Lloyd Cole And The Commotions: Classic Or Dud

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Since they keep getting mentioned, you know?

Tom, Friday, 30 March 2001 00:00 (nineteen years ago) link

Aargh! The irritating self consciousness, archness and vanity of the early 80s Bunnymen/Smiths axis without the saving tunes, voice, lyrics or arrangements. Listening to laughing Lloyd can be compared to being immersed in a tepid, lukewarm tank of water. For all eternity. a dud, a very palpable dud.

Patterson, Friday, 30 March 2001 00:00 (nineteen years ago) link

Some decent tunes, but Cole's grotesque conceit renders the whole thing a dead duck. The name-dropping references(de Beauvoir, Mailer etc) show him up as a perpetual lower-sixth form snob. And he was fat.

Possibly even worse was his re-invention as a 'US-based singer songwriter'. I seem to remember various press articles where fell over himself to make sure that the journo *drank beer* with him. There were photo shoots with Cole wearing a plaid shirt in railroad yards next to boxcars too. Tit.

Dr. C, Friday, 30 March 2001 00:00 (nineteen years ago) link

You should forgive Lloyd Cole for being a 3rd-rate Leonard Cohen; it's not his fault he's British. And don't kid yourself, self- indulgence is key to any song about love. So what if only about 4 songs on even "The Best Of..." are palatable? Don't you remember how cool "Downtown" sounded in that Rob Lowe comeback movie once LC went solo? Jesus. Next you'll want to argue the relative merits of Stump's "A Fierce Pancake".

Ryan, Friday, 30 March 2001 00:00 (nineteen years ago) link

I, for one, thought A FIERCE PANCAKE by Stump was fucking brilliant. "HOW MUCH IS THE FISH? HOW MUCH IS THE CHIPS? DOES THE FISH HAVE CHIPS?"

In any case, Lloyd Cole? Well, "My Bag" was a decent enough tune. Can't really comment beyond that.

Alex in NYC, Friday, 30 March 2001 00:00 (nineteen years ago) link

I admit i have the debut rattlesnakes in my collection, and play it now and again: forest fire is a great track, and reminds me of the american band Television, the build up of guitars - lloyd cole certainly had a tom verlaine influence.

In 1984 Rattlesnakes had heaps of critical praise in certain quarters looking back at reference guides. Ofcourse most of the lyrics were po faced and far too clever for their own good. AMG profile Lloyd Cole - Rattlesnakes

never bought the second album, easy pieces, lost weekend and brand new friend - were ok/listenable cross over radio hits, that were played on the radio early in the weekday evenings, sunday afternoons, and sunday evenings remember the legendary annie nightingale request show (along with the likes of The Waterboys, China Crisis, Simple Minds, Killing Joke (yes them again), The Cult, Echo & the Bunnymen, Sisters of Mercy, Cocteau Twins, New Order, This Mortal Coil- song to the siren, Propaganda, Big Audio Dynamite E=MC2, The Smiths, Talking Heads and Kate Bush) as a 15 year old school kid in 1985 whilst I was doing my homework. A long time ago.

The stereotype following of Lloyd Cole & the Commotions:

Between 1984 and 1987 Lloyd Cole became strongly associated with a certain stereotypical type of university student following, you know those that studied (serious yet .. um..dull)BA degrees, with a college scarf purchased from the student union shop wrapped around their necks, with the NME tucked under the arm, their first car as a student was a Citreon 2CV, apart from lloyd cole - they also liked the more serious songwriter type artists like everything but the girl, Microdisney and Suzanne Vega and they ended up with worthy serious careers in teaching or social work. Stereotypical I know but THAT WAS Lloyd Cole core audience. Today these fans are in their mid 30s, youth faded away and their only contemporary connections to music are probably the dull likes of travis and coldplay. Can we blame Lloyd Cole for these two artists?

by 1987 Lloyd Cole was crap and had completely run out of new ideas, they were on automatic pilot and making ever so dull music like Hue & Cry, Deacon Blue, Love & Money and their ilk. sophisticated dull adult pop, mostly made in Scotland.

What was it with Scotland around this time with so many bands having the same American influences?

Anyone remember the Scots music magazine around 1986 and 1987 - Cut? which was actually not a bad music magazine, certainly better than the NME - Cut was a sort of Scottish Hot Press, that mixed music and politics.

in the nineties lloyd cole solo- totally off limits on my music radar. most likely dud.

DJ Martian, Friday, 30 March 2001 00:00 (nineteen years ago) link

At forefront of the mid-80s designer stuble movement, though Lloyd's seemed borne more of laziness than a desire to bang Melanie Griffith. Add in the rakish (read: floppy) Bryan Ferry haircut and - oh dear - the wheezing vocal delivery, and DUD. If it's any consolation, "Forest Fire" is marginally better than the likewise dud The Blue Nile.

