Friday, 9 October 2009

God Like Genius

I recently sorted my songs on media player by artist to see who I had the most songs by (Sad I know) The winner with 187 songs ahead of James in second place and the Gobetweens in 3rd is Lloyd Cole.

I think Lloyd Cole is my ideal singer - guitars jangle and the lyrics are certainly pretentious.
It is quite scary to think that the first commotions lp was released 25 years ago and that they split up in 1989
In Lloyd's case it is not variety that counts, you can spot a lloyd cole song pretty much straight away, it is just the consistently high quality songwriting across all his lps.
This shown by his 2 latest releases
1) Antidepressant - the last lp he has released(2006) of new recordings is one of his strongest set of songs
2) Cleaning out the ashtrays - a 4 disc retrospective from his solo career of b sides, demos, unreleased tracks and alternative versions. Normally with these things it is a bit of a car boot sale in terms of quality, however there is hardly a duff track across all 4 discs. It is beautifully packaged and has some great sleeve notes as Lloyd Cole explains the songs and what was going on at the time. This is useful as his solo career is a tad complicated with lps not being released by record companies and then eventually released out of order of being recorded.
He seems to spend his time now doing 1 man solo tours (venues situated near great golf courses) and releasing the odd live lp. His website talks of a mystery new double cd.
It is well worth going to his website here. There is a great section called "Ask Lloyd" where you can ask him pretty much anything and he seems to always answer with blunt honesty
Having said that, he often downplays the meanings of his lyrics, saying that they often don't mean that much. I'm not sure this rings quite true. i read an interview with Gary Clark of Danny Wilson who wrote a couple of songs with Lloyd Cole. He said he found it odd as Lloyd insisted on writing all the lyrics and that they would only work together on the music. If ideas for lyrics came up , the subject would be changed or they would move on to a new song.
I've posted 3 tracks that hopefully are a little bit different
Chelsea Hotel - Lloyd Cole and the Commotions - a cover version of Leonard Cohen song recorded for "I'm your Fan" a compilation lp of artists covering Cohen's work
What's Wrong with this picture - LLoyd Cole and the Negatives - In 1997 he formed a band with some new york musicians and recorded 1 lp under lloyd cole and the negatives (a second lp using some negative songs came out later called "etc")
Butterfly remix - Lloyd Cole - Adam Peters remix of the opening track of "Dont Get Weird on me Baby". Featured on "Cleaning out the Ashtrays"
Woman in a Bar - Lloyd Cole - from latest solo lp "anti depressant" - songs about being middle aged!
You can buy "Cleaning out the Ashtrays" here. It is expensive but if you are a fan well worth owning.
If the 4 discs of ashtrays is too much Lloyd, then his latest cd Anti depressant can be bought here
If it is a fuller band sound you like then the Negatives lp can be bought here


  1. I've not counted the songs on my media player, but last year I did count up all the gigs I've seen in my life, and I'd seen Lloyd live more than anyone else.

    I'm currently working my way through his ashtrays and really enjoying his fag ends. I never get the pretentious accusation (though it does seem common) - maybe I'm pretentious myself. I often say that if I could live inside the songs of any songwriter, I'd choose the witty, melancholy, bitterly romantic world of LC.

  2. Hi Rol

    the pretentious bit is tongue in cheek - although the obsession I have with lyrics probaly means it is me who is guilty

    Like the idea of which songs you'd like to live in.

    I've only seen LC 3 times
    First was in the death throws of the commotions , 2nd was one of his one man and a guitar tours (when at times it was almost a stand up comedy routine!) and the third time the commotions reunion

  3. God Like Genius is about right.

    being a fair bit older than your goiod self, I saw The Commotions four times (five if you include the reunion gig where they were supported by James Feckin Blunt). I've also seen Lloyd solo at least 10 times over the years.

    Never lets you down live. Almost did once mind you....


Leave a comment and let me know what you are listening to.