Soup Songs Live" version is brilliant (and so are most of the tunes on that album), and Robert is Robert as you say, and that's why we love him so much, no matter from which of his musical periods we're listening to.