Julian Cope Album by Album by Single by EP by Pseudonym Thread

Discussion in 'Music Corner' started by Summer of Malcontent, May 29, 2017.

  1. Summer of Malcontent

    Summer of Malcontent Forum Resident Thread Starter

    Okay, this thread was requested, and I think I have enough information at hand to get us into the 21st century at least, so let's celebrate the career of one of Britain's wackiest and most creative artists.

    We start with




    Sleeping Gas / Camera Camera / Kirkby Workers Dream Fades 7” (1979)

    A-side rerecorded for Kilimanjaro LP.

    Bouncing Babies / All I Am Is Loving You 7” (1979)

    A-side rerecorded for Kilimanjaro LP. This recording was remixed for the ‘Ha Ha I’m Drowning’ double 7”.

    Treason / Read It in Books 7” (1980)

    A-side included on first edition of Kilimanjaro LP, remixed for subsequent editions and single rerelease in 1981.

    B-side rerecorded for Kilimanjaro.



    When I Dream / Kwalo Klobinsky’s Lullaby / Camera Camera / Take Chance

    Zoo Records compilation with three unreleased Teardrop Explodes tracks.

    ‘When I Dream’ is an early version from March 1980.
    ‘Kwalo Klobinsky’s Lullaby’ is credited to Whopper.
    ‘Camera Camera’ is the b-side recording.
    ‘Take a Chance’is an outtake from November 1979

    All of the above tracks were compiled on the Piano CD (1990). Most of the single tracks are also available on the latest CD reissue of Kilimanjaro.

    For completion’s sake, a pre-Teardrops cover of ‘Satisfaction’ from 1978 was included on Floored Genius 3 in 2000.
  2. Tripecac

    Tripecac Forum Resident

    New Zealand
    Piano was the first Teardrop Explodes album I bought (yeah, I got into them late). When I first heard it, I thought it was very weird and lo-fi compared to Cope's mid-80s polished pop that I was familiar with.

    The mastering job on [my CD of] Piano is pretty horrible. The sound is very harsh, and there are pops galore. However, that's part of the charm: it sounds like I'm listening to a scratchy old record in a dark corner of a radio station. Listening to it reminds me of those low-budget university days, when as an "aspiring" DJ I spent 90% of my time in the radio station taping vinyl instead of actually being on the air (I think I was on the air 3 times total).

    The music underneath the scratchy production is strange, catchy, out of tune, trancy, and forever alternates between beautiful and abrasive, soothing and irritating, poppy and dirgy. I suppose a lot of psychedelic and post-punk music can be described similarly, but for me, these early Teardrops songs scream out with "POTENTIAL!!!" more than any other band of that era, except perhaps The Fall.

    Note that 7 of the tracks on Piano were later included on a 3CD deluxe version of Kilimanjaro, but on that release their noise reduction is so heavy that the tracks sound badly muffled. I prefer the Piano version, scratches and all!

    And finally, I loved this first version of Sleeping Gas so much that I covered it on the first Julian Cope tribute CD: Trav's Julian Cope Site - Interpreters Volume 1 - Tiny Children (1998) - listen at your own risk!
  3. vcpj

    vcpj Well-Known Member

    birmingham, al
    "Read It In Books" was re-recorded a second by Cope solo under the shortened title "Books" on the CHARLOTTE ANNE ep. [​IMG]
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  4. Summer of Malcontent

    Summer of Malcontent Forum Resident Thread Starter

    'Sleeping Gas' is a pretty unusual debut single, even for 1979, with its trancey looping structure. It almost sounds like it was designed to be sung as a round.

    Cope's determined oddness is to the fore immediately, but it isn't until the third single that you really get the sense that he also has a wicked way with a pop hook.
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  5. Tripecac

    Tripecac Forum Resident

    New Zealand
    Speaking of oddness, I think "Kwalo Klobinsky's Lullaby" is probably the weirdest dub version of a song I've heard so far!
  6. Summer of Malcontent

    Summer of Malcontent Forum Resident Thread Starter

    KILIMANJARO (1980)

    The debut album has been revised a number of times, so here’s an attempt to track all the changes in tracklisting over the years.

