Robyn Hitchcock PhotoBORN: March 3, 1953, London, England

Robyn Hitchcock is one of England's most enduring contemporary singer-songwriters and live performers, although he's been branded with the tags eccentric and quirky during the course of his long career. Hitchcock started his recording career with the Soft Boys, a punk-era band specializing in melodic pop merged with comedic lyrics. His voice veers between John Lennon and Syd Barrett, helping to nurture his madman reputation, but his true influences lie more in English folk-rock; his guitar and vocal style and lyrical inanities recall Incredible String Band or Roy Harper. Hitchcock's solo debut, 1981's Black Snake Diamond Role, helped consolidate his reputation as an oddball, and was followed by the psychedelia of Groovy Decay in 1982 and the all-acoustic I Often Dream of Trains in 1984. By 1985, his penchant for zaniness and songsmithing coalesced with Fegmania. Three years later, Hitchcock landed his first major U.S. label contract with A&M Records and released Globe of Frogs in 1988 and Queen Elvis in 1989. He sustained and probably even grew his career; however, by this time, critical approval had fallen off for his work. It wasn't until the 1996 release of Moss Elixir that Hitchcock returned to form and fully embraced his folk roots. Storefront Hitchcock, the soundtrack to the Jonathan Demme-directed concert film, followed in 1998.

Upon release from his contract with Warner Brothers, Hitchcock self-released A Star for Bram (Editions PAF!, 2000), a collection of outtakes and leftover recordings from the Jewels for Sophia sessions. ~ Denise Sullivan, All Music Guide