5.0 out of 5 stars
Angels file in camouflaged..., 1 Jan 2013
Anyone who has read 'Head-On', Julian Cope's memoir on The Teardrop Explodes will know that the band were in a chemically supplemented free-fall when this album was being recorded. They will also know it was intended to be their label's flagship release for Christmas 1981, shipping 120,000 copies to shops but selling less than half that amount. I was at a Cope concert at the Dominion Theater when he was touring 'My Nation Underground' at the end of the eighties as he jokingly accused the crowd as 'the bastards who never bought the album'. So, what to make of 'Wilder' 30 years on? Despite the problems in the recording process and Cope's growing dissatisfaction with what was happening around him the album deserves classic status. Perhaps a little too much of the chaos surrounding the album affected it to some degree. In my opinion the sequencing of the songs didn't help the album and the song selection itself could have been better (for example the sublime 'Suffocate' somehow failed to make the track list of the original release but '7 Views of Jerusalem' is included - not a bad song in itself and originally a Tim Buckley style 12 string number but ruined for me by the synth arrangement). In my humble opinion, the following selection of songs for the album brings about a near perfect result: 'Passionate Friend', 'Bent Out of Shape', 'Tiny Children', 'Pure Joy' (extended edit, repeating first verse and chorus), 'The Culture Bunker' // 'Like Leila Khaled Said', 'Colours Fly Away', 'And the Fighting Takes Over', 'Suffocate', 'The Great Dominions'. Anyone remotely interested in post-punk music should consider this album as hugely significant. That the failure of this album at the time of it's release lead to the demise of the group before the end of the following year was a huge disappointment. Of course, Julian has gone on to carve a unique place in our culture but somehow never seems to have received the recognition he deserves. This release features all the original album tracks along with b-sides and tracks from the final EP. It also has lyrics and the alternative (superior) sleeve art for 'Wilder', the iconic picture of Julian that also features as the cover of 'Head-On'. You need this album!