AP, Saturday, 31 March 2001 00:00 (nineteen years ago) link

I'll give him some credit for being a T. Rex fan. He forgot to actually put any *SEX* into his cover versions, of course.

Ned Raggett, Saturday, 31 March 2001 00:00 (nineteen years ago) link

So it's come to this. I can almost certainly count on the fingers of one hand the number of albums I find more exhilirating than Rattlesnakes. OK, so he's not made anything quite in the same league since (although I know of at least one who'll make a case for the first solo album) but give the man a break. Almost no-one else has. And from what I've heard of his last album, he can still cut it with you youngsters. C L A S S I C!

Ally C, Saturday, 31 March 2001 00:00 (nineteen years ago) link


Omar, Wednesday, 4 April 2001 00:00 (nineteen years ago) link

I have never seen "On The Waterfront". The reason I have never seen "On The Waterfront" is that I have no desire to know what Eve Marie Saint in "On The Waterfront" looks like. And the reason for that is that the song "Rattlesnakes" has been too useful to me for me to want to bring it down to Earth.

Lloyd Cole has a lot of flaws - he's precious, he drops names, he's a puppydog romantic, he's apallingly inconsistent, he went stubbly and hung around railroad cars. But the fact is that when I was 15 and first heard Five Easy Pieces I thought it was a masterpiece. Now I think it's a curate's egg - as is Rattlesnakes - but I salute its wordy ambitions. The situational portraits and character studies on those two records still resonate.

"Rattlesnakes" itself is awesomely spoony put-her-on-a-pedestal- pop, "Why I Love Country Music" haunts me, the two crossover singles are terrific pop fun, and "Speedboat" and "Minor Character" draw make the micro-genre of heartbroken-observer pop quite their own. I don't know much apart from those albums - I never liked what I heard and I didn't want to spoil things. Maybe he's a songwriter I like because I feel sorry for him. More likely he's a songwriter I like because I feel sorry for myself.

Tom, Thursday, 5 April 2001 00:00 (nineteen years ago) link

Some people on this 'thread' have said some reasonable pleasant things about Lloyd. Those people can stand aside now - I've no quarrel with them. (Tom Ewing's points are very finely made, and several of his judgements very sound, though his praise is too faint, and he makes the identical glaring mistake with Lloyd that he made last year with Belle & Sebastian, by calling him 'inconsistent'. I am not convinced that Lloyd or Murdoch are inconsistent.) Anyway, as I say, those people can stand aside, they're OK.

For the rest:

When Bill Clinton first came under legal fire from right-wingers et al during the Lewinsky affair, Gore Vidal imperiously, improbably pronounced that Bill himself would survive this: the bile would rebound ultimately to the doom of his assailants. This is true too of those who here shamefully attack Lloyd. Lloyd and his achievements will outlive your pathetic mewlings.

the pinefox, Thursday, 12 April 2001 00:00 (nineteen years ago) link

one month passes...
Definetly classic. The fact that we are still talking about him - good or bad belies this. In Australia, his music was big, songs like the poppy "Brand New Friend" and "Lost Weekend" were seminal eighties fare. I always expect to hear his songs on some new teen film dealing with teen ideals and troubles; music like this speaks to people accross the board.

Ben, Thursday, 17 May 2001 00:00 (nineteen years ago) link

two weeks pass...
As one of those 30 something university romantics I feel I must defend the Commotions. Pretentious, mais oui! Precious, of course! Self-concious, indeed! It's all about context, the mid 80's in Britain were bloody depressing, Thatcher, the miners strike etc. We had fucking Duran Duran and Spandau Ballet making overblown Martini ad video's. The Smiths, Lloyd Cole, The Bunnymen, Orange Juice and Aztec Camera brought the cleansing fires of the righteous jangling guitar and lyrics which were at least about something college puddings like me could relate to. Yeah, it was wrapped up in image, only Yank bands could get away with looking like a sack of shit e.g. R.E.M., Long Ryders. In Britain the music scene has always gone hand in hand with fashion, look at The Who and The Small Faces. At college being a Smiths/Bunnies/Commotions fan meant wearing the bedsit fashions and possessing literary pretensions. Which is kind of where we came in with bookish Lloyd-a product of the British university system if there ever was one. God Bless.

Marc, Sunday, 3 June 2001 00:00 (nineteen years ago) link

No-one has mentioned Tom E's recent article yet. OK, it wasn't the vast paean that Lloyd deserved, but thanks all the same, Tom. I don't agree with - or even understand? - all of it - but still, nice to see taste outing, as it does, once in a while.

the pinefox, Sunday, 3 June 2001 00:00 (nineteen years ago) link

See how Tom Ewing once said the only good thing about Belle & Sebastian was theat the singer sounded like Lloyd Cole.

