This reissue of I OFTEN DREAM OF TRAINS includes five songs that weren't on the original album but were added as bonus tracks to the first CD release in 1986, as well as five previously-unreleased demos.
Personnel: Robyn Hitchcock (vocals, various instruments); James Fletcher (saxophone); Chris Cox (bass, background vocals); James A. Smith (background vocals).
Producer: Robyn Hitchcock.
Reissue producer: Jim Neill.
Engineers include: Pat Collier, Iain O'Higgins, Pascal Gabriel.
Recorded at Alaska Studios and Smithsound, London, England; Simon Kunath's Barn, Sussex, England between 1981 and 1984. Originally released in the U.K. on Midnight Music (00.05). Includes liner notes by Grant Alden.
Personnel: James Fletcher (saxophone).
Recording information: London, England (1984).
Robyn Hitchcock retreated from the music world for a couple years after recording GROOVY DECAY (later issued in altered form as GROOVY DECOY, and finally as GRAVY DECO, which culled together all of the tracks). When he reemerged in 1984 it was clear that he had found a personal voice he'd only hinted at previously. Throughout the record, the spotlight shines brightly on Hitchcock's unique songwriting and performance style.
There is a gorgeous immediacy to the entire work. From the opening piano instrumental, "Nocturne," Hitchcock is gently and gracefully orchestrating the mood of the proceedings. The album closes with a reprise of the same piece, bookending the record, like secret doors into a world suffused with both romanticism and weariness. I OFTEN DREAM OF TRAINS was Hitchcock's first monumental peak and is an essential title in his large catalog of fine works.