    Ist UK edition (October 1980)

    Side One: Ha Ha I’m Drowning / Sleeping Gas / Treason / Second Head / Poppies in the Field
    Side Two: Went Crazy / Bad Boys Keep Their Promises / Bouncing Babies / Books / Thief of Baghdad / When I Dream

    ‘Treason’ is the Zoo single version.
    ‘When I Dream’ runs 5.01.
    Band cover.

    US edition (1980)

    Side One: Ha Ha I’m Drowning / Treason / Suffocate / Reward (extended version) / When I Dream
    Side Two: Went Crazy / Bad Boys Keep Their Promises / Sleeping Gas / Books / Thief of Baghdad / Poppies in the Field

    Adds ‘Reward’ in a unique extended version and ‘Suffocate’.
    Omits ‘Second Head’ and ‘Bouncing Babies’.
    Uses original album mixes.
    Band cover. This version was briefly released on CD, with the zebra cover, in the 1990s.

    2nd UK edition (1981)

    Side One: Ha Ha I’m Drowning (remix) / Sleeping Gas (remix)/ Treason (remix) / Second Head (remix) / Reward / Poppies in the Field (remix)
    Side Two: Went Crazy (remix) / Bad Boys Keep Their Promises (remix) / Bouncing Babies (remix) / Books (remix) / Thief of Baghdad (remix) / When I Dream (remix)

    ‘Reward’ added, all other tracks remixed.
    ‘When I Dream’ runs 5.38.
    Zebra cover.
    CD 1st edition (1989) is identical to this version, but uses the band cover.

    CD 2nd edition (2000)

    Same as 2nd UK edition, except that a longer version of ‘When I Dream’ is substituted, running 7.13.
    2000 edition includes bonus tracks taken from Mercury singles.
    Band cover.

    CD 3rd edition (2010)

    Reverts to original track list, omitting ‘Reward’, but using 1981 remixes.
    Zebra cover.
    2010 edition includes ‘Bates Motel’, a compilation of Zoo and Mercury single tracks, and ‘BBC Sessions’ disc.


    Tracklist & sources:

    Reward – single a-side
    Sleeping Gas – Zoo single version
    Camera Camera – ‘Sleeping Gas’ b-side
    Kirkby Workers Dream Fades – ‘Sleeping Gas’ b-side
    Bouncing Babies – remix of Zoo single version, from ‘Ha Ha I’m Drowning’ double 7”.
    All I Am Is Loving You – ‘Bouncing babies’ b-side
    Treason – original single (and LP) mix
    Read It In Books – Zoo ‘Treason’ b-side
    Kilimanjaro – ‘When I Dream’ b-side
    Strange House in the Snow – ‘Reward’ b-side
    Use Me – Treason (remix) rerelease b-side
    Traison (C’est juste une histoire) – Treason (remix) rerelease 12” b-side
    Sleeping Gas (live) – ‘Tiny Children’ 12” b-side


    Peel Session 2/10/79: Brave Boys Keep Their Promises / Ha Ha I’m Drowning / Went Crazy / Chance
    Peel Session 16/4/80: Thief of Baghdad / When I Dream / Poppies in the Field
    Mike Read Session 16/10/80: Reward / Suffocate / For Years / The Great Dominions

    Several of these tracks previously released on Peel Sessions Plus (2007).
    Last edited: May 31, 2017
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  7. Summer of Malcontent

    Summer of Malcontent Forum Resident Thread Starter


    When I Dream (edit) / Kilimanjaro 7” (1980)

    ‘When I Dream’ runs 3.16. This version had never been rereleased.

    Reward / Strange House in the Snow 7” (1981)

    Treason (It’s Just a Story) (remix) / Use Me 7” (1981)
    Treason (It’s Just a Story) (remix) / Traison (C’est juste une histoire) / Use Me 12” (1981)

    ‘Reward’ and ‘Treason’ reissued as a double A-side in 1985, with their original 7” b-sides on the 12”.

    Ha-Ha I’m Drowning (remix edit) / Poppies in the Field 7” (1981)
    Ha-Ha I’m Drowning (remix edit) / Poppies in the Field // Bouncing Babies (remix of Zoo single version) / Read It in Books (Zoo single version) double 7” (1981)

    Single remix / edit of ‘Ha Ha I’m Drowning’ is available on The Greatest Hit CD.
    ‘Bouncing Babies’ remix is available on 2010 Kilimanjaro reissue.
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  8. alexpop

    alexpop Power pop + other bad habits....

