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Mainstream [CASSETTE]


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3 used from £3.56

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Music

Image of album by Lloyd Cole

Photos

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Videos

Lloyd Cole "Broken Record"

Biography

About a year ago, after almost a decade in self imposed exile as a would be folksinger, I developed an itch I wasn’t expecting. It seemed that there were aspects to my old life in rock and roll that I missed. Tour buses and product managers, certainly not. But the interacting with musicians, the camaraderie and the joy of hearing one’s music enhanced, and elevated by the aesthetic ... Read more in Amazon's Lloyd Cole Store

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Product details

  • Audio Cassette (3 Aug 1990)
  • Label: Capitol
  • ASIN: B00008EUKZ
  • Other Editions: Audio CD  |  Vinyl  |  MP3 Download
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (11 customer reviews)

1. My Bag
2. From the Hip
3. 29
4. Mainstream
5. Jennifer She Said
6. Mr. Malcontent - Lloyd Cole and the Commotions
7. Sean Penn Blues
8. Big Snake
9. Hey Rusty
10. These Days

Customer Reviews

4.4 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

16 of 17 people found the following review helpful By Indie Kid on 13 Jan 2004
Format: Audio CD
I can only agree with the other reviews of this album, in that it was the zenith of the Commotions all too brief collaboration. Where "Rattlesnakes" in particular was smart and full of attitude, "Mainstream" is markeldy different, with Lloyd seemingly more introspective, and less sure of his footing.
Not that this is a negative - the result is moments of rare beauty ("Jennifer She Said") which lends more to a more unadorned honesty than his previous works, where an overeagerness to impress was always just beneath the surface and coupled the emotion being expressed. "Mainstream's" more delicate moments seem to point as to perhaps why this was the case, "From the Hip" being a case in point, rather than betraying the effect.
"My Bag" and "Sean Penn Blues" were also musical departures for a band who by now had shed off the jingle jangle favoured by Orange Juice etc to produce a more complete accompanient for more sombre moods, but also able to funk up their sound and give it an altogether different feel. My own favourite is "29", a fabulous lyric concerning what Nick Cave detailed as "being Love's lover", the propensity for love in full knowledge of the pain of its loss, which for some is the bravest thing we do - come back for more when we've been so hurt.
In their career together, Lloyd and The Commotions summed up what was so wrong about much of UK music journalism in the 80's - a bunch of frustrated musos unable to deal with the fact that a bunch of guys up there doing it were brighter, wordier and more emotionally fragile than them. The result was that admiration gave way to envy, support became mockery and gifted bands like this packed up before they should have, although they've all lead interesting (and hopefully as rewarding) lives. They should look back with great satisfaction at what they achieved, for it's still great 17 years later, and up there with Love in my view. Buy it now!
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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful By Max Robinson on 16 July 2003
Format: Audio CD
'Mainstream' is, without doubt, the finest album that Lloyd Cole has ever put his name to. Although it ultimately marked the end of The Commotions, they nonetheless bow out on a high. Never a great singer, Cole makes the best of his vocal limitations on a bunch of very sharply crafted songs. Few albums from the 80s have stood up to time's rigours quite as well as 'Mainstream'. Songs such as self-sending up of 'My Bag' and the own-up time of 'From The Hip' are simply superb, literate, funny, melodic, and beautifully-produced, with the typically clean Commotions sound at its zenith. Songs such as the trumpet-adorned 'Big Snake' are masterpieces of late 80's anomie, with a strange narcotic langour pervading the recorded sound. There was something at the core of 'Mainstream' that Cole never quite revisited on other albums. It's good that this album, which made the UK top ten on its release is still around - Cole periodically resurfaces, and every subsequent solo album has much to reccommend it, but the purest distillation of this distinctive talent is to be found on 'Mainstream'.
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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful By georgia on 6 Feb 2002
Format: Audio CD
The final LP from Lloyd Cole and the Commotions probably saw the strongest performances from the band across some mighty fine songs. The music may not have the jangle of the "Rattlesnakes" era, but is certainly more diverse. In particular, "Mr Malcontent" and "Jennifer She Said" (another 'J' name for the collection!) are possibly the band's best recordings. The lead-off single, "My Bag", worryingly failed to make the top 40, maybe because it's grooviness was unexpected. The record buying public missed a treat of intelligent well-crafted songs.
Among the highlights is "Sean Penn Blues", a rocking ode to the ex-Mr Madonna and tells the true story of a cruel stunt played on him by NY smart-alec journalists. I wonder if Lloyd is planning a song in honour of Guy Ritchie? Or better still, should Madonna sing a song about Shane Ritchie?
Apart from the listless "Big Snake", every one of these tracks hit the mark in terms of playing, their lyrics (natch) and Lloyd's voice.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By BD VINE VOICE on 18 Nov 2009
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
Mainstream was the third and final studio album that Lloyd Cole made with the Commotions. In retrospect this was the perfect book end for the trilogy of the Commotions collaborations beginning with the classic Rattlesnakes, the confused follow up Easy Pieces and then this album.

Mainstream provides a strong contrast with the band's debut. Rattlesnakes tells us stories and tales of observations of art student life and finishes by asking us `Are you ready to be heartbroken? Whereas Mainstream with it's at times fragile reflections back on life and lessons learnt and lost loves would seem to answer that.

Mainstream begins with echoes of the Rattlesnakes debut album with the impossibly wordy My Bag (which is a commentary on celebrity life and fame, `My world gets bigger as my eyesight gets worse) being similar in feel to the debut album opener Perfect skin".

The album progresses with the smooth `From the hip' and by track 5 delivers the knock out classic that is `Jennifer she said', which is possibly the bands finest hour and also represents the use of the 3rd female name in a song by Lloyd. (Julia, Jane and Jennifer just for the record)

Some have suggested that this album was the Zenith of LC and the commotions or even Lloyd Cole's total work, but whilst I don't believe this is the case, Mainstream does most definitely form part of a body of work that represents Lloyd Cole song writing at its most accessible and at its very best alongside Rattlesnakes, Love Story and Antidepressant.

Recommended.
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