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Ole Tarantula

Robyn HitchcockAudio CD
4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (18 customer reviews)

Price: $12.99 & FREE Shipping on orders over $35. Details
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Amazon Price New from Used from
MP3 Music, 10 Songs, 2006 $8.99  
Audio CD, 2006 $12.99  
Vinyl, 2006 --  

Listen to Samples and Buy MP3s

Songs from this album are available to purchase as MP3s. Click on "Buy MP3" or view the MP3 Album.

Song Title Time Price
listen  1. Adventure Rocketship 2:50$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  2. Underground Sun 3:57$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  3. Museum Of Sex 4:00$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  4. Belltown Ramble 6:15$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  5. Ole! Tarantula 3:51$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  6. (A Man's Gotta Know His Limitations) Briggs 5:34$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  7. Red Locust Frenzy 3:00$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  8. 'Cause It's Love (Saint Parallelogram) 3:23$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  9. The Authority Box 4:13$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen10. N.Y. Doll 3:45$0.99  Buy MP3 

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I'm Falling


"The title refers to two long nights spent in Oslo in 1982 by Morris Windsor and myself with some friends," Robyn Hitchcock says of Goodnight Oslo, his new Yep Roc release with his ace combo the Venus 3. "The album, in part, celebrates the ghosts of the smoke age, and the various ways they were wrecked but still sailed on. That's the way it is with humans. You could call it ... Read more in Amazon's Robyn Hitchcock Store

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Frequently Bought Together

Ole Tarantula + Love From London + Propellor Time
Price for all three: $43.97

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  • Love From London $13.99
  • Propellor Time $16.99

Product Details

  • Audio CD (October 3, 2006)
  • Original Release Date: 2006
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Yep Roc Records
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (18 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #193,564 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Editorial Reviews

Product Description

Robyn Hitchcock sought out some old friends to record his new album, Ole! Tarantula, and he found the Venus 3: Peter Buck, Scott McCaughey and Bill Rieflin. By enlisting "3/4s of the Minus 5 and half of R.E.M," Hitchcock has created what he calls, "the rockingest record I've made in years." While the album roars with the garage-fueled energy of his Soft Boys days, Hitchcock's lyricism continues to drive his songs. The New York Times says, "[His songs] bridge the psychedelia of Pink Floyd's Syd Barrett and the archetypal English 'nonsense' of Edward Lear," and Rolling Stone says, "Robyn Hitchcock's songs are a lot like the genetic code: they're tough to crack, but the secret of life is in there somewhere." Robyn Hitchcock and the Venus 3 will be touring in the fall of 2006. Digipak.

In 30 years of recording with the Soft Boys and solo-wise, Robyn Hitchcock's enduring brand of madcap mayhem has raced between English punk, acoustic folk and sonically lush pop. But by teaming with Seattle pals Pete Buck (REM) and Scott McCaughey (The Minus 5), Hitchcock has made a return to garage rock not heard since 1989's Queen Elvis. More than capable musicians, Buck and McCaughey are long-time fans of the legendary British songwriter—-whose droll lyrics and quirky melodies recall the late Syd Barrett—and they grasp the assignment with aplomb. Buck's indelible guitar instills a chiming luster to songs like "Underground Sun" and "Red Locust Frenzy," while McCaughey provides a random, finger-snapping piano to the delightful "Belltown Ramble," which finds Hitchcock serving as the clever hobnobbing tour guide of his favorite Emerald City neighborhood. As usual, a sharp cockney twang is Hitchcock's best instrument, carving up the scatty title song as aptly as his ode to San Francisco "(A Man's Gotta Know His Limitations) Briggs" or his salute to "NY Doll," late bassist Arthur Kane. --Scott Holter

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
10 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Energetic pop/rock return November 14, 2006
By Chris-E
Format:Audio CD
After several fine folky acoustic outings, Robyn Hitchcock comes rarin' back with a collection of catchy, electric-guitar based pop/rock. If you're a fan of his work with the Soft Boys and Egyptians, you should check this out. Lyrically and melodically, the songs are as good as those he's ever written, with their blend of fun nonsense and existential melancholy. The band arrangements are whipsmart and hooky. Another stength is the album's sequencing, which flows nicely from start to finish, with nary a clunker or drag.

