HATFIELD AND THE NORTH — The Rotters' Club

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HATFIELD AND THE NORTH - The Rotters' Club cover
4.36 | 23 ratings | 2 reviews
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Album · 1975

Tracklist

A1 Share It 3:02
A2 Lounging There Trying 3:10
A3 (Big) John Wayne Socks Psychology On The Jaw 0:46
A4 Chaos At The Greasy Spoon 0:30
A5 The Yes No Interlude 7:02
A6 Fitter Stoke Has A Bath 7:38
A7 Didn`t Matter Anyway 3:03
B1 Underdub 3:55
Mumps
B2a A. Your Majesty Is Like A Cream Donut (Quiet) 1:59
B2b B. Lumps 12:35
B2c C. Prenut 3:55
B2d D. Your Majesty Is Like A Cream Donut (Loud) 1:37

Line-up/Musicians

Bass, Vocals – Richard Sinclair
Clarinet, Guest – Tim Hodgkinson
Drums, Percussion – Pip Pyle
Flute, Tenor Saxophone, Soprano Saxophone, Guest – Jimmy Hastings
French Horn, Guest – Mont Campbell
Guitar – Phil Miller, Richard Sinclair (tracks: A7)
Oboe, Bassoon, Guest – Lindsay Cooper
Organ, Electric Piano, Electronics [Tone Generator] – Dave Stewart
Performer, Guest [Northettes] – Amanda Parsons, Ann Rosenthal, Barbara Gaskin

About this release

Virgin ‎– V 2030 (UK)

Recorded and mixed on Saturn, Worthing Recording Studio, January and February, 1975

Thanks to snobb for the updates

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HATFIELD AND THE NORTH THE ROTTERS' CLUB reviews

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Members reviews

Warthur
The second Hatfield and the North album is, along with the first, a true cornerstone of the Canterbury sound, an essential album which should be up towards the top of any shopping list for people beginning to explore the genre. With sounds ranging from furious Soft Machine fusion (The Yes No Interlude) to gentle and good-humoured Caravan whimsy (Fitter Stoke Has a Bath), the band infuse everything with their distinctive musical personalities. It's often said that Mumps, the side-long epic that closes the disc, is Hatfield's best track, and I'm inclined to agree; it's a brilliant song showing every participant at their peak. (In particular, it is far and away the Northettes' best performance as backing singers.) But trying to pick the best Hatfield and the North album is trying to pick your best finger; you might have a favourite, but you wouldn't want to go without any of them.
Sean Trane
Hatfield's second album's title prompted longtime fan and writer Jonathan Coe to name his best-known book The Rotters Club in describing what was a youth's life in the mid-70's in Birmingham's working class neighbourhood. An excellent book and a recommended read, but not affecting a single bit this album's music or existence, if only giving it a bit more of light. With a weird 50's-like pin-up decorum on the front cover and a crazy semi-mythical drawing/picture of the said Rotters Club on the back, the same unchanged quartet apparently made this "better" second album for a fraction of the cost of their debut album. Outside the returning of The Northettes vocal trio, two more Henry Cow members guest here ( Lindsey Cooper and Tim Hodgkinson), while Mont "Egg " Campbell and Bother Jimmy (Hastings) replaced Leigh and Bloomdido, all four on wind instruments.. Opening on one of Hatfield most conventional song, Share It, Sinclair plays around telling us please not to take it seriously, a fast tempoed tune ending on rather modern Moog sounds, as if Emerson was toying with them, but it is definitely Stewart's playing. Next up is Miller's jazzy Louging There, trying is a superb guitar-lead piece that is almost uncommon to hear him take such a frontman's role? But Phil is on a roll and he almost becomes bigger than Fripp with the Yes/No Interlude over a fuzzed organ and odd wind instruments first than a Fender Rhodes next. Fitter is back in his bath (remember the non-album single) and Sinclair closes the A-side on the superb Didn't Matter Anyway.

The flipside opens on Miller's Underdub, but this piece is a Fender Rhodes-dominated piece where Stewart adapts to Miller's constant key changes and Brother Jimmy chimes in with a superb flute. The other track on the flipside is the Mumps suite. Mumps!! We're there!! We've gotten to Hatfield's crowning achievement, their magnum opus, their meisterwerk uber alles! Starting over just a very calm and subdued Rhodes and distant Northettes choirs, then abruptly falling into a pit filled with tricky time sigs, demented drum patterns, wild fuzzed-out organ and a fantastic bass, able to tackle lead and rhythm at once. Miller is there too, but in the background, waiting for quieter moments (usually when Stewart reverts to the Rhodes) to shine in his own manner. The Northettes then lead us to the more Caravan-)esque moment of the two Hatfield album, even if it's clear than I should say Caravan-plus in this case. Solid, intense, but wait until the end of Lumps when everyone but Pip goes contrapuntal and Richard plays with the alphabet. A tad later Brother Jimmy gives up sax bumps down our spine into a fade-out. The group takes up again on a stunning Rhodes line, before cooling it up directly with Jimmy's flute and a cool moody almost spooky (but beautiful) jazz-rock that will slowly bring back the organ and the Caravan-plus of the previous movement?.this time with sax. Grandiose. A fitting exit for a short-lasting band

The bonus tracks on the Virgin re-issue are again a tad different than the ones of the newer Esoteric reissue, the first three on Virgin being modified, but the last two tracks being themes from Matching Mole with their titles being anagrams of their previous version. Rooters Cluc is simply an excellent album, whether looking just over the Kent county or overseeing the full prog spectrum. Not flawless, but bettering it would prove an impossible task.

Ratings only

  • MoogHead
  • Atomas
  • Phrank
  • Fant0mas
  • St Tree Fun
  • Lynx33
  • chrijom
  • EntertheLemming
  • nebol
  • Ponker
  • yair0103
  • Dr Dopo
  • Rokukai
  • progshine
  • trinidadx13
  • GMs
  • darkprinceofjazz
  • Drummer
  • toitoi2
  • AtomicCrimsonRush
  • richby

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