Category: Julian Cope

Julian Cope – Saint Julian

ARTIST: Julian Cope        220px-juliancopesaintjulian

TITLE:  St. Julian

YEAR RELEASED: 1987

CHART ACTION: #105 US, #11 UK

SINGLES: World Shut Your Mouth (#84 US, #22 Mainstream, #19 UK), Trampolene (#31 UK), Eve’s Volcano (#41 UK)

OTHER SONGS YOU MAY KNOW: Planet Ride

LINEUP: Julian Cope, Donald Ross Skinner, James Wiler, Chris Whitten with Kate St. John and others

WHAT’S IT ALL ABOUT: After two ‘fried’ albums, as it were, Cope moves to a more commercial rock sound with some success both commercially and artistically.

SOME WORDS, PHRASES AND CLAUSES ABOUT THIS RECORD: With a new manager, and a brain free from LSD (at least he wasn’t taking it daily), Julian Cope turned away from his introspective psychedelic material and towards a more modern-rock sound.

The result wasn’t anything like the Teardrop Explodes or his first solo albums, for better or worse. Cope has a lyrical fixation with space (at least three cuts definitely link to outer space), and his melodies and some of his vocals still have a little of a freak-out bend to them. But in cuts like “Trampolene” and “World Shut Your Mouth”, he embraces rock.

That last cut made a big splash on MTV and on college radio, and made Cope somewhat of a rock star. The album as a whole wasn’t as deep or good as that cut (which shines to this day), and Cope was really more of a reluctant rocker than anything.

NOTES & MINUTIAE: He used a pseudonym (Double DeHarrison) for the keyboards he played on the record. He also played a unique nine-string guitar (a 12-string with single low E, A and D strings)

IS THERE A DELUXE VERSION: No, but in the UK “World Shuts Your Mouth” starts side two.

GRADE: B:  Some of the material sounds like Cope’s forcing himself to rock, but “World Shut Your Mouth” is absolutely an all-timer.

Julian Cope – Fried

ARTIST: Julian Cope
TITLE: Fried
YEAR RELEASED: 1984220px-Jcopefriedalbum
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.

Julian Cope – World Shut Your Mouth

ARTIST: Julian Cope Jcopeworldshutyourmouth
TITLE: World Shut Your Mouth
YEAR RELEASED: 1984
CHART ACTION: #40 UK
SINGLES: Sunshine Playroom (#64 UK), The Greatness and Perfection of Love (#52 UK)
OTHER SONGS YOU MAY KNOW: Only if you got the import or listened to 1984 college radio.
LINEUP: Julian Cope, Steve Lovell, Kate St. John, Gary Dwyer
WHAT’S IT ALL ABOUT: Ex-Teardrop Explodes singer and guitarist releases his solo debut in much the same mode as his former band, except a little odder lyrically. Ok, a lot odder. He did a lot of acid around this time.

SOME WORDS, PHRASES AND CLAUSES ABOUT THIS RECORD: On the surface, it seems like a ‘normal’ pop record – maybe a little eccentric – maybe a little psychedelic. Definitely tuneful.

The lyrics had something else to offer. Cope basically had a bit of a breakdown after Teardrop Explodes broke up (the story of their aborted sessions for their third album are, well, interesting) and became a bit eccentric and frankly a bit fried on acid. He was collecting classic toys during this period and the lyrics were also based a bit on childhood.

I missed this album when it came out – the US didn’t really get a full picture of Julian Cope until later. I know this definitely would have been played on college radio if someone could get a copy of it.
NOTES & MINUTIAE: Yes, Cope does have a song called “World Shut Your Mouth” – it’s probably his best known song in the US. It’s not on this album.

IS THERE A DELUXE VERSION: Yes, some bonus cuts are afoot.

GRADE: A-: I really like the tunefulness and playfulness of the music. This record epitomizes the reason I started this project – it’s an album I always heard about but never had a chance to grab – and now it’s easily available.