    Think we can cope with this timely thread.
  9. Tripecac

    Tripecac Forum Resident

    New Zealand
    It took me forever to find Kilimanjaro. I'd heard some of the songs on Floored Genius (a 1992 Cope/Teardrop compilation) but didn't get to hear the whole thing until I found the LP in the radio station archives, and taped it. I later bought the LP as well, but I don't remember if I sold or left it in the US before I moved to New Zealand in 2009 (I didn't bring any vinyl with me). I was very excited when Kilimanjaro was reissued on CD a few years later. I actually got it after I found Piano and Wilder on CD. I know, a bit backwards!

    Anyway, enough about me, onto the music.

    There are some really great songs on this album. In fact, most or all of them are either good or great. Individually.

    My problem with this album is that it doesn't really flow. It just pounds. Relentlessly. POUND POUND POUND. Not in a punk way, or a 4-on-the-floor techno way. But rather, it pounds in the Teardrop Explodes way. It is THE quintessential Teardrop Explodes album, in that it is the purest representation of "The Teardrops Sound". But it's like having 12 alpha males in the same room. Wayyy too much testosterone. Not in the King Kong way, or the Pro Footballer way, but rather in the Teardrop Explodes way. It is like Da Vinci painting 12 portraits very similar to the Mona Lisa, all technically great, but ALL ON THE SAME ALBUM. It's too much. Of the same thing. Forcefully. It's the trumpet player who blasts into your year. Sounding cool at first. But DOES NOT SHUT UP. It's the loudness war. Too much.

    That's my feelings about the first Teardrop Explodes album. I love listening to a handful of songs off of it, but not the whole thing. It should have been more varied.

    And I have the feeling that Cope felt the same way. Because everything after this, at least for the rest of the century, is incredibly varied. Never again is he involved in a project so focused on a particular sound.

    Some people love Kilimanjaro, and think it's Cope's best work, never to be surpassed. I can understand why some people might like it and not his later, looser stuff. It certain has a focus, a brash (relentless) assertiveness and confidence that Cope never replicated later. If you like Cope at his most "Alpha", then this is it. This is his peak.

    But if you appreciate Cope's "beta" personality (full of self-questioning, self-mocking, and humor at his own expense), then Kilimanjaro might feel like a bit too serious, too relentless in its narrow-minded brashness and pomposity.

    Again, great songs. Fantastic energy. Fun videos (if you can track down Copeulation I strongly recommend you do so). But wayyyyy too sugary to make it a truly savourable Cope album, IMO.
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  10. Tripecac

    Tripecac Forum Resident

    New Zealand
    Question: In what ways do the "remixed" versions of the 2nd UK edition differ from the previous versions? And is it worth trying to track down a CD copy of the un-remixed versions? (I just have the 2000 and 2010 versions at the moment).
  11. Tripecac

    Tripecac Forum Resident

    New Zealand
    One more thing: I liked the simpler Peel Session version of "Ha Ha I'm Drowning" enough to record my own version for the third tribute CD: Trav's Julian Cope Site - Interpreters Volume 3 - Triple Vegetation (2007)

    I think of all the Teardrops stuffs, I like the less-produced (and less-polished) stuff the most. This is the opposite of how I feel about Cope's releases: I generally like his well-produced stuff the best. I'm curious if other people feel the same way: the Teardrops sound their best when playing really "loose", and Cope sounds his best when someone's forcing him to "focus"... If only he hadn't "divorced" Donald Ross Skinner! But more of that later... :)
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  12. John Barrett

    John Barrett Well-Known Member

    Great thread. Looking forward to trashing the Jehovahkill 'remaster'.
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  13. Jim B.

    Jim B. Forum Resident

    Co-written by Ian McCulloch from the Bunnymen who also released a version as the b-side to their first single.
  14. Jim B.

    Jim B. Forum Resident

    Cope was a massive Fall fan of course, he was friends with Mark E. Smith and is name checked in one of the early Fall songs.

