SEE CD 278 Hype
Produced by Robert Calvert
Released on 1982
no chart information
Find it at GEMM
SEE CD 278 cover
[high resolution scan]
 

T o stumble upon a spacelog of such ostensible little consequence, preserved in pristine condition on See For Miles’ CD reissue, reminds me that we live among gentle caretakers, you and I. How many of Hawkwind’s faithful had the fare for Calvert’s supplemental expeditions and, of these, how many were really hip to Hype? Yet it’s one of those miniature treasures that filled the cracks where art/prog and new wave first met, the sort of work that the word “quirky” was meant for. If one hears in the long history of Hawkwind the name “Eno” whispered from time to time, it’s never been so audible as here. Calvert’s offhand intellectualism, sense of humor and muted delight in rock upended rarely stray from Eno as a reference point; Eno at his least serious, that is, by which I mean “Backwater,” “Dead Finks Don’t Talk, “Paw-Paw Negro Blowtorch” and their ilk. Calvert’s vocals are rather Ferry cum Eno, his lyrics a cross between Eno and Ric Ocasek, the music generally less ambitious than Japan, Kraftwerk, Sparks and Ultravox but suggestive of them all the same. Nary a sight of Hawkwind in Hype’s landscape, however, save for the participation of Nick Turner, Mike Moorcock and Simon House. The closing “Lord of the Hornets” (released as a single in 1981) has a hint of Hawkwind’s menace, but relatively speaking Hype is harmless. Having invoked the image of Eno’s comedic concoctions, I’d be remiss if I didn’t add that Calvert falls short of those high standards. Nothing on Hype is as clever as Eno’s drollest entries from the early days, if only because Calvert isn’t interested here with pushing musical envelopes. You won’t find the islands of lucid guitar from a Fripp or Phil Manzanera; the most you can hope for is some edgy accompaniment from Simon House or a silly solo from Trev Thoms. Yet in its humble way, Hype is charming. If your tastes lean toward the literate, slightly low-fi new wave of the ‘80s, and the idea of rhyming “Fellini” with “bikini” sounds clever to you, you may be ripe for Hype. Note: I've read where this is a concept album based on the music business (which would explain the invention of the fictitious Tom Mahler, who was credited with these songs on the original elpee cover). Given Calvert's predisposition for concept albums, it's a likely scenario, though not the sort of thing you'll immediately notice.

TRACK LISTING

  1. OVER MY HEAD
  2. AMBITIOUS
  3. IT'S THE SAME
  4. HANGING OUT ON THE SEAFRONT
  5. SENSITIVE
  6. EVIL ROCK
  7. WE LIKE TO BE FRIGHTENED
  8. TEEN BALLAD OF DEANO
  9. FLIGHT 105
  10. THE LUMINOUS GREEN GLOW OF THE DIALS OF THE DASHBOARD (AT NIGHT)
  11. GREENFLY AND THE ROSE
  12. LORD OF THE HORNETS

    All songs written by Robert Calvert. Arranged by Robert Calvert/Simn House/George Csapo.

CREDITS

ROBERT CALVERT -- lead vocals, some guitar and synth, percussion
GEORGE CSAPO -- keyboards, violin, backing vocals
PETE DOWLING -- drums, syn-drums, percussion
SIMON HOUSE -- keyboards, violin, backing vocals
NICK MICHAELS -- rhythm guitar
TREV THOMS -- lead guitar
Jaqui -- 'Hold Me Tight' voice
Mike Moorcock -- twelve-string guitar, backing vocals
Pete Pavli -- cello
Nick Turner -- sax, backing vocals
The Raven Design Group -- design (1989 reissue)
Alan Clayson -- liner notes

REGION RELEASE DATE LABEL MEDIA ID NUMBER FEATURES
FRA 1982 A Side Records LP IF 0311  
FRA December 1989 See For Miles LP/CD SEE/SEE CD 278 inner sleeve
NET 2003 Voiceprint CD VP261CD  
US 2004 United States of Distribution CD 422  

 

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