Julian Cope managed to rack up a quite incredible 16 Top 75 hits in the UK singles charts between 1983 and 1986. OK, only World Shut Your Mouth in 1986 made the Top 20, but the fact remains that just about every single he released in that period had some sort of impact sales wise, even if the majority of them only popped in on the placings for one or two weeks, sniffed around the #50 mark and then disappeared again to be quickly and quietly deleted by his record companies.
Such was the fate of today’s offering, an EP which was released in 1991, and got as high as #57.
mp3 : Julian Cope – Head
mp3 : Julian Cope – Straw Dogs
mp3 : Julian Cope – Anyway At All
mp3 : Julian Cope – Bagged Out Ken
At this point in his career, Julian went to great lengths to explain what each of his songs were about – almost I suppose to try and stop music journalists asking the same inane questions time after time after time. And while the descriptions within the sleevenotes for the EP dont come anywhere near the length or complexity of those that accopanied the LP Peggy Suicide, they are worth repeating here:-
Head : The first reverse double-entendre I’ve written, i.e. it alludes to being sexual but isn’t. The song concerns intuition and learning to trust that intuition.
“When you kill something you believe in
You can hear its cries
You’ve got your antenna
Though you think you’re no longer receiving”
Straw Dogs : A ritual death-in-the afternoon confrontation – a fall from the community into an “I’m alright Jack” scenario. Possibly the loss of some indefined belief caused the singer an immeasurable and quite ridiculous (to our modern ears) amount of grief
Anyway At All : Recorded live in November 1990 for the 6M LECTURES in Austin, Texas. It features Julian on solo cello with unknown backing. Possibly never intended for release, neverthless a small insight into the Repetition/Exhaustion Disciplines.
Bagged-Out Ken : Aha, some light relief at last. A Ken doll from Miami leaves his home and flies to England “….looking for Feeling-Groovy Barbie”. He hears the Happy Mondays and, being a U.S. college student, digs the whole loose scene.
N.B. The backing vocalists are singing the names of old ’60s Barbie outfits.
Quite barking, I’m sure you’ll agree. But quite brilliant with it is so many ways.
And the inspiration for all of the above is that I have just started reading One Three One, the debut novel published last year, and judging by the first 30-odd pages its going to be an enjoyable ride. Wonder if Moz’s much hyped debut novel will be as thrilling?