    I adore the early Teardrops material. It really is classic UK 1979/1980 era stuff, that great period of creativity and innovation. Their stuff is like gold dust, like the early Postcard stuff. What sets them apart is they didn't have a dominant guitar sound like most of the other bands and it was more in the background.
  15. Leepal

    Leepal Forum Resident

    Swindon, UK
    nice one! Here's an artist I like, but don't own everything by, and for once I'm not late to the party in terms of following the thread.

    will be digging out my Kilimanjaro LP (Zebra cover) tonight.
  16. Summer of Malcontent

    Summer of Malcontent Forum Resident Thread Starter

    I think I agree with Ipecac about Kilimanjaro. It doesn't have a great flow as an album, in whatever version, and it includes a number of the band's weakest songs ('Second Head', 'Went Crazy', 'Bad Boys Keep Their Promises'). But on the other hand, as Jim B. intimates, the early Teardrops were a very special band, and early Teardrop Explodes songs are a scarce resource, so I treasure even the lesser material.

    The remixes are hardly radical. Mostly it was a case of polishing what was already there to make the rest of the album better match the pop sparkle of 'Reward'. But I would recommend tracking down the US version of the album, which has most of those original mixes. It's worth it for the unique tracks: 'Reward' with the longer intro is a really interesting variant. I presume the tape was sent over to the US for their version of the album before they decided to trim the intro for the definitive UK single release (in which case it's sort of like the US promo version of 'Penny Lane'). And 'Suffocate' is a great song (though I prefer the stringed remake) that adds a little of the light and shade that Ipecac thought was missing from the original tracklist - though it's programmed weirdly in the middle of side one between the two big singles. If you want the CD of the US tracklisting, it's this release: The Teardrop Explodes Featuring Julian Cope - Kilimanjaro

    While we're mucking about in the early years, does anybody have any definite information about the original version of the debut album, Everybody Wants to Shag the Teardrop Explodes? In simplest terms, I guess it's Kilimanjaro if it had been released on Zoo, but were there actually distinct sessions for that version of the album that were scrapped, let alone a complete Zoo album that was rerecorded, or is it all just semantics?

    And, in the big, weird world of title tracks that were left off the album, the moody, tribal 'Kilimanjaro' is one of the all-time greats. It's the band at their most Bunnymen.

  17. zwolo

    zwolo Forum Resident

    would love to have been in the room with Cope & Mac writing Read it in Books...a friendship that dissolved intensely. It's hard for two huge egos to coexist.
  18. Summer of Malcontent

    Summer of Malcontent Forum Resident Thread Starter

    For anybody who's ever had trouble tracking down any of these early releases, The Freshies feel your pain:
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  19. adm62

    adm62 Forum Resident

    Toronto, Canada
    Everybody wants to Shag is the unreleased (and unfinished) third album.
  20. Summer of Malcontent

    Summer of Malcontent Forum Resident Thread Starter

    No, it was the original title for the first album (see liner notes for To the Shores of Lake Placid), but ended up being recycled for the third album - presumably because it was too good a title not to use! I've never heard of any real working title for the third album.

    Not exactly legible, but the early version of 'When I Dream' is identified as "Taken from the Never Released Album 'Everybody Wants to Shag the Teardrop Explodes' ".

    However, these liner notes also claim that the non-existent Whopper have a forthcoming album called 'The Fuel of the Big Engine'!
  21. kyodo_dom

    kyodo_dom Forum Resident

    I think you're dead right about this. I bought it after discovering solo Cope in '86 when I was a teenager. Played the hell out of it for a couple of years, but can't have listened to it more than half a dozen times in the past 25 years or so. Wilder, however, ahh, but that has yet to appear in the thread...
  22. alexpop

    alexpop Power pop + other bad habits....

    Best Teardrops Explode album?
    Best Julian Cope album ?
  23. Jim B.

    Jim B. Forum Resident

    I have to disagree with you about the debut. For me it has a great flow, it's one of those albums that need to be played on one sitting, and I really think there isn't a weak track on it. For me it's one of the great debuts and great albums of the period.

    And while we are on the subject, what an amazing song is Thief of Baghdad, I adore that track.
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  24. alexpop

    alexpop Power pop + other bad habits....

    Wanted mind a JC cd box with all his albums + oddities.
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  25. vertigone

    vertigone Forum Resident

    I met Mac in the 90s and had a few minutes to chat with him. Couldn't help but ask what he thought of Cope at the time (after Cope's then-recent run of Peggy Suicide, Jehovakill, Autogeddon) and he said "same as always, he's crap". A predictable slag from the Mouth, but really, Mac's solo work has never touched the brilliance of Cope's best.

    Might be my favorite from Kilimanjaro.
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