Saturday, March 7, 2009

I Often Dream Of Trains

Of the twenty or so albums that Robyn Hitchcock has released in his career, I Often Dream Of Trains is probably the one I listen to the most. It's probably just below Underwater Moonlight in my Hitchcock pantheon, but I think those are the two masterpieces of his career.

I've already blogged about I Often Dream Of Trains, both the album and the concert, so I'll just link to those entries instead of rehashing them. I bought the album the same day that I bought Underwater Moonlight and Black Snake, but unlike those albums, it took me a few listens before I got it. Listening to it in chronological sequence after Groovy Decay, it sounds like an equal and opposite reaction to that album.

The CD reissues of this album are kind of confusing, and most of the bonus tracks just get in the way, especially on the Rhino version that puts them in the middle of the album. When Robyn performed IODOT, he put some of the bonus songs in their proper context (substituting "I Used To Say I Love You" and "My Favorite Buildings" for "Pretty Girl" and "Furry Green Atom Bowl"). The entire album has a narrative theme, much like Village Green Preservation Society, and could almost be made into a story. The idea might sound dodgy now, but I'm sure it sounds great when you're dead.

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