Nick, Monday, 4 June 2001 00:00 (nineteen years ago) link

To me the scary thing is what's typed in the google-space. Someone just has to put in "Mark Sinker" Hitler and they track down some an ancient between-you-and-me email saying "Marvellous fellow: soon have German on its feet again, what?"

I mean, now they can.

mark s, Monday, 4 June 2001 00:00 (nineteen years ago) link

See also how I compared B+S to Don McClean in that very same thread. I do wonder about myself sometimes.

Richard Tunnicliffe, Monday, 4 June 2001 00:00 (nineteen years ago) link

echo mark. all my adolescent musings now open to public perusal. gah.

sundar subramanian, Monday, 4 June 2001 00:00 (nineteen years ago) link

I've just had another look at all the attacks on Lloyd on this page. And - oh, dear - they feel just as dumb, ignorant and annoying as the first time I read them.

Thank goodness for Tom Ewing.

the pinefox, Sunday, 10 June 2001 00:00 (nineteen years ago) link

Pinefox, since you object to those anti-lloyd Cole postings so, I wonder why you chose to echo (at least some of) their style elsewhere on this board?

Tim, Tuesday, 12 June 2001 00:00 (nineteen years ago) link

Well said Tim - Pinefox's comments abt Sonic Youth (for example) were at least as "dumb, ignorant and annoying" as anything said about Lloyd Cole on this thread.

Andrew L, Tuesday, 12 June 2001 00:00 (nineteen years ago) link

Except for that last post.

the pinefox, Tuesday, 12 June 2001 00:00 (nineteen years ago) link

Grade A Dud. Lloyd's self-regarding lyrics, mid-Atlantic drawl and feeble songwriting talent make tiresome listening. Literate-pop, yeah ...right.

Stevo, Tuesday, 12 June 2001 00:00 (nineteen years ago) link

Or that one.

the pinefox, Tuesday, 12 June 2001 00:00 (nineteen years ago) link

four weeks pass...
Pinefox - while searching through some 'matter out of place' in my new flat found a v. old comp tape which had a BBC session version of 'Four Flights Up' on it - sounded really good, much better than the alb version. Did they ever release Lloyd's early sessions anywhere?

Andrew L, Wednesday, 11 July 2001 00:00 (nineteen years ago) link

Not that I know of. Don't THINK I ever heard sessions except BBC Live gig broadcast stuff - not studio stuff. Sounds fascinating.

the pinefox, Wednesday, 11 July 2001 00:00 (nineteen years ago) link

one month passes...
i remember seeing l cole playing forest fire on british tv to promote rattlesnakes years ago,i wish i could remember the name of the show. anyway to this day it still gives me a rush. its sad he never done anything worth shit since.

joe joyner, Saturday, 25 August 2001 00:00 (eighteen years ago) link


the pinefox, Sunday, 26 August 2001 00:00 (eighteen years ago) link

one month passes...
Lloyd's records still hold up well for me after all these years. Yes, I was a college student/fan, but my other tastes are more along the lines of Iggy Pop, the Fall, Minutemen, Joy Division... While I liked the Smiths & the Bunnymen in the 80's, I find very little of it to be of interest now. - unlike their contemporaries the Go-Betweens & the Jazz Butcher. But even the Smiths don't rank as a dud just because I don't feel like listening to them anymore; Morrissey, OK, he's a dud - He added something to the group, but it was Marr that had the talent.

Lloyd Cole is still great because he wrote incredible lyrics (somehow not as shmaltzy as Morrissey, and much more inventive - and quite frankly, I'm tired of the comparison.) Rattlesnakes was an amazing debut, but the longer I listen, the better "Bad Vibes" stands up. I'm never immediately happy with any of Lloyd's releases - it always takes repeated listenings.


Dave, Tuesday, 2 October 2001 00:00 (eighteen years ago) link

Amazingly, I think I may like Bad Vibes less than you.

But your point re. the way some of Lloyd's records take time to work is absolutely right, and I have rarely seen it recognized. (Best examples: Weird On Me, Love Story.)

the pinefox, Wednesday, 3 October 2001 00:00 (eighteen years ago) link

Lloyd still makes very listenable and relevant music today - as he has done for almost 20 years. I was also at University when I first heard him and the sound and lyrics were just right for that time...for me anyway, and have continued to be so throughout the different albums. There are some great lines throughout his songs :”Her heart is like crazy paving, upside down and back to front, she said, “It’s so hard to love when love was your great disappointment” – FANTASTIC! And what is so wrong with making reference to those who influence you (Leonard and Marc take a bow). Maybe Jodie did look like Eve Marie Saint.

