Monday, November 3, 2014

Julian Cope - Fried

This month marks the thirtieth anniversary of Fried, the second studio album from Julian Cope (and his second release for 1984 too). This one stalled at number 87 on the UK charts.

Side one opens with the bouncy beat of “Reynard the Fox”. The title comes from tales of animals that satirized contemporary society, dating as far back as the 12th century in Europe. Towards the end, the song gets chaotic and dark.

“Bill Drummond Said” is a jangle pop song inspired by the musician-songwriter Bill Drummond who was part of the late 70’s band Big In Japan. He later went on to become an A&R consultant for a number of record labels before co-founding the KLF in 1987. A year prior to that, Drummond responded to this track with his own song called “Julian Cope Is Dead”.

“Laughing Boy” rolls along on lovely guitar riff. Here, a guy pleads for another chance for he has nowhere else to turn.

The melancholy “Me Singing” follows. It tells of a singer who is adrift after a relationship has ended.

“Sunspots” was the album’s sole single; it stopped at number 76 on the UK charts. Here, a guy comes to the realization that he is in love with his best friend. It has a quirky chorus hook to it musically.

Side two begins with “The Bloody Assizes”, a song about the superior courts in England that try both civil and criminal cases. The quick-paced tempo reminds me a bit of early Adam and the Ants.

Things slow down with “Search Party”. It starts with a simple acoustic accompaniment before a full orchestration comes in for the chorus.

Cope switches things up a bit by using a predominant piano on “O King of Chaos”. The lyrics are plea from a son for his father’s love and attention.

“Holy Love” has a big, theatrical element to it. I could easily see it fitting into some kind of Broadway musical.

The album closes with “Torpedo”. The organ opening gives it a gothic hymn vibe. The lyrics, then, give it a bit of a creepy stalker element. Together, it all works really well.

This was my first listen to Fried and I liked quite a few of the tracks. As I may have mentioned before, Julian Cope was not an artist that was really on my radar back in the 80’s. Outside of some of the college and alternative stations, I suspect this album did not get a lot of exposure here in the States.

For more Julian Cope, click here.

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