Wednesday, January 19, 2005

Tin Tin, but not *that* Tin Tin

Everyone from England (maybe even everyone from Europe) will want to go somewhere else today, as I can't imagine that anything I write about Robbie Williams will interest you. Scat!

Luckily, he's almost completely unknown in the US. As is his current collaborator, Stephen Duffy, who was an original member of Duran Duran, put out a number of lovely folk rock albums as The Lilac Time, reunited with Duran Duraner Nick Rhodes to record as The Devils, and once recorded as Tin Tin, no relation to the Steve Kipner/Steve Groves group Tin Tin that I'm going to be featuring on Friday. Whew, long sentence.

Getting back to Robbie Williams...oh, lord, just google his name or something. It's kind of weird that pretty much nobody in the US has the slightest idea who he is. I took an informal poll at work this week which, granted, is on Wall Street. Nonetheless, it appears that Robbie Williams could walk in wearing a "Take That" t-shirt and not get the slightest reaction.

The strange part is that he's actually not bad. (I told you English people to go away, so don't even think about commenting!)

The song of his that kind of captured my attention might be about 75% of Murray Head's One Night In Bangkok and thoroughly atypical, but that's not a lethal criticism of the fabulous Rock DJ. This song is old and unfashionable, I think, but I have this feeling that not too many of my countrymen have heard it. Except for people who read mp3 blogs. Meaning, I guess, that this post is mainly intended for people who won't read it. Correct me if I'm wrong...I'm sometimes out of the loop when it comes to top-40 types.

As for Stephen Duffy, he's put out a number of lovely warm and fuzzy acoustic folk-rock albums. My favorite is probably the ever-so-slightly country tinged Looking For A Day In The Night, which came out in the US on the Spin Art label in 1999. From that, here's the most psychedelic track, A Day In The Night, and here's I Won't Die For You, which starts with an awfully familiar organ part. This is a great cold-weather CD and makes an excellent background to hot chocolate sipping and such. I actually hadn't listened to it in a few years, and was pleasantly surprised by how well it holds up when I was picking tracks to post.

Finally, from that aforementioned Devils album, here's a song about a group of people who called themselves the Barbarellas. What a dumb idea. Who'd ever pay any attention to a group that gets its name from that movie!

I can highly recommend The Lilac Time and The Devils, assuming you like the tracks I posted. The Robbie Williams track Rock DJ isn't really representative, so if you want to follow up on him, write to someone from England and ask them for advice. The slightly annoying but ultimately worthwhile website for The Devils is here.

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