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4.4 out of 5 stars
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4.4 out of 5 stars
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#1 HALL OF FAMEon 13 November 2002
In 1986 I first heard Julian Cope (although I had known songs like Reward, Treason & Passionate Friend from TOTP)and the following year, a friend got into him big time. Came across a tape of this in a garage in Buckinghamshire (?) and this became my fave album of his, well apart from Wilder, World Shut Your Mouth & Peggy Suicide...
The making of this album is well documented in Repossessed/Head On (Thorsons)- it was made in the maelstrom that followed the Teardrops' demise, the financial fallout & the failure of his great debut album. Cope was being set up as a Syd Barrett for the 80's , plenty of odd rumours (selling songs to people on Paul McCartney's trout farm, living on a traffic island) surfaced and looking at the coolest cover of an album ever, it was possible to see why...
The album opens with Reynard the Fox, Cope moving towards myth as the song mutates into a blend of Helter Skelter & The Doors with a rockabilly freakout towards the end (and strange psychedelic guitar). This is the best version released.
The lovely Bill Drummond Said is next, this is shimmering guitar music of the finest order- even if it's about the KLF/Zoo geezer who wrote the not so classic Julian Cope is Dead. You can hear why Morrissey named this his fave album of 1984.
Laughing Boy is up next, sounding like Tim Buckley on valium - though its title comes from a track on Hall&Oates Abandoned Luncheonette! This is a very English hell and far from funny- which I suppose is the point...
Me Singing is another sublime acoustic song, very much influenced by Tim Buckley's Happy Sad and Van Morrison's TB Sheets- and not far from 70's breakdown album Third/Sister Lovers by Big Star. This came from an imaginary conversation Cope had with his wife while she was away; how great is that?
The classic single and international hit (well, in my universe) Sunspots is next- "Eh Oh/It goes away" demonstrates a lyrical influence on the Teletubbies and a wonderful drum sound is complemented by heavenly washes of keyboards and parping brass. Someone told me it sounds like The The, not so sure myself. As great as songs like An Elegant Chaos & Strasbourg regardless.
The Bloody Assizes kickstarts the second half of the album, though it is songs like Search Party, O. King of Chaos (Madness dabbling in the occult) and Torpedo that stand out. Oh, and Holy Love shows that he can do the whole pop thing like Reward or Greatness & Perfection whenever he felt like it.
The extra tracks come from the Sunspots-e.p. and the krautrock-inflected Mik Mak Mock and the mindblowing Land of Fear are as good as anything on the great album proper (Land of Fear would be re-recorded for 20 Mothers. Lovely...).
Fried is an absolute total classic masterpiece up there with, well any album ever; Cope may have went crazy but the album transcends that. Timeless stuff.
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on 9 February 2003
The eighties largely passed me by, being busy raising kids and listening mostly to Irish music. I bought this out of curiosity having read of Julian Cope's strange transformation thanks to an acid binge. I'm glad to say I really enjoyed it - just the right mix of fey playfulness and strange observation to put it alongside classic sixties LSD music. My points of reference are wildly out of date but, for what it's worth, I thought "Reynard the Fox" was like XTC but with better singing, Sunspots is a great laugh (we've all been there), "The Bloody Assizes" is a dead ringer for the Yardbirds playing live (Julian even sounds like Keith Relf) and I thought I heard shades of Syd Barrett, Magical Mystery Tour era Beatles and a bit of Cap'n Beefheart on Mic Mak Mok. "Fried" is a great addition to that tradition.
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on 7 July 2015
My favourite album by Wales' finest eccentric. Good pop/rock album, every track a good one. Standout tracks are 'Bill Drummond Said', 'Me Singing' and 'The Bloody Assizes'. My original 1984 vinyl copy has sadly seen better days, so it's time to have a back up I guess. If you haven't heard it you won't regret buying it.
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on 25 August 2015
an excellent julian cope collection now with added extras the remaster is ok although not a substantial improvement over previous version. still a fantastic collection that follows nicely on from world shut your mouth
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on 20 March 2003
Wonderful, fanitly psychedlic, pop songs from Mr Cope. Certainly my favourite album from his extensive back catelogue. Starts with the harsh guitar clatter of 'Reynard The Fox' - moves brilliantly into the reflective daze of 'Bill Drummond Says' and further on to the bizarre, but great 'Sunspots'. O King Of Chaos is another highlight - featuring solo voice, piano and organ - Cope barks his lyrics with great force. Superb album.
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on 24 January 2012
1)'Land of Fear' is worth the price of the album alone. The fade out leaves me in tears with emotion.
2) This man is one absolute, undisputed, musical, historical, poetical and cultural genius.
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on 28 September 2014
In my opinion 'Fried' ranks alongside The Teardrop's 'Kilimanjaro' and 'Peggy Suicide' is one of Julian Cope's finest works. Here uptempo psychedelic songs such as 'Reynard the Fox' and 'Sunspots' rub shoulders with tranquil understated numbers like 'Me Singing' and 'Search Party' while an air of mysterious introspection pervades the whole album. Listening to this makes you realize what a massively underrated singer/songwriter Julian Cope is.
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on 14 February 2013
Was a little disappointed with this not for the actual sound of the cd which is good because one of the problems with the original cd release is the low volume of the recordings you really have to turn it up loud to hear it ,not so for this release though tracks like Bill Drummond said and Sunspots stand out more crisply my only two gripes are the terrible editing some tracks are just chopped off before they get to the end why spend time doing a remaster then allow that to be on the final recording?is that just plain laziness or incompetence?and my other complaint is the lack of the original art work some great pictures of Julian crouched under his shell are missing here the original sleeve booklet could have been included aswell they could have done real justice to this album like they have done with the new release of Saint Julian which has an extra cd included,but in summary it is worth buying for the three bonus tracks,Fried is a timeless album when played to a variety of younger friends none of them could place a correct date on when it was made that is an enduring quality i just wished this remastered album could have been the treatment it truly deserves,properly edited songs and an extra cd of Julian rarities plus original photos,not enough turtle pics!!
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on 1 October 2009
the infamous second solo record from Julian Cope, Fried. I use the word "infamous" because Fried marks the point at which Cope began to find himself at odds with major record labels. In fact, Fried's lack of attention by the record-buying public caused Mercury Records to drop Cope from its roster. This usually relegates a release to that great cut-out bin in the sky.

