ARTIST: Robyn Hitchcock
TITLE: Black Snake Diamond Role
YEAR RELEASED: 1981
CHART ACTION: None
SINGLES: The Man Who Invented Himself
OTHER SONGS YOU MAY KNOW: Brenda’s Iron Sledge (well, it was on a live record)
LINEUP: Robyn Hitchcock, Morris Windsor, Matthew Seligman, Vince Ely, Kimberly Rew, Gary Barnacle
WHAT’S IT ALL ABOUT: Main Soft Boy’s first solo album after the demise of that lovably weird band creates a lovably weird album.
SOME WORDS, PHRASES AND CLAUSES ABOUT THIS RECORD: It’s almost useless to analyze Robyn Hitchcock’s lyrics. They’re just weirdly bizarre, bizarrely weird, and wonderful. Who else would ask “Do Policemen Sing?” or sing about Brenda and her iron sledge and then say, “Please don’t call me Reg / It’s not my name.”
The music on this record isn’t as manic and frantic as the Soft Boys. It sounds ALMOST like regular, normal new wavish rock. There’s some bite, like in “I Watch the Cars” that has a great wah-wah explosion from Rew.
Love of this record, like most Hitchcock, is based on your penchant of clever silliness. Hitchcock sings his silly songs like they’re just regular ol’ songs, which make them even better and more effective.
NOTES & MINUTIAE: All of the Soft Boys help out, and some of this group would evolve into the Egyptians, his backing band for a while.
IS THERE A DELUXE VERSION: Yes. Hitchcock always had lots of B-sides and released them when he reissued his records.
GRADE: A-: Calmly deranged lyrics, and great music.