Most artists try a different approach to their music at some point in their career (David Bowie springs to mind as the ultimate “reinventor”, then Madonna – or what about Elvis Costello with his Country and Western). Lloyd ventured into some “orchestrated” tracks in “Don’t get Weird…”, however the consistent lyrical content remained. I don’t know if all his songs are autobiographical, but I assume large proportions are. When you listen to them you can easily find references that reflect what goes on in life. Listen to Forest Fire, 2CV (so the room was really green, not blue, put it down to artistic license), Why I love Country Music, My Bag (didn’t everyone try something at sometime?), Jennifer, Loveless, To the Lions, Mister Wrong, Unhappy Song, Tried to Rock (most certainly autobiographical). I have no idea what he went through before/during “Don’t get Weird…”, but how many people can’t relate to the lyrics in tracks like “Half of Everything”? I admit, I didn’t find this album immediately accessible – but after a number of listens it became a regular on the CD player (and still is).

Lloyd’s most recent offering with the Negatives reaffirms my faith in him as a great songwriter – “What’s wrong with this Picture” is so apt (I’m now one of those 30 somethings mentioned earlier, teaching, married, children etc.etc.).

I’ve been listening to Lloyd’s music since 1984, and still do so on an almost daily basis. Sometimes you listen to music for the rhythm of “feel”, sometimes for the words, sometimes for the delivery, or perhaps because it captures certain snippets of life….Lloyd does it all. To paraphrase him (from the time of “Mainstream, I think), some of his songs are great, the others are just brilliant.

No doubt, an absolute CLASSIC!

Graham, Sunday, 7 October 2001 00:00 (eighteen years ago) link

I have a funny suspicion that this sudden explosion of People That Actually Like Lloyd Cole is some kind of elaborate practical joke. (Yes, I know it isn't really.)

the pinefox, Monday, 8 October 2001 00:00 (eighteen years ago) link

Or, Hopefully more likely, that they have just found "greenspun..."!

Graham, Wednesday, 10 October 2001 00:00 (eighteen years ago) link

three weeks pass...
DJ Martian informs me that Lloyd is on his way back to save pop in 2001. Thanks, Martian.

the pinefox, Friday, 2 November 2001 01:00 (eighteen years ago) link

Just providing facts/knowledge - Pinefox - for the benefit of others:

2001 Collected Recordings: Box set includes the new titles "Etc.." & "Plastic Wood", the UK version of "Lloyd Cole & The Negatives" (including "Artificial Tears") and exclusive bonus CD "Loaded" recorded live in New York. Country: UK. Release Date: 5-Nov-01.

Etc.., 14 track 2001 album is more laid-back & acoustic than the last release. Guest guitarist is Richard Hell & The Voidoids founder- member Robert Quine. Country: UK. Release Date: 5-Nov-01.

Plastic Wood, 18-track collection of solo instrumental recordings, many inspired by movies or the work of Brian Eno. Recorded in New York over a 2-year period. Country: UK. Release Date: 5-Nov-01.

Source: Siren Disc Siren Disc - Future Releases

DJ Martian, Friday, 2 November 2001 01:00 (eighteen years ago) link

Thanks, DJ Martian!

youn, Friday, 2 November 2001 01:00 (eighteen years ago) link

Classic, but conditionally so. He's been hit and miss with me for a long time, but those early albums are still worth a listen, certainly, and I can find enough worthy material in the solo years too.

RE the exchange between pinefox and Andrew L above - I have a bootleg CD recorded in '84 at Le Palace, which is good sounding show, and shows a couple of songs to still be in the writing stages...presumably Rattlesnakes was soon to be recorded. Oddly enough, they do a cover of the song Glory twice - opening and closing the show with it. Huh. But that's all I've seen, of that ilk.

Scott, Friday, 9 November 2001 01:00 (eighteen years ago) link

I saw Lloyd on Saturday in Chicago. He told a great story about Alice Cooper... Alice said in a show before playingOnly Women Bleed, "Even Lloyd COle doesn't have a song about menstruation."

Lloyd's response, "I'm psyched that Alice Cooper knows who I am."

(great show too.)

Dave225, Monday, 12 November 2001 01:00 (eighteen years ago) link

two weeks pass...
PineFox -

Did you know that Lloyd Cole has a "box set" out? (It's Etc., Plastic Wood & a Negatives Live CD. + the Negatives)

If you've heard it, rate it.

If not -
(They just raised the price - I bought it last week for £19.)

