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4.6 out of 5 stars15
4.6 out of 5 stars
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#1 HALL OF FAMEon 10 November 2002
For some reason I 'got into' both the Teardrops & the Bunnymen in 1989- autumn nights were spent smoking outdoors and listening to either Crocodiles or Kilimanjaro on my walkman. Wilder I was not so enamoured with, though bizarrely the 1st Cope album I heard was Fried. With the passage of time, it has become apparent that Wilder is far greater than the debut- which granted had been packed with classics like Treason, Reward, Sleeping Gas & When I dream- but had a few duds on like Brave Boys... & Went Crazy.
This reissue gives both covers to seperate issues of Wilder and along with some lovely remastering includes the rare Buff Manilla mini-lp- which had tracks that would turn up on the Tiny Children & You Disappear from View singles (and in a slightly different form on 1990's Everybody Wants to Shag the Teardrop Explodes collection).
Every Wilder track does it for me, some more than most being Bent Out of Shape, The Culture Bunker ("waitin for The Crucial Three"), Like Leila Khaled Said & The Great Dominions. Top production by Clive Langer and Copey was on great form as a songwriter- despite the chemical incendaries et al apparent if you read his Head On memoir. And it's safe to say that Passionate Friend is one of the greatest pop songs ever- despite its odd structure; must admit I was shocked Cope wasn't nominated for this Great Britons thing- as great a British/English songwriter as Morrissey/Marr, Andy Partridge, Ray Davies, Madness etc...
The bonus tracks are nice- even if the Pete Wylie influenced Christ Vs Warhol referred to in the liner notes is absent. I think Rachel Built a Steamboat is a little dull, though this is probably just a David Balfe grievance in disguise (have you read Head On?Pass me the bucket of sewage...Though this is probably just a Blur thing in disguise. Or Diesel Park West. Or Jesus Jones...)
You Disappear from View was a top single that should have turned up on Island's Floored Genius compilation- though it is the b-side Suffocate that stands out. Oh, and the gorgeous Soft Enough for You is one of those ultimate love songs like Dennis Wilson's Cuddle Up or American Music Club's Western Sky that no one knows...
Wilder is the first great Cope album- and would be followed by other classics like World Shut Your Mouth, Fried, Skellington, Peggy Suicide & Jehovahkill. And as bands like The Coral sound very Teardrops on the likes of Goodbye, it is quite apparent this is timeless stuff like The Beatles that transcends the era.
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VINE VOICEon 7 November 2008
From the egocentrically weird mind of JULIAN COPE - a man who might have been locked up for the duration in less enlightened times - WILDER has his unique personality stamped all over it like the words through a stick of rock. Part pop, part psychedelia and arguably part cry for help, some of the songs here occasionally struggle under the weight of his intense delivery and vision, but who can deny the brilliantly crafted BENT OF OUT SHAPE, COLOURS FLY AWAY, PASSIONATE FRIEND and THE GREAT DOMINIONS?

Although there's nothing quite as immediate as KILIMANJARO's REWARD or TREASON to get the pulses racing, WILDER - complete with 9 bonus tracks and nearly double the length of the original vinyl LP - is certainly worth getting your teeth into. And to give Jules his due, he did go on to write the sublimely gaga SUNSPOTS and TRAMPOLINE.

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on 27 November 2000
Another reviewer compared the Teardrop Explodes' Kilimanjaro to the Beatles' Revolver, but it is Wilder which really deserves the distinction. This album is much more varied than their debut and is highlighted by Cope's inelagant yet emotive voice.
This particluar version sports stunning sound and a slew of b-sides. (The chamber music version of Suffocate and Christ vs. Warhol are both missing, though)
Nonetheless, this is the most definitive version of this masterpiece currently available. Get it!
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on 8 September 2000
Wilder (1981) is, despite the title, a mellower affair than its fabulous indie-pop predecessor, Kilamanjaro (1980). Julian Cope & Co. are on top form once again, with perhaps their greatest ever moment appearing in the form of the brilliant Leila Khaled Said. The jumpy pop of Passionate Friend was the biggest hit here, whilst the slower tracks such as The Great Dominions and Tiny Children smoulder magnificently alongside the poppier, more upbeat Bent Out Of Shape, The Culture Bunker and Leila Khaled Said.
A must-purchase for anyone interested in this under-rated epic of New Wave music. The boy from Tamworth did good !
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on 1 January 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!
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on 13 July 2013
Missing believed lost... "Log Cabin", "Suffocate" (baroque strings),"Christ versus Warhol". Are there any fan of the Teardrops involved in this repackaging? Serious duplication in some of these Peel Plus tracks from other releases... instead of giving fans the missing pieces such as "Buchanan" and the others I referred to.
I have purchased Kilimanjaro new six times since it was first released (2 X Vinyl, 1 X cassette, and 3 X CD) and Wilder four (1 X Vinyl, 1 X Cassette, 2 X CD). That is a lot of cash for a certain record company. With each "expanded" repackaging there have been glaring omissions and much pointless duplication.
The music is wondrous and hits me every time. I truly loved this band and continue to love these albums. Fans will already have the Peel Sessions Plus tracks which were released on the Peel Sessions Plus CD collection. Package "Wilder" properly and give us "Log Cabin", "Suffocate" (strings), "Buchanan" and "Christ Versus Warhol". Or put them out together on a wee 4-track CDEP and finish the job!
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on 8 September 2001
I loved the original vinyl which i bought in 1982, and its a great treat to hear it on CD now. Even better is the inclusion of the extra tracks which I had never heard before. So wierd listening to Teardrop songs that are new. And they are good too, except maybe "Rachel built a steamboat" which somehow doesn't work. "Ouch Monkeys" and "Soft enough for you" show Julian's voice off well, and are classic Teardrop in my opinion.
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on 17 April 2000
With Kilimanjaro established as the Teardrops' definitive album-length statement, it's all too easy to pass over this rather neglected gem of a follow-up. Wilder is a calmer, more circumspect record than its predecessor. Its best known moment is perhaps 'Passionate Friend' which made it as a UK hit single, but the core of this record finds Julian Cope at his most lyrically inpenetrable yet also at his most achingly melodic. The album's closer 'The Great Dominions' melts in your mouth, but the stand out track is 'Tiny Children', an awesomely beautiful ballad about emotional crisis. Better even than Scott Walker!
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on 7 October 2000
I recently fished out my old vinyl copy of this, and had forgotten just how good it is. Maybe its because it reminds me of 18 odd years ago, but the music is so lyrical -Julians voice suits it well - there's just something about it. And it sounds as good today as it did then. I will get myself a CD copy now!
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on 6 October 2009
Wilder is a rich, dark tapestry of tightly woven, neo-psychedelic pop tunes which could have been recorded any time in the last 25 years.

The sound is crisp and clean and beautifully varied in texture which results in upbeat exuberant pop imbued with a sense of mystery and loss. What is glaringly evident is that, notwithstanding the band's untimely demise, Julian Cope was a force to be reckoned with and one who was never likely to simply fade away. He has a bizarre knack of being lyrically opaque yet passionately revealing. I'm not sure I'll ever understand the meaning behind some of these tracks but I'm not sure I need to.

The only single I can remember being pulled from the album is "Passionate Friend" - a great slice of synth pop with a fabulous sitar-like guitar melody by new boy Troy Tate. But it's certainly not the only highlight.

Not as accessable or as imedite as thier debuit largley since Cope had taken over al credits it makes no real difference and may take a couple of litenings.

It somehow manages to satisfy on both an intelligent and superficial level.

But Julian Cope is an indicative pasona with a powerfully strange talent.
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