16 of 16 people found the following review helpful
Kinda like the opposite of The Bible,
This review is from: Copendium (Hardcover)
Julian Cope has paid due care and attention to his Head Heritage base of operations since its early, humble mail-away days and 'Copendium' is one of many impressive results worth checking up on.
Since getting hooked-up each month to feature a Drudion Julian has also reviewed an album of the month, some brand new, others decades old with no pre-requisites on genre, style or length. All of them are compiled here in alphabetical order, each decade featuring a small introduction to the period.
This material is all ready and available to peruse on Head Heritage, but the mere finger ache of scrolling down through endless obscure and, sometimes, unattractive album covers is a daunting enough task without the miles of backlit text to rummage through. With 'Copendium' everything's available and 'loaded' without the eye-ache that comes from heavy websurfing and it's far more encouraging. The 'Copendium' itself is big, black, and bears a very heavy presence; like all his others it's a very pretty book. An added bonus is the astonishing material within.
The extensive contents, glossary and index pages make it clear this isn't something to read and bookmark (but pen and paper may come in handy). It works as more of a resource to come back to and scour through, but Julian's writing style is so endearing it's tough to put the book to one side. Julian refers to himself as an 'erudite barbarian', and his colloquial ramblings certainly reflect that. Meanwhile having everything in pure black and white with zero distractions gives you a reasonable image of what to expect. Julian's enthusiasm shines, and he actually convinces you of the crucial nature of this music. Drawing on his own personal experiences of discovery and using the most absurd metaphors makes you wonder just what you're missing out on. So far I've read up on six albums I've never heard before, and I know I must hear them: He's that convincing. Otherwise I've discovered two new gems and rediscovered one I'd almost forgotten about completely. I was certain I wouldn't need the accompanying discs, but now I'm thinking otherwise and counting down the days.
Not since Simon Reynolds' 'Rip It Up and Start Again' have I been so eager to hear something new, and some of this stuff has taken top priority. As for the others; you find yourself learning a lot about underground music in general. With each review there's plenty on band history, what the album did for music, where they are now and where they were at the time. It's usually all fascinating stuff before you even get to the music.
If you're up for a bit of a laugh, a bit of a learn, a lot of mind-expansion and some new tunes to spin 'Copendium' is an invaluable resource. Just don't shelf it; you'll be climbing up after it on a regular basis. Plus, leaving it on display is a great way to intimidate house guests.