Everyone I knew in the mid 80s…..and I mean everyone……adored Rattlesnakes, the debut LP from Lloyd Cole & The Commotions. It’s a record packed with great tunes that you can latch on to immediately while lyrically its as fine an album as any. Poetry and prose set to music….
However, not so many folk seem so fond of the follow-up Easy Pieces, released in 1985 just 13 months after the debut. While Rattlesnakes was commemorated with a 20th Anniversary Tour in 2004 (where the band played a blistering set at Glasgow Barrowlands only spoiled by the fact that a then unknown but cringingly appalling James Blunt was the support act), Easy Pieces is passed off with the words ‘its ok….but nowhere near as good as the debut’ – even by the band themselves.
I’m not going to sit here and argue that Easy Pieces is a better record than Rattlesnakes…..but I am prepared to say that it as a far far far better record than many give it credit for.
Lead-off single Brand New Friend is a near perfect piece of pop, brilliantly polished by the production skills of Langer and Winstanley. Trust me on this one….
mp3 : Lloyd Cole & The Commotions – Brand New Friend
Lost Weekend, with its clear-rip of The Passenger (as mentioned previously here) was the next 45 while the third single lifted from the LP was Cut Me Down. I many ways this was a strange choice as it isn’t the most commercial of songs but I suppose when six months have passed since the LP was released and the promotional tour is over then the third and final single isn’t really all that important in the grand scheme of things. I still think they missed a trick not issuing this as a 45:-
mp3 : Lloyd Cole & The Commotions – Why I Love Country Music
Two other songs on the LP are also personal favourites – opening track Rich which is one that seems tailor-made for radio and is very reminiscent of REM and closer Perfect Blue with its wonderful harmonica and acoustic guitar opening that screams out Americana Road Movie……….
mp3 : Lloyd Cole & The Commotions – Rich
mp3 : Lloyd Cole & The Commotions – Perfect Blue
So there you have it. Four of the ten songs from the LP. Everyone a gem. And the other six aren’t too shabby either……