Dave225, Friday, 30 November 2001 01:00 (eighteen years ago) link

Etc. is really good. Lovely melodies. I like how he sings in different styles. His voice on 'Weakness' sounds like I've never heard it before.

youn, Sunday, 9 December 2001 01:00 (eighteen years ago) link

three weeks pass...
Just wanted to add my two cents as a thirty something married teacher with kids. I've loved Lloyd Cole since I was a freshman in high school (1984). The lyrics are pretentious--and as a future English major that was exactly what I liked about them. I actually read Norman Mailer because of Lloyd Cole. I agree with an earlier post that a lot of the music I listened to in the 80's, like the Smiths and Echo, haven't held my interest as I grew up, but I still listen to my Lloyd Cole cds (the ones I've been able to replace--I can't find Easy Pieces and it's driving me crazy) weekly. Sometimes I'll leave Rattlesnakes playing in the car for days--much to my husband's chagrin.

LC is brilliant, haunting, witty, charming, pretentious, goofy, multi- layered, intellectual, honest, and has very much continued to reflect my feelings about, and experiences with, life and love. (Hmmm. Sounds like a description of Shakespeare.) What more can we ask of any artist?

By the way, if anyone knows where I might find Easy Pieces on cd please let me know. I can't find it anywhere!!!


steph, Wednesday, 2 January 2002 01:00 (eighteen years ago) link

LC is brilliant, haunting, witty, charming, pretentious, goofy, multi- layered, intellectual, honest, and has very much continued to reflect my feelings about, and experiences with, life and love. (Hmmm. Sounds like a description of Shakespeare.) What more can we ask of any artist?

Pinefox! Back! She said she was married!

Tom, Wednesday, 2 January 2002 01:00 (eighteen years ago) link

grad-school pretension taking sides: stephanie pikul read n.mailer cuz of l.cole; i read 'of grammatology' becuz of s.politti

mark s, Wednesday, 2 January 2002 01:00 (eighteen years ago) link

I think I heard "Jacques Derrida" by Scritti because of having read him first. I like the way that works.

Ned Raggett, Wednesday, 2 January 2002 01:00 (eighteen years ago) link

Stephanie: Easy Pieces is easy to get on CD... isn't it? I've certainly seen it in the last 2 years or so.

I only have the old vinyl, but bought a second copy a few months back and (I think) immediately gave it away. (Didn't I? I can't remember much these days.)

There used to be a 2-for-1 tape of Rattlesnakes and Easy Pieces. (This is Peter Miller territory. Stories about teenage Buxton impend.)

All this is framed, of course, by the fact that Easy Pieces, while good by most standards, is one of the worst Lloyd Cole records ever. Probably only Bad Vibes and Plastic Wood, in their different ways, are worse.

the pinefox, Thursday, 3 January 2002 01:00 (eighteen years ago) link

Why don't you like 'Bad Vibes' ? I find it much more listenable than 'Mainstream' these days. Please explain.

Dave225, Thursday, 3 January 2002 01:00 (eighteen years ago) link

The material's just not there. Opens with a cracker; track 2 is lightweight fun; 'Holier Than Thou' is laboured. 'Love You So What' is good (always puts me in mind of Lennon; guess it's just the cold turkey line); so is 'My Way To You'.

But side 2 really tumbles. 'Too Much of a Good Thing' possibly = LC's worst ever LP track. 'Fall Together' is a bit of a folly that hardly manages to improve on 'Come Together'. 'Wr Wrong' is very good; esp the acoustic solo. 'Seen The Future' is fun I guess but not much more. 'Can't Get Arrested' is a pretty lame way to limp out.

I'm being too harsh - I've played this LP a LOT over 8 years, and that only on a poor tape copy. But I just don't think it stands up vs the others. It's underwritten, after the (magnificent) first track; maybe that's the basic problem.

the pinefox, Thursday, 3 January 2002 01:00 (eighteen years ago) link

What did you think of The Negatives album, Pinefox?

Mark, Thursday, 3 January 2002 01:00 (eighteen years ago) link

Best LP of 2000.

the pinefox, Thursday, 3 January 2002 01:00 (eighteen years ago) link

FYI sirendisc.com lists LC's new album, titled "Anti Depressant," to be
available in the UK on 18 Sep 06. Lloydcole.com says nothing.

DAVE's secret to fortu-Oh look! Shiny! (dave225.3), Wednesday, 2 August 2006 16:18 (thirteen years ago) link

If it's anything like his last one... (shudders, pours more wine)

Mallory L . O'Donnell (That Bitch Camille), Wednesday, 2 August 2006 16:22 (thirteen years ago) link

http://www.sanctuaryrecords.co.uk - also, no information. ~T-46 days, you'd think it'd make their list of "upcoming releases".

If you dig into the http://www.lloydcole.com forum, there are rough MP3s of new songs, which seem close to _Music in a Foreign Language_ in style.

lumberingwoodsman (Chris Hill), Thursday, 3 August 2006 13:29 (thirteen years ago) link

I am not sure about the title.

