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Lloyd Cole And The Commotions

Through both his lauded work fronting the Commotions and his more eclectic solo efforts, Lloyd Cole established himself as one of the most articulate and acute songwriters of the post-punk era. Born January 31, 1961, in Buxton, England, Cole formed the Commotions in 1982 while studying philosophy at the University of Glasgow. Originally a large soul band, the group eventually trimmed itself down to a quintet that included keyboardist Blair Cowan, guitarist Neil Clark, bassist Lawrence Donegan, and drummer Stephen Irvine.

The uncommon quality of Cole's songwriting earned the Commotions a contract with British Polydor, and in 1984, they debuted with Rattlesnakes, a wry, heartfelt record of jangling guitar pop stuffed with references to the likes of Jules et Jim, Simone de Beauvoir, Norman Mailer, and On the Waterfront; "Perfect Skin," the shimmering first single, reached the U.K. Top 30. Produced by the hitmaking team of Alan Winstanley and Clive Langer, 1985's Easy Pieces was a slicker effort that included the singles "Lost Weekend" and "Brand New Friend," both of which earned significant airplay on alternative radio outlets.

Following the release of 1987's Mainstream, Cole disbanded the Commotions and moved to New York City to establish himself as a solo performer. There he joined forces with noted session drummer Fred Maher, who enlisted ex-Voidoid Robert Quine on guitar and an up-and-coming singer/songwriter named Matthew Sweet to play bass for Cole's eponymously titled 1990 solo debut, which continued much in the vein of his work with the Commotions. Released in 1991, Don't Get Weird on Me, Babe marked a major artistic shift, as the entire second half of the album explored lush, string-sweetened cabaret music, arranged by Paul Buckmaster (known for his work with Elton John and the Rolling Stones).

Commercial success continued to elude Cole, however, and it took 1993's Bad Vibes -- a diverse effort touching upon psychedelia and electronics -- a year to find U.S. distribution. By the time of 1995's Love Story, his sound had come full circle; a return to the more minimalist, folk-rock-inspired work with the Commotions, the LP not coincidentally marked Cole's reunion with the band's guitarist, Neil Clark. The new millennium sparked a new union for Cole, for his 2001 album The Negatives not only showcased the album's namesake, but the name of his new band. Collaborations with Adam Schlesinger (Fountains of Wayne, Ivy), Jill Sobule, and Michael Kotch (Vitamin C, Eve's Plum) were featured on the new record, as well as production credits from Stephen Street (the Smiths, Blur). Extensive touring followed.

Cole resurfaced in 2004 with the understated Music in a Foreign Language LP. Recorded largely at home, the album featured a cover of Nick Cave's "People Ain't No Good." In 2006, Anti-Depressant -- in which Cole compellingly dealt with the positive and negative aspects of aging -- was released. Broken Record followed four years later. The 2013 album Standards was co-funded by fans and featured contributions from Fred Maher and Matthew Sweet. He released an interesting electronic record, Selected Studies, Vol.1 in March 2013 with the Krautrock legend Hans-Joachim Roedelius. It received favorable reviews and provided another unique chapter in Cole's distinguished career. ~ Jason Ankeny, Rovi
full bio

