It was veteran folk producer Joe Boyd’s idea that the idiosyncratic Mr Hitchcock record what he referred to as “a Judy Collins album” – a collection similar to the records the bright-eyed chanteuse made in the 60s, comprising well-known covers, under-the-radar discoveries and a couple of originals.
Robyn Hitchcock: The Man Upstairs
Folk-tinged remakes of personal favourites.
As such, The Man Upstairs is perhaps the only folk album ever to mine the back pages of Roxy Music and The Psychedelic Furs. Those two bands are represented, respectively, by To Turn You On and The Ghost In You, both stripped to their pastoral bones – they sound uncannily like Nick Drake gone glam, but it works.
Covers of Grant Lee Phillips and I Was A King aren’t quite so radical, but The Doors’ The Crystal Ship is pared down to a sinister lullaby, and there’s a similar fragility to originals Comme Tojours and Trouble In Your Mind.