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Solar Flares Burn for You

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Album Review

Coinciding almost concurrently with the issue of Cuckooland, an entirely new studio recording by composer, singer, and multi-instrumentalist Robert Wyatt on Hannibal, Solar Flares Burn For You is a welcome "other-dimension." This is not a repackaging of material that has been released countless times before. While certain tracks, such as the title and "I'm A Believer" have been released elsewhere, these versions have not; they come from projects where their inclusion here is not only warranted but necessary.

What is included here are both of Wyatt's BBC Top Gear Shows, one from 1972 with Francis Monkman, and another from 1974 on solo piano, the original soundtrack version of the title cut, and the film it was composed for, two new tracks with Hugh Hopper, and a brand new demo. What is remarkable is how the 1974 BBC session, which includes "Soup Song," "Alifib," "Sea Song," and "I'm A Believer" feel next to the postmodern loop works with Hopper, and "Verb," a new song. The material with Monkman contrasts markedly with the same selections recorded for Rock Bottom, and the soundtrack version of "Solar Flares" is a remarkable bit of composition. When one watches the film, it's amazing to see how closely the film was edited for the composition, and not the other way around. The package was compiled in close association with Wyatt, contains complete notes by Aymeric Leroy, and interviews with Hopper, Monkman, and Arthur Johns, the director of Solar Flares Burn For You. And as if this wasn't enough, Wyatt contributed writings and artwork to boot! The bottom line is that not only is this a compelling and delightful listen, but it is an essential item for any Wyatt fan to have in her collection.


Born: January 28, 1945 in Bristol, England

Genre: Rock

Years Active: '60s, '70s, '80s, '90s, '00s, '10s

An enduring figure who came to prominence in the early days of the English art rock scene, Robert Wyatt has produced a significant body of work, both as the original drummer for art rockers Soft Machine and as a radical political singer/songwriter. Born in Bristol, England, Wyatt came to Soft Machine during the exciting, slightly post-psychedelic Canterbury Scene of the mid-'60s that produced bands like Gong and Pink Floyd. Unlike many of the art rock bands that would come later (Jethro Tull, Yes,...
Full Bio
Solar Flares Burn for You, Robert Wyatt
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  • $9.99
  • Genres: Rock, Music
  • Released: Sep 16, 2003

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