Selected Discography

x

Track List: Collected Recordings 1983-1989

Disc 1

1. Perfect Skin

2. Speedboat

3. Rattlesnakes

4. Down On Mission Street

5. Forest Fire (Extended Version)

6. Charlotte Street

7. 2cv

8. Four Flights Up

9. Patience

10. Are You Ready To Be Heartbroken?

Disc 2

1. Rich

2. Why I Love Country Music

3. Pretty Gone

4. Grace

5. Cut Me Down

6. Brand New Friend

7. Lost Weekend

8. James

9. Minor Character

10. Perfect Blue

Disc 3

1. My Bag

2. From The Hip

3. 29

4. Mainstream

5. Jennifer She Said

6. Mister Malcontent

7. Sean Penn Blues

8. Big Snake

9. Hey Rusty

10. These Days

Disc 4

1. The Sea And The Sand

2. You Will Never Be No Good

3. Andy's Babies

4. Glory (B-Side From "Forest Fire")

5. Sweetness

6. Perfect Blue (Hardiman Mix)

7. Jesus Said (B-Side From "My Bag")

8. Brand New Friend (Demo)

9. From Grace (Demo)

10. Her Last Fling

11. Big World

12. Nevers End

13. Mystery Train (Live At The World, New York / 1986)

14. I Don't Believe You (Live At The World, New York / 1986)

15. Love Your Wife

16. Lonely Mile

17. Please

18. My Bag (Dancing Remix)

Disc 5

1. Down On Mission Street (Demo)

2. Are You Ready To Be Heartbroken? (Demo)

3. Patience (Demo)

4. Eat My Words (Demo)

5. Forest Fire (Demo)

6. Perfect Skin (Demo)

7. Poons (Demo)

8. Old Hats (Demo)

9. You Win (Demo)

10. Old Wants Never Gets (Demo)

11. Another Dry Day (Demo)

12. 29 (Demo)

13. Jennifer She Said (Demo)

14. Hey Rusty (Demo)

15. Everyone’s Complaining (Demo)

16. Mister Malcontent (Demo)

17. Jennifer She Said (Polished Rough Mix)

18. Hey Rusty (Extended Version)

x

Track List: Live At The BBC, Vol. 1

1. Glory (Saturday Live - BBC Radio 1 Session 26/05/84)

2. Patience (Saturday Live - BBC Radio 1 Session 26/05/84)

3. Perfect Skin (Saturday Live - BBC Radio 1 Session 26/05/84)

4. Rattlesnakes (Richard Skinner Session - BBC Radio 1 05/07/84)

5. Speedboat (Richard Skinner Session - BBC Radio 1 05/07/84)

6. Forest Fire (Richard Skinner Session - BBC Radio 1 05/07/84)

7. Andy's Babies (Richard Skinner Session - BBC Radio 1 05/07/84)

8. Forest Fire (BBC Session 1984)

9. Four Flights Up (BBC Session 1984)

10. Down On Mission Street (BBC Session 1984)

11. Charlotte Street (BBC Session 1984)

12. Sweetness (BBC In Concert Hammersmith Palais 13/12/1984)

13. Perfect Skin (BBC In Concert Hammersmith Palais 13/12/1984)

14. Down On Mission Street (BBC In Concert Hammersmith Palais 13/12/1984)

15. 2cv (BBC In Concert Hammersmith Palais 13/12/1984)