PJ Miller (PJ Miller 68), Friday, 4 August 2006 06:13 (thirteen years ago) link


L Cole (noodle vague), Friday, 4 August 2006 06:20 (thirteen years ago) link

The Young Idealists (mp3
Woman In A Bar
New York Sunshine
I Didn't See it Coming (mp3)
How Wrong Can You Be?
I Am Not Willing
Slip Away
Travelling Light
Rolodex Incident

DAVE's secret to fortu-Oh look! Shiny! (dave225.3), Friday, 4 August 2006 11:06 (thirteen years ago) link

Don't change it, Lloyd. I am not being a fuck you smugster. It is a nice title really, like Athlete's Foot Powder or Haemorrhoid Cream.

PJ Miller (PJ Miller 68), Friday, 4 August 2006 11:34 (thirteen years ago) link

didnt morrissey say something of him like "He's a wonderful person, much more interesting than anything he's ever recorded."

Mr Jones (Mr Jones), Friday, 4 August 2006 11:46 (thirteen years ago) link

Eew, get her.

DAVE's secret to fortu-Oh look! Shiny! (dave225.3), Friday, 4 August 2006 12:50 (thirteen years ago) link

one month passes...
Firstly - thanks for an interesting thread all.

Well, classic. An under appreciated one, for sure. His first solo album LC has the potential to launch him into significant recognition in the USA, but the circumstances did not gel per chance.

I have briefly met Lloyd twice, both times at Mercury Lounge in NYC. First at a Del Amitri (they are friends w/ LC) concert - where after listening to my drivel re my fav LC songs, he predicted (correctly) that I may like his next disc Love Story. The next time was in the late afternoon when he was having a beer while doing his set list for a benefit concert (for Elephants). I was asking the bartender for tickets when he modestly told me that it was not going to be a real LC concert for he would only be playing 5 or 6 songs even though headlining. The concert was quite good, and luckily introduced me to the female Lloyd Cole in the form of one Karen Iris (http://www.karenires.com/).

Ranking the discs:

1 Lloyd Cole X *****
2 Rattlesnakes *****
3 Love Story *****
4 Negatives ****1/2
5 Don't get weird ****
6 Easy Pieces ****
7 Bad Vibes ***1/2
8 Mainstream ***
9 MIFL ***

we will bypass Etc and Plastic Wood for side projects... looking forward to anti-depressant.

For those wondering what LC would perhaps sound like if he was born in Pennsylvania, sang even more about betrayal, had a fragment of Dylan in his voice, and played quitar more often like Robert Quine -- consider Kevin Salem's Ecstatic and/or Soma City.

Of course LC also gets classic bonus points for being a big influence on Matthew Sweet's GIRLFRIEND disc, even recommending to him to rename, rock-up and imclude the title song.

JEFF OBRIEN (JOBRIEN), Monday, 2 October 2006 01:49 (thirteen years ago) link

three weeks pass...
Antidepressant is pretty good. It probably cannot logically be one of my favourites of Lloyd's LPs, as there are already about four of those. But at the moment it remains, after many listens, the one I most want to hear again. It contains one or two real sparklers and deep melancholic slides.

I saw Lloyd live on Sunday, with Neil Clark and a malfunctioning computer. They seemed a tad under-rehearsed. I think they should have ditched the computer and concentrated on playing guitars together. And why does Lloyd so often insist on ending songs early, and stopping Clark from taking cool exciting solos where they belong?

I was struck by how good a song 'Past Imperfect' is, for a songwriter so far into his career.

the pinefox (the pinefox), Tuesday, 24 October 2006 10:34 (thirteen years ago) link

I saw him/them last night. It seemed quite "together" to me. I rather liked the laptop instrumentals he played at the start of the show (4 or 5 one-minute long ambient things). Most disappointed by song selection: no "Undressed", nothing from "Weird On Me" (my fave Lloyd LP) except Butterfly, nothing from "The Negatives"... but they did a fantastic version of 2cv in answer to a punter's request.

Half the PA wasn't working for half the set, and Neil's monitors were malfunctioning too.

harvey.w (harvey.w), Tuesday, 24 October 2006 11:54 (thirteen years ago) link

Harvey, what was the set exactly? I wrote Sunday's down, and wondered how it might change.

the pinefox (the pinefox), Tuesday, 24 October 2006 12:14 (thirteen years ago) link

I have applied to go and see The WHO on Sunday, but it is some kind of lottery.

PJ Miller (PJ Miller 68), Tuesday, 24 October 2006 12:53 (thirteen years ago) link

two weeks pass...
It [Buckfast] has become a favourite with young people in Scotland, who celebrate it with nicknames such as Commotion Lotion and Wreck the Hoose Juice. Its supposed prevalence in some neighbourhoods east of Glasgow has led the area to be branded the Buckfast Triangle.

