This is the final part of what I hope has been an enjoyable series for everyone these past few Sundays…going by the comments left behind it certainly seems to have filled a few gaps in some knowledge bases.
Much of what I’ve written up has been informed by Lloyd’s own wonderfully maintained website – http://www.lloydcole.com
It seems fitting to bring the story up to date with a heavy reliance on the timeline from the website:-
Most of the year is taken up with touring the album Broken Record.
In 2002 legendary Austrian composer and krautrock pioneer Hans Joachim Roedelius heard LC’s Plastic Wood and liked it enough to make is own, unsolicited re-mix. Nine years later they finally come up with a plan for a record together – they will exchange ‘unfinished’ tracks, for the other to complete. LC holes up in his attic with his brand new modular synthesizer.
By the end of January LC has finished his work on the Roedelius tracks and has sent his files to Austria. By the end of the year an album is complete.
LC tours with eldest son Will, as an acoustic duo. Later, LC and Will enter the studio to document the arrangements from the shows. The result – Lloyd & Will Cole Acoustic Sessions 2012 , a second white label CD.
Late September LC is back to the attic with notes and ideas for new songs. Fans and Tapete have again funded a new album. A start date in LA with old cohorts Fred Maher and Matthew Sweet is set. LC decides to make no demos, but hopes to have all songs completed before the LA sessions, and then to work ‘Blonde on Blonde’ style with Maher and Sweet. 2 months of solid writing yields an album’s worth of songs. Recording goes to schedule and overdubs begin in Massachusetts in December. Musicians include Will Cole, Mark Schwaber, Matt Cullen, Blair Cowan, Joan (as Policewoman) Wasser and Dave Derby.
Selected Studies Vol. 1, the album from the collaboration with Hans Joachim Roedelius is released in February to great acclaim with Rolling Stone magazine declaring:-
“All instrumental, dreamier than one might expect from Cole and bouncier than one might expect from Roedelius, this is a worthy, surprisingly melodic set likely to surprise fans from both camps. Recommended.”
Work on the more standard album continues and in June 2013, is released with the title Standards is released in June. Everyone – fans and critics alike seem to love it.
Lloyd Cole and the Leopards (made up of some of the very best stalwarts of the Scottihs music scene) perform four UK shows in LC’s first full electric band shows since the early 2000’s with The Negatives. I caught one of these in Glasgow and it was an astoundingly good show, despite being played open-air in a torrential downpour!
The solo tour resumes and continues all year. In October 2014, Standards is released in North America by Omnivore Recordings garnering a second wave of acclaim.
April – Universal/Spectrum release Don’t Look Back, a 20 track compilation of LC’s time at what was then Polygram.
June – Universal release Lloyd Cole and the Commotions Collected Recordings 1983-1989, a six disc box set.
September – LC makes his debut as a live electronic performer with two Berlin shows, the first with Hans Joachim Roedelius at a festival celebrating of his 80th birthday. The second was an intimate solo show at Basic Electricity. To coincide with these shows Bureau B released LC’s third full length electronic album – 1D.
These were the last pieces of music to be officially released, but Lloyd has been incredibly busy touring the past three years. Indeed, in 2016, such was the media focus on his early recordings as a result of the acclaim heaped on the boxset that he decided to devote the entire year to performances featuring material only from 1983 – 1996. Some shows were solo, others featured The Leopards, and more often that not, his son Will joined him on stage. The show at the Kelvingrove Bandstand in August 2016, with the Leopards and Will all on stage with him, was as fine a show as I’ve ever seen in all the years I’ve been watching him.
2017 and 2018, as one glance at http://www.lloydcole.com/live/ will testify, has been just as frantic and the acclaim all over the world just as high.
I’ve a nice wee postscript of my own to add.
I only ever got myself a download copy of the 11-track Standards – partly as I was wary following my disappointment with Broken Record but also as I was going through a short phase, thanks to constraints on space, of cutting back on vinyl and CDs. (I’ve since simply taken up more floorspace, much to the chagrin of Mrs Villain). It’s an album that I do love and listen to a fair bit…..there’s just so many moments which feel like a throwback to all parts of his career from the Commotions days to the early solo years to the later stuff when it was just him and his guitars and the voice…..so you can imagine my delight when my trip to Toronto just a few weeks back yielded a second-hand vinyl copy of said album, in mint condition at a very reasonable price.
And given that the LP landed in my hands so unexpectedly while this series was being published, it really did have a sense of karma about it.
Now……does anybody want to have a go at the solo ICA that I’ve found impossible to nail down????