My only complaint is that the label Yep Roc's packaging is skimpy--no booklet with photos or lyrics, just the 2-panel digipak. For that reason, those who favor downloads might as well buy it from i-Tunes. Myself, as a CD collector, still opt for the physical artifact, but if you download this rather than buy the CD, you're not missing much. (Contrast, for instance, Yep Roc's packaging with Rhino's Robyn Hitchcock reissues in the 90's, which boasted lavish booklets filled with text and photos.)
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8 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Definitely in the Top 10 Best releases of 2006 December 21, 2006
Format:Audio CD
Hitchcock has been playing much of the material on this album live for a few years now. Reviewers seem to compare it to some of his older releases, but it seems to me many of the songs are in the same batch of songs written for what ultimately became the Soft Boys' "Nextdoorland".

He's always been a Beatles fan as well as a fan of the jingle jangle sound of the Byrds. These influences blend nicely On Olé!. The album has a great mix of acoustic driven songs complemented by some great twin guitar jammy songs.

Peter Buck of REM fame has showed up to play bass and 12 string time and again on Robyn's records in the last 20 years or so. On Olé!, he doesn't just make a cameo, but is part of the band. It's really quite a thrill to see musicians of this caliber playing small clubs. It's proof that they're not doing it for the money (at least not in Buck's case); their chemistry in the studio and on stage prove that they're in it for the love of the music.

I can't think of another musician who better embodies the Jungian axiom that the artist serves as a vessel of creativity and represents society's collective consciousness. Hitchcock releases his dream imagery for the rest of us to interpret.

As with anyone's dreams, the dreamer often doesn't know the meaning of a dream until weeks, months, or years later. I'm sure in Hitchcock's case, he is just as puzzled about meaning of his art as are his fans.

So listen carefully to the dreams Hitchcock is sharing with us. As with our own dreams, sometimes the seemingly nonsensical fragments reveal themselves and become powerful symbols in our daily lives, and other times, well, they remain dream fragments, but are no less powerful.
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9 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant October 31, 2006
Format:Audio CD|Verified Purchase
Another masterpiece of warped genius from the mind of Robyn Hitchcock, the most original singer/songwriter of our time. Ole! Tarantula is a wonderful throwback to Hitchcock's years as the lead singer of Robyn Hitchcock and the Egyptians. Here he is joined by R.E.M.'s Peter Buck and R.E.M. session musicians Scott McCaughey and Bill Rieflin, and the result of their union is nothing short of mesmerizing. Ole! Tarantula features Hitchcock's trademark wacky (and often hilarious) lyrics with a hard rock sound different from his recent solo efforts. Although the entire album is consistent in quality, the standout tracks here are "Museum of Sex", the title track "Ole! Tarantula", "(A Man's Gotta Know His Limitations) Briggs", "The Authority Box", and "N.Y. Doll". Highly recommended to fans of Robyn, old and new.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Here Is Another Robyn Hitchcock Record March 24, 2007
Format:Audio CD|Verified Purchase
Three songs on "Ole! Tarantula" achieve near-greatness: the goofy/creepy title song, "(A Man's Gotta Know His Limitations) Briggs," and "N.Y. Doll." None of the other tracks really moved me--as another reviewer noted, they're standard-issue Robyn Hitchcock surealism. ("Museum Of Sex" is especially disappointing, given the vast Hitchcockian potential implicit in the title--unfortunately, the song's just one more throwaway ramble about tomatoes and metaphysics.)

