Listen to this song by wingnut genius singer-songwriter and psych-pop revivalist Robyn Hitchcock with his late 80s-early 90s band The Egyptians: “So You Think You’re in Love” from his 1991 album Perspex Island.
This song and the record off of which it comes was Hitchcock’s shot at ‘breaking America’, something of a cliche perhaps among English pop musicians. At the end of the 80s, Hitchcock found a friend in REM, who were also interested in the jangly-60s Byrdsian approach to pop songwriting. But, where REM had established an audience in the mainstream by then, Hitchcock was still trolling the waters of cult and college radio hipness. Yet, the two bands toured together at the height of REM’s success, exposing the Egyptians to a crowd who might never have otherwise heard them.
In some ways, Hitchcock never really stood a chance at being the biggest band in the world. Although this song is totally accessible and in a classic Beatles-Byrds pop vein, Hitchcock’s lyrical interests are still way off of the beaten track and into the trees. This is what I love about him, of course. Well, that and he still knows enough to write good tunes as well. But, a mainstream audience would never be ready for a guy who likes to write about food and insects, in addition to being able to write cool love songs like this one.
For more information about Robyn Hitchcock, check out his site.