After listening to a mega-selling album last month (Moby’s “Play”), it was time to turn to something with a bit more of a cult/underground appeal – former Teardrop Explodes frontman Julian Cope’s second solo album, “Fried”. Cope, known as an “acid casualty” after the messy breakup of his band, famously wrapped himself naked in a turtle shell for the cover of his 1985 album.
Our host Lewis Burn had this to say about the record:
“I discovered the self-styled “Archdrude” Julian Cope through his autobiography, which coincided with a point of not knowing where I was going. Things struck a chord. Fried marks the turning point in his career, closing the chapter on The Teardrop Explodes (in his words, “the only charting band with a present participle in its name and two members who knew what that meant”) and launching a solo adventure involving 30 odd records, several curated festivals, a novel, pop cultural discourse, and possibly the only academic texts to include footnotes describing foraging for magic mushrooms.”
The original album was just ten tracks in length but we listened to an additional three on the night which were included on the remastered edition (and which Lewis said enhanced the experience and improved the album’s ending). Our theme was “You May Remember Me From…”, which was a nod to Cope’s former band and suggested we should nominate songs made by musicians perhaps better known for their previous work.
The album itself was quite a layered, rushed affair. Recorded for less than £20,000 over just a couple of weeks, Lewis explained how the album was thrown together but represented the range of sounds Cope loved, as well as his interesting lyrics and powerful voice. Over 45 minutes or so we listened and enjoyed the ranging sound.
Discussion afterwards was guided by Lewis’s questions: was this an example of English surrealism? Who were the heirs to Cope’s sound (eg. Blur)? Was Cope really a casualty, or “fried”? Responses were mainly positive and people enjoyed the “manic”, “moving” album, with Lewis himself choosing the word “genesis” to sum up the experience. The group as a whole rated the album a 7.4 / 10 – a high score for Off The Record!
It was then over to the group to introduce their own songs to fit our theme: artists you may remember from somewhere else. Here’s what they picked:
- Matt: Dee Dee King - “Funky Man” (not on Spotify but definitively on YouTube)
- Lauren: John K Samson - “Highway 1 East”
- Russell: Sugar - “If I Can’t Change Your Mind”
- Dan: Jason Lytle - “Matterhorn”
- Steve: The Skids - “Into The Valley”
- Joe: Clint Mansell - “We’re Going Home”
- Steph: WILD FLAG - “Electric Band”
- Jan: John Frusciante - “Song To Sing When I’m Lonely”
After this, it was the end of the night – thanks to everyone for coming out and Lewis for a great job hosting.
Spotify playlist of songs
See above to see who nominated each song which matched our theme, "You May Remember Me From...".