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on 28 November 2002
From the age of six, I've been a rocker. AC/DC, Rush, Van Halen, anything loud with guitars really. Julian Cope's Saint Julian changed all that.
I was suduced by the rock guitar and was unaware of the undertones of indie/alternative music. It opened my eyes to a whole new world of music waiting for me. Saint Julian lead to The Teardrop Explodes, that lead me onto artists like The Fall and Jim Feotus etc.
The album Saint Julian itself is quite a easy listen. It's really a pop record with songs like World Shut your Mouth and Trampoline but with darker and more intense tracks slotted in between. Pretty much something for everyone from young inexperianced listeners like I was through to record shop owners.
Just a shame it's out of print.
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on 14 February 2013
Highly recommended what a remaster should be,extra cd has some rarities on it as well as a couple of lives tracks so it is exactly what you would want in an expanded edition reasonably priced too.
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on 1 August 2015
I bought this after it's release in March of 1987 purely on the strength of his TV appearances to promote the first single ‘World Shut Your Mouth’ the previous year so impressed was I that he gone for a complete image makeover, and custom welded and painted microphone stand.
It may not have touched U2’s Joshua Tree in sales terms, but boy what cracking album in terms of it's guitar driven song delivery, I also still possess a CD single copy of Eve’s Volcano which contains 2 live recordings of Pulsar & Shot Down which sound even better live, glad to see that all the tracks from the single have been bundled together along with the ‘b’ sides from the other singles.
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on 28 January 2010
After the poptastic but patchy The Teardrop Explodes, his drug-fried Syd Barrett-esque early albums (World Shut Your Mouth and Fried) and getting his head together enough to play a string of unexpectedly brilliant live dates and signing to a major label, Julian Cope finally seemed to have made the right moves to become one of the great pop-rock acts of the 80s. This album was Cope's calculated attempt at solo superstardom and, to some degree, it worked. 'World Shut Your Mouth' was a bona fide hit and 'Trampolene' charted quite respectably as well.

Leather Clad Julian had a band in the real sense of the word for perhaps his fist and last time. Cleaver promotion by Island meant he even had prime time TV slots (Wogan Chat Show) where he introduced the world to his Stand Up revolving Mike Stand. This might have been a novelty and slightly tongue in cheek but the but the public did not know quite to make of a man peering menacingly over his mic. Hense the trick never really quite caught on. The peculiar thing about Cope is you never know when to take him serious, you never know what persona he is going to adopt and what Cope you are talking to or witnessing. Something tells me he doesn't really know himself..

After the disappointing cult success of Fried and WSYM, Cope seemed to aim for the mainstream with these over produced set of pop rock songs. Perhaps under pressure from his Major label and after spending a year in self exile and detox. The rawness and intimacy of this offering was however lost in the mix and although I'm pretty sure this sold well on his ability to produce catchy lines and hooks ultimately this was totally dispensible. Too much "A" radio play listing had the opposite effect and insured that the world would quickly bore of these anthem like songs that stood their own ground against the likes of U2 and Simple Minds

Never the less Saint Julian was and is Cope's most commercial moment, with a cover showing the singer decked out in head-to-toe black leather, walking through a post-apocalyptic wasteland, blessing all those around him. The real fun of this album comes from the character of Cope. (Cope is a complicated multifaceted man at the best of times). Throughout the album, Cope delivers his wacky lyrics and neat, efficient pop hooks in a clear tenor that sometimes switches to a godlike, Jimmy Morrison baritone. This neat trick underscores the split personality of the album: half art, half cheesy pop. In Fact, the line "did my hard leave a taste in your mouth "(Eve Volcano) was censored by the BBC The production is clean and crisp for the 80's so all in all it's a fairly easy listen.
Fantastic title track aside, World Shut Your Mouth gathers everything great about Cope effervescent blend of pop smarts, riffs and Christ-like poses. Okay, so maybe it wasn't the commercial success it deserved to be and its relative failure pushed Cope into weirder and more artistically fulfilling territories, but as a stand alone album Saint Julian is Cope's most commercial release and one of the great forgotten albums of the late 80s by one of the true mavericks of the musical landscape of any decade. Cope today has an audience far removed musically politically and social from the hedonistic days. Who knows what creative influence this man could have imposed on the world if he had forged a better relationship with his record label, mentors and friends. Cope has a bad habit of disposing with relative ease anything and anyone who does not complement his blinked vision and distorted ambitions.