As a longtime fan (I first saw Robyn perform when I was in college in 1985) I think it's great that Robyn has steadily recorded and released new material for all this time. It's just a bit frustrating to consider his output since about 1990--the intermittent moments of brilliance on his records of the last fifteen years indicate that he's capable of creating another "Underwater Moonlight" if he'd just not settle for putting out product and focus a little harder on the songwriting.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars So-so Robyn October 26, 2007
Format:Audio CD
Has its moments, but not up to snuff with earlier works. For anyone not overly familiar with RH; just get his greatest hits album. This is a superb sample of his work and has 10-12 shining nuggets that won't leave your head. As for this release the first half is quite strong; Underground Sun is my favorite. However, I am hard pressed to recommend anything after song 6.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars You want to know what is... And also what is not May 14, 2012
Format:Audio CD|Verified Purchase
Although I own all three records by Robyn Hitchcock & The Venus 3 (Goodnight Oslo being my introduction to them) Ole Taratula has become the album I revisit more often than the other two.

This is probably because of two songs: Briggs (track #7) and Belltown Ramble (track #4). Needless to say they're my two favourites, although the title track, #5 has grown on me as of late. This means that I consider the interval between songs #4 and #6 the core of this album.

Belltown Ramble is the longest track at 5 and a half minutes. It's probably the most elaborate of the songs, lyrically speaking. Although it is named after a major, gentrified neighbourhood in Seattle, the lyrics are populated by very disparate characters such as an Uzbek warlord, a certain Tamerlane -and even a reference to R.E.M. By now Robyn Hitchcock is no stranger to Seattle, having often collaborated with musicians Peter Buck, Scott McCaughey and Bill Rieflin.

Belltown also features a series of funny characters named after numbers, this is a technique Hitchcock also employed in the lyrics to Goodnight Oslo's "Hurry for the Sky". For example, in the latter song, "number two said to number 1", while in Belltown Ramble "number 7 (is) reclining in his chair with headphones on".

Ole Tarantula is the most "countrified" song on the album while Briggs (A man's got to know his limitations) is a very nice song with highly addictive lyrics. I challenge you to listen to Briggs without repeating it's catchy chorus "Driving in your car in San Francisco".

Tarantula is a nice set of pop songs and a great first instalment in the trilogy of RH + The Venus 3.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
1.0 out of 5 stars NOT GOOD
Dud Album. The sound was tinny and whiny. I tried to like this artist. Some compared him to Lennon......DREAM ON.

Gave my copy to Goodwill. Just aint my scene. I tried.
Published on March 27, 2010 by Dano Maxwell
5.0 out of 5 stars A Classic!
This is a classic!.... every single track on this album is a great song... OLE Tarantula is a great catchy track.... you can't listen to NY Doll without welling up.... Read more
Published on December 23, 2007 by M. Muhsin
5.0 out of 5 stars Happy music
Even at his darkest moments there is something about Hitchcock's music that puts a spring in your step. A great album from a truely great performer.
Published on October 4, 2007 by Hannie
5.0 out of 5 stars Best Hitchcock in Years
This is by far the strongest overall album Robyn has done since the Egyptians, and compares pretty favorably with anything he's done, ever. Read more
Published on February 22, 2007 by Kevin Kissell
4.0 out of 5 stars Great record
Not much more to elaborate on here as the positive reviews below have said it nicely. The record is playful, yet serious, deep and light at the same time. Read more
Published on February 15, 2007 by D. Capshaw
2.0 out of 5 stars Surprisingly Weak Offering
I received this cd not having heard Hitchcock's latest recordings in some ten years. It's fair to say I was looking forward to catching up with the old master, but sadly I found... Read more
Published on January 24, 2007 by tick tock
5.0 out of 5 stars Nice Surprise!
My husband heard this song on the radio and told me how much he liked it. I didn't want to have to go to the crowded stores since it was a Christmas gift. Read more
Published on January 16, 2007 by Penny R. Schumm
4.0 out of 5 stars Robyn Hitchcock's most obscene album yet
Robyn repeats the F-word several times during the song The Authority Box. If this is the type of thing that you enjoy, then you might enjoy this album. Read more
Published on January 9, 2007 by e_j_buster
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