Fried was originally released in 1985, following Cope's departure from post-punk favorites, The Teardrop Explodes and his solo debut World Shut Your Mouth. The cover of the record shows Cope hiding beneath a giant turtle shell, gazing at a toy truck with the album's title printed on the side. "Fried", indeed! Cope's lysergic deviations are thinly concealed on the record's 10 tracks. He's masked his disdain for organized religion, and, well, organized anything beneath clever pop songs. As a student of music of all types, Cope has always been able to present a variety of genres bearing his own chaotic style on each of his albums. Fried is an absolute gem and bears examination by fans of mid-80s British pop music.

The post-punk influence is evident on the record's opener, "Reynard The Fox." While Cope has consistently surrounded himself with quality musicians - in this case guitarists Donald Ross Skinner and Brother Johnno, guitarist/producer Stevan Lovell, and drummer Chris Whitten - it's Cope's bass guitar that recalls the best of early to mid-80s British pop with a bent towards all things punk. Cope's mid-song rant about the "plastic bag with plastic handles" is where the psychedelia oozes in. And we're off to rambles about what "Bill Drummond Said" and a "Laughing Boy." It's all pop of varying tempos, and it's slightly more trippy than what the pop crowd had been braced for. Cope's charisma is the driving force on Fried and all of his records, really. The music's so good and so catchy that you don't care what he's singing about. "Me Singing" questions this. By the end, we don't care too much about what he's singing and we're ready for Cope's opinions to blend in with our own. "Sunspots" is a plodding wade through Cope's love of sounds and syllables. No credits are given to the flute soloist, but Cope has already jacked us out into the stratosphere with his bizarre ruminations. When he tells us "I Went On A Chourney", we've no doubt that it's just one of many.

Side two's "The Bloody Assizes" could have been a rockabilly song if handled by someone else. Cope punks it out before mellowing on "Search Party". Love songs are not atypical of Cope and "Search Party" is one of his best. The oboe and descriptions of a disgusting cradle are what separates Cope from anyone else. "O King of Chaos", with its simplistic piano chords is pure autobiography. Yet everything on side two moves along quickly. "Holy Love" dips back into pop that's too smart for Casey Kasem. The returning oboe clinches it. "Torpedo", the original album's closer, has Cope at the organ for the accompaniment to another hopeless plea of a love song. Bonus track "Mic Mak Mok" is Cope playing with alien/robot vocal sounds and "Land Of Fear" is a mid-tempo, uplifting finish.

I give my highest recommendation to "Fried". If you have never heard the record, this may be the best way to first familiarize yourself with a Julian Cope classic
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on 18 November 1999
Dripping with Psychedelia this is Julian's finest. "Reynard the Fox" starts the album and its' hillbilly lake country stomp rocks harder than anything Julian has done previously or since. The album maintains a very high standard throughout and leaves one feeling as though he/she has taken a tab of good mickey mouse. Julian's best!
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