The music here is not just the only reason to enjoy this release, as it also signaled the start Cope's ongoing attacks against U2, which is a fine example of Cope's David and Goliath attitude against the music industry, which is as much a reason to appreciate him as his musical output. While at times the band often sounds session player'ish. Cope is interesting enough both vocally and lyrically to maintain attention levels. While he keeps much of his 60's psychedelic obsessions and excesses away from these songs, there's still enough of a veneer of 60's pop to make many of these songs irresistably catchy and unfortunately, occasionally lightweight.

I used to love Julian Cope. Not just all the bizarreness surrounding his chemical days either. As a pop-smith, he's rather under appreciated. Saint Julian is as good an album at showing off Cope's gifts at writing catchy, energetic pop songs as any other album of his that I have heard. Along with enthusiastic songs, my favourite part about Cope is his unapologetic stance regarding himself. Julian Cope finds Julian Cope very interesting. He has always had a gift to talk/sing/write about himself. Look at that pose on the cover, this is a man who does not suffer from a lack of confidence. Besides anointing himself sainthood, Cope still has enough confidence to spare within himself to tell the world to shut its mouth, on top of being able to write songs about love, death and the cosmos. Curiously enough though, Saint Julian's best song, (Some Say Stolen from Ian McCulloch) is "Spacehopper" is about Cope's dick. McCulloch

Cope likes to distance him self these days from his more commercial releases and is content to hide in the shadows. He also has a dedicated if not obsessive fan base who pander to his ever word. Like Cope his legions of disciples who like to refer to them selves as black sheep heed their master voice and disassociate themselves from the glory days of St Julian As such St Julian is not easily available on CD or Download.
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on 6 December 2014
A genius at his best. I remember seeing him live in Cardiff not long after the release of this album and he was superb. This contains some great pop songs and with the additional music on disc 2 this represents great value. I had been waiting a very long time for this to be released and it has not disappointed!!
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on 26 April 2004
I will keep this simple.... This album is everything that you want frompost Teardrop Julian Cope. It has a timeless energy and rock solidproduction that combine to make this album a classic. That would explainwhy it is rare as dodo droppings... Nobody who owns this would sell itsecond hand. It is a prime piece of taste to have as part of your musiccollections backbone. The music itself does not date, (this was recordedover 15 years ago now), and its longevity is partly due to excellentmusicianship and tune-writing, and partly to do with the ever present MrCope, who weirds his way around the lyrics in his own un-mimicable style.Obviously, everyone can remember the singles 'Trampolene' and the bouncyanthem 'World shut your mouth', but the other tracks are of equal qualityand panache. This album takes you on a roller-coaster of feelings in theway that most fall painfully short of. I would recommend this one to be inyour collection without reserve. The only problem that you have now is tofind yourself a copy, 'cos i sure as hell am not going to part withmine....
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on 14 February 2013
saint julian is my favourite julian cope solo album.
the live show i saw then was fantastic.
this inevitable reissue adds a second disc of b sides.
many previously unavailable on cd.
nothing to get excited about 2 limp covers a few remixes.
the rest must be outtakes and it shows.
a live cd should have been included.
this is supposed be be a deluxe edition?
there is no thick digipack only a standard double case.
5 stars for saint julian and 3 for the b sides so it has to be a 4.
essential for cope collectors but this is a disappointment for me.
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on 4 April 2013
Post Teardrops and Pre Jehovakill, I loved the ballsy rocking out JC when this came out. Funky mic stand and Elvis leathers apart, it spawned a couple of hit singles and isn't anywhere near as over-produced as most records were that season. Listening again after all this time it still sounds like a great pop album to me. Great stuff even if it is disowned by the modern cult of Cope.
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on 9 September 2004
When Julian came out of seclusion he played Westminster City Hall and I was there. I was blown away by both his oldies and the new songs. The new songs from Saint Julian still today have a freshness that they had then. Despite being as potty as a hatter, Saint Julian reached the heady heights of Top of the Pops with his mad microphone stand, and some great leathers! I touched the hem of his garment and was changed forever!
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on 17 February 2013
First off, I want to point out that, even though this review will be largely negative in tone, this album is still worth buying. Please note that, my disparaging remarks here are in regards to how this album compares to other recordings by Cope and shouldn't be taken to refer to where this album sits in the grand scheme of things or in relation to the output of any of Cope's contemporaries.

