Melody Maker - 7/8/95, p.34
"...thoroughly Home Counties, Syd Barrett-inspired songs sporting reptile heads and porcupine quills...deserves a shrine within the tiny pantheon of excellent post-Sixties acid rock..."
The reissue of BLACK SNAKE DIAMOND ROLE includes five songs not included on the original LP release.
Personnel: Robyn Hitchcock (vocals, piano, bass, guitar); James A. Smith (vocals); Kimberly Rew, Knox (guitar); Gary Barnacle (saxophone); Thomas Dolby (keyboards); Matthew Seligman (bass); Morris Windsor (drums, background vocals); Vince Ely (drums); Robb Appleton, Howie Gilbert (background vocals).
Producers: Pat Collier, Matthew Seligman, Robyn Hitchcock.
Reissue producer: Jim Neill.
Engineers: Pat Collier, Andy Llewellyn, Jo Julian.
Originally released in the U.K. on Armageddon (4). Includes liner notes by Grant Alden.
Personnel: Robyn Hitchcock (guitar, harmonica, piano); James A. Smith (vocals, hand claps); Kimberley Rew, Knox (guitar); Thomas Dolby (keyboards); Morris Windsor (drums, background vocals); Vince Ely (drums); Howie Gilbert (background vocals).
Recording information: Alaska, London, England (1980-1981); Music Works, London, England (1980-1981); The Barge, London, England (1980-1981).
Photographer: Rosalind Kunath.
This is Robyn Hitchcock's first solo album, though it has strong sonic links with efforts by his previous group The Soft Boys, who had disbanded just prior to this recording. The Soft Boys' artistically triumphant UNDERWATER MOONLIGHT bore no commercial rewards (they were unable to even find a US label to pick it up) and the band split. All of the band members play on this album, though the overall sound is noticeably not that of The Soft Boys. There's a bit less raucous tumble in the arrangements and production. That said, this is a solid album full of numbers which have become Hitchcock classics, including "The Man Who Invented Himself," "Brenda's Iron Sledge," and "I Watch The Cars."