I did not get to see The Who, apart from via the red button on my handset.

PJ Miller (PJ Miller 68), Tuesday, 7 November 2006 12:55 (thirteen years ago) link

When I saw Lloyd he was good, although I feel Neil Clark somehow doesn't work so well outwith the context of the Commotions. At times it was very good, at times he felt superfluous. But I liked Lloyd's range - I'm pretty sure he played at least one song from every single album in his canon. That's impressive.

Ally C (Ally C), Sunday, 12 November 2006 16:27 (thirteen years ago) link


the pinefox (the pinefox), Monday, 13 November 2006 13:26 (thirteen years ago) link

Because tours usually consist of "play entirety of new album plus a couple of old songs", also many artists have periods of their career they're not fond of and won't choose from. I just like breadth. I like overview. Good overview, Lloyd.

Ally C (Ally C), Monday, 13 November 2006 18:03 (thirteen years ago) link

Overview is good.

Has he ever disowned an album? The Negatives' "Tried to Rock" seemed more self-effacing and a comment on the albums' receptions than a direct statement against their quality.

Looking forward to a Seattle tour stop in 2007.

lumberingwoodsman (Chris Hill), Monday, 13 November 2006 18:30 (thirteen years ago) link

eight months pass...

Lloyd's entire BBC output - sessions & live, with the Commotions & solo - are now out on 3 sets (5 discs total). The sessions are fantastic and benefit, as almost all artists do, from the minimal production / short recording time required. The live shows are pretty good on first listen with some unique covers thrown in for good measure.

I liked his last solo album much more than _Musc In A Foreign Language_ but neither get as much airtime as _The Negatives_.

Mr. Odd, Sunday, 12 August 2007 20:02 (twelve years ago) link

Thanks for the tip! Just ordered all three. A few of the non-album tracks have shown up on singles over the years, right? "Mystery Train", for one. Looking forward to a proper release of that.

Wonder if that means he'll release a b-sides collection. "Blame Mary Jane", "Eat Your Greens", "Radio City Music Hall", etc. - there are gems to be mined.

scampering alpaca, Monday, 13 August 2007 16:46 (twelve years ago) link

one year passes...


the pinefox, Sunday, 12 July 2009 09:18 (ten years ago) link

i had a dream about lloyd a few nights ago.

jed_, Sunday, 12 July 2009 11:41 (ten years ago) link

i like to hear Mainstream every once in a while. to think 29 once seemed so old to me! still a pretty song to hear at 40.

scott seward, Sunday, 12 July 2009 12:37 (ten years ago) link

i can't actually remember 29 - maybe i'll dig the record out today. i still fondly remember From the Hip Sean Penn Blues and Big Snake. i always thought My Bag was a bit of a crap song though.

a lad who has just started working at my local shop looks like a young Lloyd. that's probably why i had that dream about him the other night. i can't remember the details of the dream though.

jed_, Sunday, 12 July 2009 12:59 (ten years ago) link

I listened to Don't Get Weird On Me, Babe last week. "She's a Girl and I'm a Man" may be his greatest song.

My name is Kenny! (Alfred, Lord Sotosyn), Sunday, 12 July 2009 13:00 (ten years ago) link

one year passes...

Currently finding myself obsessed with Easy Pieces. It's the only one of the Commotions-era albums I never owned (though I heard several of its songs on the best of).

Johnny Fever, Saturday, 24 July 2010 07:58 (nine years ago) link

"Minor Character" is often my fave Lloyd Cole song.

flashing drill + penis fan (Noodle Vague), Saturday, 24 July 2010 08:09 (nine years ago) link

While "Easy Pieces" is the weakest of the Commotions album, it's still really solid. Better live, I think, without some of the odd production choices.

Meanwhile, Lloyd's got a new album with a real-live band coming out in September. Fan-financed (including me) this time. I'm very glad to see he's got other folks with him as his last two solo albums were very weak, in part I think because he's all alone with himself.

Gerald McBoing-Boing, Saturday, 24 July 2010 14:25 (nine years ago) link

Johnny Fever OTM; serious disagreement with Gerald McBoing-Boing. LOVE Easy Pieces all the way through, no discernable weaknesses to be found

T Bone Streep (Cave17Matt), Saturday, 24 July 2010 14:42 (nine years ago) link

Does it have to be a SERIOUS disagreement? I mean, I rank the Commotions albums thusly:

Rattlesnakes - 10/10, fucking perfect, timeless album.

Mainstream - 9/10, love this to death as well, great tunes, clever lyrics ("Mr. Madonna" indeed), slightly less timeless. Admittedly this was the first Lloyd album I heard so there might be some nostalgia fogging my vision.

