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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 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 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 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 13 September 2016
Julian Cope you crazy crazy dude. An early Solo album when he was just beginning to explore a style he was going to make entirely his own.

Give it a moment, Get used to the voice and appreciate music unlike anything else in your collection.

Look, the image may be out there but what you actually have are 13 well crafted songs with interesting lyrics. Not 'girl I'm going to love you up' nonsense here.

Je is preaching to the converted in me. I'm not a follower of his beliefs but I like all of his albums just for the fact they exist and they are so unique. More power to him. If he keeps making albums I'll keep buying them.
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VINE VOICEon 30 December 2015
Great for the extra tracks, like 'World Shut Your Mouth' the remastering is absolutely awful. Seek out earlier versions if you can.
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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 19 December 2007
Great collection of songs."The" Syd Barrett album of the Eighties.Pour a favourite tipple,put headphones on,turn the volume up and savour."Sunspots" is a masterpiece fronting some startlingly beautiful melodies that were advanced for the time.Enjoy.
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on 16 October 2007
Julian, mystic, stones, mad, syd, melody, sarcasm, humour, vulnerability, human, genius, lost and found. A very intimate statement by a true English eccentric, he would make more polished and more dirty albums, but this is so brittle.Very lovely.
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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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