Saturday, October 8, 2016

COVERING THEIR TRACKS: "Raymond Chandler Evening" - Robyn Hitchcock

There's a body on the railings
That I can't identify
And I'd like to reassure you but
I'm not that kind of guy

This is a moody tune evocative of walking down those mean streets. The lyrics are nicely metaphoric in the mid section which is also fitting for Marlowe's creator. "Raymond Chandler Evening" was originally recorded by Robyn Hitchcock and the Egyptians for their sixth album Element of Light back in 1985.  I was surprised to see that he's still performing all over the world as a solo act.  This is a favorite song of his and you'll find several uploaded videos of him performing it in places like upstate New York, Ashville, NC and even Valencia, Spain.  But I didn't like the visual or musical quality of any of them. So here's the music (a re-recorded version for a Hitchcock "Best of" box set) with no video, just a static picture of the I Wanna Go Backwards album cover. Imagine on your own a fog shrouded Los Angeles street, a lonely man smoking a cigarette while contemplating the autumn weather and his lost love.

It's a Raymond Chandler evening
And the pavements are all wet
And I'm lurking in the shadows
'Cause it hasn't happened yet


  1. I am amazed that you have tracked down so many songs related to mysteries. This one is especially nice.

    1. Assiduous searching at one of the better song lyric websites helped me find nearly all of these songs. 90% of them I'd never heard until I started this series. So far Philip Marlowe and Raymond Chandler are are in third place as the most alluded to figure and writer. Sherlock Holmes is first and Agatha Christie (her name, not her characters) is second. You wouldn't believe how many rap songs use "Agatha Christie" in the lyrics. Too many of them are nasty and misogynistic. I'm not planning on using any of them.

  2. Replies
    1. Yes -- Thompson Twins! But no specific characters or writers mentioned in that song. Sort of makes it low priority for this feature. But I won't cross it off the list; I really like the music and the group. That's my era for rock and pop. I listen almost exclusively to late 70s and 80s music. Sad case that I am living in the past...

    2. As in the Thompson Twins from Tintin? The reporter?

    3. Yes, that's where the name comes from. Typical 80s ironic humor from a British new wave band.