14 of 20 people found the following review helpful
Welcome reissue of excellent double album.,
This review is from: Peggy Suicide (Audio CD)
'Peggy Suicide' is a great double-album and one of Cope's finest efforts- as good & different as 'Wilder', 'World Shut Your Mouth', 'Fried' & 'Jehovahkill'...The autobiog 'Repossessed' sketches out the period leading to this- away from London & towards concentric circles in Wiltshire. The Millennium effectively occurred in 1989/1990- the world was changing for the better and then the worse: the fall of the Berlin Wall, the imposition of the Poll Tax, the end of the Cold War, the start of both Balkans & Gulf War. But for a second there- we could have had utopia- Ronald McDonald at the Berlin Wall predicted it all. This album is as vital as it was in 1991.
Phase One begins with 'Pristeeen'- a definite precursor of Spiritualized's blues-spacerock (Spacemen 3 had done zilch like this)- this builds up. Memories of the overproduced 'My Nation Underground' are erased. 'Double Vegetation' is a midpaced guitar overload- Michael Mooney is great here (pity he would have to work on Mac's excerable 2nd solo LP next!). The lyrics concerning fear of Islam might be more relevant today than ever. 'East Easy Rider' is a dumb semi-baggy rocker, dedicated to Sex God Andy Eastwood & the contradiction of the freedom of driving a petrol guzzling mobile & the encroaching pollution. 'Promised Land' is kind of an early 90's 'Desolation Row' or (apologies) the lyrical-reportage that Springsteen did on 'The Ghost of Tom Joad'- taking a long cold look at the country around him.The phase concludes on 'Hanging Out & Hung Up On The Line'- a Stooges thrash as good as 'Spacehopper'- note Copey was doing the Stooges influenced thing 10 years before The Hives!..Phase Two is short & guitar based- opening with 'Safesurfer' (an excerpt was on 'Droolian')- a Dave Gilmour guitar exploration- leading to a lyric decrying those ignorant of AIDS/HIV- which is on the rise in heterosexual males. It is also one of Copey's finest songs. 'If You Loved Me At All' has that Funkadelic/Parliament/Sly inspired funk thang going on (see the 'Peel Session' on 'Floored Genius 2' to see it in full effect!)- it is a wonderful building song:"you don't love me at all!", Copey intones. 'Drive,She Said' tackles a similar theme to 'East Easy Rider'- with a knowing allusion to Pere Ubu's 'Final Solution'...Phase Three opens with the funky 'Soldier Blue'- close to Barry Adamson's soundtrack work & taking issue with those who used the Poll Tax Riots as an excuse to knock off a stereo- ironic as that materialist item was/is the kind of thing Thatcher et al sold the people with their 'free market': "there is no such thing as society". 'You...' is a very old pre-Crucial Three song- this version has an overproduced sound- kind of ironic 'Rope& Colt'-Scott Walker. 'Not Raving,But Drowning' reapplies Stevie Smith's most famous poem to a drowning raver- and has a nice slow sinister funk. 'Head (On)' is where The Charlatans got their sound for a few years- apparently it's not about sex!. 'Leperskin' is a funk/rock out- taking issue with Thatcheration- but not in a sell-out Ben Elton way. The final phase opens with the top pop single 'Beautiful Love'- as divine as 'An Elegant Chaos', 'Sunspots' or 'Quizmaster'. It's a campfire love song- with Happy Mondays-keyboards & great trumpet. 'Western Front 1992 CE' captures female singers to the sounds of protest- the early 90's were the biggest time of social protest since the late 60's. As Naomi Klein suggests in 'No Logo'- the focus on PC and new conceptions of life took the collective eye off the ball & allowed for the rule of big business. 'Hung Up & Hanging Out to Dry' is a funk-inspired instrumental- with some Beefheart bluesy-guitar & waves of washing keyboard. This gives way to 'The American Lite'- a divine ode to Dorian- which sounds like it has been picked up from the same session as 'I Have Always Been Here Before' (from 'Where the Pyramid Meets the Eye'). So it sounds more like the Elevators than The Boss!. The album ends on the moribund 'Las Vegas Basement'- which gives the template for Radiohead's 'The Bends' album. This is as great as anything off the first two ultra-classic solo albums- the memory of Copey's blatant commercial period are erased (though 'I'm Not Losing Sleep', 'Disaster' & 'Charlatan' are great!). This album is as good as any released around the same time- 'Screamadelica', 'Out of Time', 'Nevermind'- it's eclectic and it's individual. And as 'The Modern Antiquarian' proves, the Stone-thing was not a front. And the crowning achievment?- a reference in 'Buffy the Vampire Slayer' to 'Beautiful Love'!. Finally, at this price this is screaming good value and an excuse to discover the joys of an artist unfairly maligned by the tedious music press.