16. Four Flights Up (BBC In Concert Hammersmith Palais 13/12/1984)

17. Rattlesnakes (BBC In Concert Hammersmith Palais 13/12/1984)

18. Speedboat (BBC In Concert Hammersmith Palais 13/12/1984)

19. Forest Fire (BBC In Concert Hammersmith Palais 13/12/1984)

x

Track List: Live At The BBC Vol 2

Disc 1

1. Brand New Friend (BBC In Session 1985)

2. James (BBC In Session 1985)

3. Grace (BBC In Session 1985)

4. Speedboat (BBC Radio 1 Janice Long Session 12/08/1985)

5. Perfect Blue (BBC Radio 1 Janice Long Session 12/08/1985)

6. Charlotte Street (BBC Radio 1 Janice Long Session 12/08/1985)

7. James (BBC Radio 1 Janice Long Session 12/08/1985)

8. Brand New Friend (BBC Radio 1 Janice Long Session 12/08/1985)

Disc 2

1. Rich (Live At Glastonbury Festival 15/11/1986)

2. Lost Weekend (Live At Glastonbury Festival 15/11/1986)

3. Old Hats (Live At Glastonbury Festival 15/11/1986)

4. Pretty Gone (Live At Glastonbury Festival 15/11/1986)

5. Mr. Malcontent (Live At Glastonbury Festival 15/11/1986)

6. Brand New Friend (Live At Glastonbury Festival 15/11/1986)

7. Perfect Blue (Live At Glastonbury Festival 15/11/1986)

8. Cut Me Down (Live At Glastonbury Festival 15/11/1986)

9. Are You Ready To Be Heartbroken? (Live At Glastonbury Festival 15/11/1986)

10. Speedboat (Live At Glastonbury Festival 15/11/1986)

11. Forest Fire (Live At Glastonbury Festival 15/11/1986)

12. Grace (Live At Glastonbury Festival 15/11/1986)

13. Rattlesnakes (Live At Glastonbury Festival 15/11/1986)

14. Perfect Skin (Live At Glastonbury Festival 15/11/1986)

15. Mystery Train (Live At Glastonbury Festival 15/11/1986)

x

Track List: 1984 - 1989

1. Perfect Skin

2. Are You Ready To Be Heartbroken?

3. Forest Fire

4. You Will Never Be No Good

5. Rattlesnakes

6. Perfect Blue

7. Brand New Friend

8. Cut Me Down

9. Lost Weekend

10. Her Last Fling

11. Mr. Malcontent

12. My Bag

13. Jennifer She Said

14. From The Hip

x

Track List: Mainstream

1. My Bag

2. From The Hip

3. 29

4. Mainstream

5. Jennifer She Said

6. Mr. Malcontent

7. Sean Penn Blues

8. Big Snake

9. Hey Rusty

10. These Days

x

Track List: Easy Pieces

1. Rich

2. Why I Love Country Music

3. Pretty Gone

4. Grace

5. Cut Me Down

6. Brand New Friend

7. Lost Weekend

8. James

9. Minor Character

10. Perfect Blue

x

Track List: Rattlesnakes

1. Perfect Skin

2. Speedboat

3. Rattlesnakes

4. Down On Mission Street

5. Forest Fire

6. Charlotte Street

7. 2cv

8. Four Flights Up

9. Patience

10. Are You Ready To Be Heartbroken?

Comments

Report as inappropriate
He can't sing, sounds like a bunch of other depressing '80's artists. Thumbs down loser
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Seeing him in a couple weeks for the first time, can't wait.
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kazbluz
Lloyd Cole needs a brand new PR agent a sleek Art project in a large city that goes with his smooth music and image. Assuming he wants to be acknowledged for his work, which he never seems to be.
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rbrodey1
Arguably one of, if not the best, songwriters of our time. It's a shame he hasn't received the recognition he so richly deserves.
Report as inappropriate
Uber sexy music
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avocadolemon
I saw Lloyd Cole and the Commotions at a small club in the 80s in San Francisco. One of the best concerts I have ever seen. An amazingly humble and talented band. They played so well, and they were funny too. Just a really great show. The place was packed SRO and as I was leaving people just shook their heads wondering why they were not playing more gigs in the city. They could have filled two more clubs that size!
Great stuff.
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jason.trevis 0
First tape I bought as a teenager in 86!
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dbex99
Forest Fire, Patience, Heartbroken. . . . g e n i u s . Wish there were more like him.
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beautiful, haunting, and evocative music this guy lloyd creates! i agree...almo s t criminally ignored by the masses
Report as inappropriate
@terry, he is still writing and touring, but each effort is now difficult for him with little backing from studios, production monies, he has to do it all on his own now ... LC the best ... great songwriter ...
Report as inappropriate
terry_damero n 1
why did he stop writing? just love this guy,s sound.
Report as inappropriate
Forest fire has one of the best guitar solos ever towards the last 90 seconds of the song. pure beauty.
Report as inappropriate
Yes, he's a genius.
Report as inappropriate
yup, perfect skin is a good one......... . . . . . .
Report as inappropriate
One of the best pop songwriters ever! To this day "Perfect Skin" still gives me chills! It's a shame how criminally ingnored this man is!

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