Julian cope always had a foot in two seperate camps. Right from the get go with the Teardrops the blue eyed choir boy pop was balanced out by numbers that could could be considered as dark passengers: mutated bad trips usually found on the B.sides of the (sometimes) chart climbing A. sides. I know people to this day who never got Cope or the Teardrops - seemingly, these people struggle with the dichotomy they perceive as existing between these two representations. Personally, I always felt that these people missed the subtlety here: one doesn't have to apply too much concentration to realise that, nine times out of ten, the "poppier" numbers - the A. Sides if you will, were every bit as perverse and unsettling as the material which was overtly "darker". Funnily enough however, given my definition here, I feel St. Julian is as near as Cope came to becoming (intentionally??) one dimensional. Most of the songs here (but by no means all) are missing the depth and subtlety - the dark peversity if you will - of Cope at his best. Think of something like "Arnold Lane" by Pink Floyd. What makes that song notable is that it's subject matter is dressed up in sing song pop. This is the twist. This is what provides depth and the unsettling power of the number. This is generally what Cope had always done with his own overtly melodic material. On this album however, the conceit Cope was attempting was to ACTUALLY BE VACUOUS AND SHALLOW. Everything, from his image, to his lyrics to the songs themselves was an attempt at surface and one dimensionality. It obviously worked as it provided him with a second bite at the pop star apple - hence the title and sleeve pose: second coming (geddit?) (Incidentally, that this sleeve pose is struck in a scrap yard may betray something of Cope's cynicism about his undertaking at the time).

I love Julian Cope but have paid no attention to his recorded output since "Twenty Mothers". This is because, for me, he was always at his best when playing with melody and subtleties. I've heard nothing from him in almost twenty years now - my friend still doggedly buys Cope's albums so I do get to hear them once at least - that suggests to me he has interest any longer in this aspect of his talent. Fair enough. For me the first sign of this change in emphasis (albeit in very different form here to his work over the past couple of decades) can be found on St. Julian. The sound of the album was grating at the time: produced to be "Big" and "Eighties"; this may have become "charming" and redolent of an era now time has passed although I suspect only to music journalists who aren't old enough to have lived through it the first time around.

For me Julian Cope's best solo albums are: "World Shut Your Mouth", "Fried" and "JehovahKill". Coincidentaly - and I know Cope agrees with this as well - received wisdom is that the follow up to St. Julian: "My Nation Underground" is a naff album and nowhere near as good as it's predecessor. This brace of albums share a particular version of Cope; a particular representation of COPE THE POP STAR. Cope being big on metaphor possibly felt he was running out of enthusiasm for this particular image of himself by the second album here. This, coupled with events occuring in his personal and professional life at the time of recording "My Nation Underground" has led him ever since to condemn the album as a distasteful failure. To my mind, however, it has always been the far superior of the two albums. True it still has that eighties production and does sound very dated now but there is seemingly (to my ear) more depth, both lyrically and in the arrangemets on this album than there is to St. Julian and, given a choice, I would have slumped for "MNU" being re-issued if it had to have been one of the two. In saying this however, I wish someone would get around to re-issuing World Shut Your Mouth: yes, I have it on vinyl but it's 2013 and I want to put it on my IPod damn it!!

(Interestingly, given my review here, one of my vinyl album shelves collapsed a few years ago and all the records on that shelf came crashing to the ground; narrowly missing my head. Everything was ok however with the only damage being a bend in one Lp sleeve: St. Julian! Go figure.).
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