Easy Pieces - 8.5/10, when I say this is the 'weakest', I mean it's simply their 3rd best of 3. And "Brand New Friend", "Grace", "Perfect Blue" and "James" are better on the BBC comp while "Cut Me Down", "While I Love Country Music" and "Lost Weekend" kill on the recent Folksinger solo albums.

Gerald McBoing-Boing, Saturday, 24 July 2010 15:06 (nine years ago) link

For me it goes Mainstream>>Rattlesnakes>>>Easy Pieces. I think the third album just edges out the first by virtue of its darker edge and the sense of melancholy that haunts much of it. Rattlesnakes is great but it just sounds a little bit too clever in places, although the 20th anniversary reunion show I saw in 2004 was a blissful affair. As for Easy Pieces it's a classic example of the difficult second album to me, a few of the conceits are rather strained and the production sounds kind of cluttered. I remember reading an interview with Cole somewhere in which he said that "Minor Character" was one of the few songs he was ashamed of, just too easy and tossed off.

The self-titled solo album pretty much takes up where Mainstream left off and is also excellent, it was downhill from then on.

margana (anagram), Sunday, 25 July 2010 12:05 (nine years ago) link

I'll disagree (but not seriously) with that sentiment - Lloyd's solo work in the 90s is damn solid, though I'll admit that "Bad Vibes" is just a strange album, an example of an artist working outside his comfort zone and failing - but in a fascinating way, I think. "The Negatives" was as good as anything else he's done.

Some artists have voices I'll follow anywhere they go, Lloyd is one of them.

Gerald McBoing-Boing, Sunday, 25 July 2010 16:53 (nine years ago) link

CA is where
Everybody falls
Down, off the wagon
And under the wheels

Great, great song.

Vast Halo, Sunday, 25 July 2010 19:08 (nine years ago) link

Actually I'd forgotten about Love Story, which is just a fantastic album.

margana (anagram), Sunday, 25 July 2010 21:20 (nine years ago) link

G McB-B, I now understand where you are coming from and I'll retract "serious". Maybe substitute even "minor."

T Bone Streep (Cave17Matt), Monday, 26 July 2010 04:01 (nine years ago) link

one year passes...


Lloyd-penned ode to "Low"

Iago Galdston, Saturday, 16 June 2012 17:52 (eight years ago) link

I am the 5 other ILM fans of Lloyd thank you for that link!

Gerald McBoing-Boing, Saturday, 16 June 2012 20:58 (eight years ago) link

seven months pass...

there's some stuff on soundcloud too iirc?

and that sounds like a gong-concert (La Lechera), Friday, 8 February 2013 19:17 (seven years ago) link

it sounds good imo! cool cover, will look good on v1ny1.

christmas candy bar (al leong), Friday, 8 February 2013 19:21 (seven years ago) link

that's a pretty improbable pairing. lloyd cole meets electronic krautrock pioneer.

it's the distortion, stupid! (alex in mainhattan), Friday, 8 February 2013 21:00 (seven years ago) link

it's v pleasant from what i can tell -- http://soundcloud.com/lloydcole/sets/cole-roedelius-pre-release/

and that sounds like a gong-concert (La Lechera), Friday, 8 February 2013 21:06 (seven years ago) link

where is lloyd cole? doesn't he sing? the electronics are a little on the boring side, i'd say.

it's the distortion, stupid! (alex in mainhattan), Friday, 8 February 2013 21:18 (seven years ago) link

i dunno, those are the only tracks i've heard
not sure if he sings or plays guitar o que
i like boring electronic music so it's a-ok with me

and that sounds like a gong-concert (La Lechera), Friday, 8 February 2013 21:20 (seven years ago) link

yeah, i liked the portion i heard.

that's real banjo bro (Hunt3r), Friday, 8 February 2013 21:24 (seven years ago) link

xxp he made an instrumental electronic album over a decade ago ... which led to this collaboration.

fit and working again, Friday, 8 February 2013 22:39 (seven years ago) link

six years pass...

thanks for that. rattlesnakes to this day remains one of the most amazing guitar albums of all-time without any filler. forest fire still kills especially his solo at the end. here is what i wrote about that album some time ago.

walking towards the sun since 2007 (alex in mainhattan), Friday, 8 November 2019 22:44 (eight months ago) link

Out of nowhere a couple of weeks ago I got this line and melody stuck in my head: "He looks like Marlon Brando in On The Waterfront." My (older every day) brain could not pin it down, so I just kind of walked around for a couple of days while it popped to the fore of my memory every once in a while. Finally it clicked and I realized it was Lloyd Cole and I had the lyrics wrong (but I was on the right track!).

Josh in Chicago, Saturday, 9 November 2019 00:06 (eight months ago) link

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