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Robert Wyatt – Heaps Of Sheeps (90s – 83)

May 29, 2013

I’ve got no nostalgic story regarding this song, as I came to this really late. Robert Wyatt’s Shleep album (from 1997) was one of the hundreds I borrowed form Brisbane Library after moving to the city in 2004. I was already familiar with Wyatt, with an 80s Rough Trade compilation of miscellany in the 2UNE library, and having bought 2003’s Cuckooland album after it a) was hailed almost everywhere in the music press, and b) I discovered it was created in collaboration with Karen Mantler. Around the same time Brisbane library brought forth Wyatt’s almost mystical Rock Bottom album, an album I first heard off in my late teen years when it appeared on a list of Mike Oldfield’s extended discography.

I didn’t need to be told who collaborated on Heaps of Sheeps: the sound of Brian Eno’s synth bass has remained unchanged since the 70s, while he proves again his strength in backing vocals. And Wyatt’s lyrics are as playful as they are disturbing – those stubborn mental sheep gnawing at his soul.

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