Rethinking Lloyd Cole

Posted February 2nd, 2009 by eric

Every Sunday night during high school, I would sneak downstairs to watch MTV’s 120 Minutes, and, invariably, it would play Lloyd Cole video what seemed like every week. I never knew what to make of Lloyd Cole back then, but after reading 3hive’s case for him I’m intrigued enough to see what I think now. Part of my problem with Cole was exactly what 3hive points out as a point in his column, which is that he “completely avoided the New Wave, New Romantic and other sounds du jour of the 80’s.” Avoiding those traits probably made Cole invisible to me at that age. I certainly never picked up on Cole’s “timeless quality.” Like Paul Weller’s solo material, Lloyd Cole left me puzzled more than anything else. I like to think my musical ear is a little more in tune now. So, after trolling for Lloyd Cole videos, I’m definitely coming around. Since the embedding of every Lloyd Cole video is disabled by request on YouTube, I found some on MySpace. This is “Rattlesnakes” off Lloyd Cole and the Commotions debut album:


Tags: MySpace · video

2 responses so far ↓

  • 1 AJW // Feb 2, 2009 at 2:54 pm

    Thanks for that link to the 3hive article.
    I’ve been a fan of Lloyd Cole over twenty years now–wow, has it been that long?–and even as a rabid fan, I’ll admit that his output has been erratic.

    Of the three Commotions LPs, I prefer the final one (Mainstream) even though Rattlesnakes is considered his masterwork. (Its first track “Perfect Skin” might be my favorite pop song, and the title track is blissful.) Easy Pieces contains some great songs (like “Brand New Friend”) even if the LP as a whole feels overproduced, like they were aiming for commercial success that never materialized.

    Then after the release of Mainstream, he went solo, and this is probably around the time you saw his frequent video appearances on 12oM (early 1990s?). The eponymous first solo record is an even more obvious stab at commercialism than Easy Pieces ever was–and he refused to play one song off it when I saw him live a few years ago.

    Don’t Get Weird on Me, Babe might be my favorite solo work of his, (or maybe Love Story). Bad Vibes is terrible. He formed a backing band called The Negatives, and their 2000 release was decent.

    Sadly, I haven’t been impressed by his latest solo efforts, Music in a Foreign Language or Anti-Depressant (the latter is slightly better).

    YouToob user christs has quite the Lloyd Cole collection, as does philscreen. My favorites that have been posted:
    Perfect Skin
    Brand New Friend
    My Bag
    Jennifer She Said
    Mr. Malcontent
    From the Hip
    Like Lovers Do
    Sentimental Fool
    Weeping Wine

    I’ll stop now. Sorry. 🙁

  • 2 Brian L. Grieb // Apr 26, 2009 at 3:35 pm

    This is my video collection