ARTIST: Julian Cope
YEAR RELEASED: 1984
CHART ACTION: #87
SINGLES: Sunspots (#76 UK)
OTHER SONGS YOU MAY KNOW: Not over here.
LINEUP: Julian Cope, Steve Lovell, Donald Ross Skinner, Chris Whitten, Kate St. John
WHAT’S IT ALL ABOUT: Second solo album from former Teardrop Explodes front-man veers into the personal and causes some to wonder about his sanity.
SOME WORDS, PHRASES AND CLAUSES ABOUT THIS RECORD: I say questioning his sanity because people saw the album was called Fried, knew Cope loved to take LSD, and posed naked with just a turtle shell – people thought he was losing it.
Well, he may have not been the most stable of musicians, but Fried is a decent follow-up to his debut. Instead of gunning for the charts, he makes a more personal statement. He pares down the arrangements on several songs, using just himself and St. John (whose double-reed woodwind expertise added a great flavor to the songs).
Sometimes, though, it’s a bit self-indulgent. The lyrics also make you wonder if he’s telling the truth or bending it to fit a narrative. Either way, it’s a good record for those familiar with Cope or Teardrop Explodes; not the one to start on though. “Sunspots” is a great single, though.
NOTES & MINUTIAE: He wrote “Bill Drummond Says” about his former manager, who he fired. Drummond responded with a song 10 years or so later called “Julian Cope is Dead”.
IS THERE A DELUXE VERSION: No.
GRADE: B: This grade is for the self-indulgence, but it’s a solid album if you like Cope.