Thursday, 28 February 2013

Desert island Discs 44 Wilder by Teardrop Explodes

44 Wilder by Teardrop Explodes 1981

Another one that was ever in the bargain bin of Spalding's Boots. At 14 years old I wanted to be Julian Cope , having read his excellent autobiography Head on , I'd have lasted a day at the most.

It was during this period that on one hand Julian Cope was all over Smash Hits answering what his favourite colour of socks were and on the other he was living a life of total on the road debauchery including not removing a pair of leather trousers for the whole duration of a lengthy tour.

Its an odd clash of styles , bouncy brass married to slow mood pieces , wrapped up in poppy psychedelia.

The lyrics with full of great quotable phrases but added all together their meaning only clear in the mind of Cope. I'd no idea what he was on about but loved his turn of phrase - "we talked for hours except for the fainting"

First single was a minor hit. Watch this clip for some of the worst dancing with a bass guitar you will ever see , a guitarist in a strange woollen smock and a brass section who have stumbled in from BBC 2s big band night.

I did read somewhere that this was written to piss off Ian McCulloch as Julian Cope was going out with his sister at the time , a match I guess Mac didn't approve of!

The next single stiffed, I'm not sure the Joseph from the school nativity outfit contributed to this or not

This is one of those lp which I freely admit probably isn't that much good. Julian Cope's voice clings to the slippery tunes' surfaces just about holding on and the brass , keyboards , funky bass mix hasn't dated well. It also holds the world record for the most amount of ba ba ba das.

It is on the chart for its time and place and because at that time and place I played it continually for an age, trying to build my own culture bunker

Typical Julian Cope is this performance of one of the best pop tunes on the lp that descends into the ramblings of someone who was more and more inhabiting his own planet

The two highlights were the stunningly fragile Tiny Children (strange choice for 3rd single that despite being Mike Read 275 and 285's single of the week stalled outside the top 40) and the epic Great Dominions , both of which makes you wonder at the state of Cope's mind but back then seemed immensely wise

Tiny Children - Teardrop Explodes

Great Dominions - Teardrop Explodes

You can buy the beautifully shambolic gem that is Wilder here


  1. Haven't listened to this in aeons. Always liked them but never really took them to my heart. Kilimanjaro is the only album I've owned.

  2. I saw them at Sheffield Poly during 'Kilimanjaro' days Seamus and they were excellent.
    I know that you love my 'I was there' moments so... I met Cope at a service station once; stood in his shadow; he must be 7 foot in Doc Martins. It was during his alien spotting days. He was scouring an AA road map and I offered assistance. Not many folk can get lost on the M1...

    1. you were lucky his wasn't also wearing his pointy wizards hat that he starting sporting around peggy suicide

    2. They were his 'alien spotted!' days.
      Friends who saw an early gig in Dublin reported he was totally off his head on shrooms and talked at some length about seeing leprechauns on O'Connell St (Dublin's main street). I mean, come on, everyone knows you only see leprechauns in the countryside.

  3. #44 - STEVEN LINDSAY - Exit Music (2004)

    - unanimous!

    1. Is it symbiosis or osmosis?
      I always got those two confused.

  4. Yeah, I also know Kilimanjaro well but have never heard this album.Prefer his bands output rather than what I;ve heard of his solo stuff.Still another one for the 'Best of only' catergory for me.
    # 44 Swan Dive - william and marlys .Americas answer to Everything but the girl. Lovely melodies and lush strings.
    Can't find any tracks from the original album but this is one of the bonus tracks on the Japanese version

  5. You need to have both Kilimanjaro and Wilder, folks. As usual, love the pick.

    Thanks for your earlier advice on the Wedding Present. Decided to start with the early stuff. George Best (Plus) should arrive in the mailbox any day now.


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