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Julian Cope

Julian Cope

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Julian Cope is a British rock
Rock music
Rock music is a genre of popular music that developed during and after the 1960s, particularly in the United Kingdom and the United States. It has its roots in 1940s and 1950s rock and roll, itself heavily influenced by rhythm and blues and country music...

 musician
Musician
A musician is an artist who plays a musical instrument. It may or may not be the person's profession. Musicians can be classified by their roles in performing music and writing music.Also....* A person who makes music a profession....

, author, antiquary, musicologist, poet and cultural commentator. Originally coming to prominence in 1978 as the singer and songwriter in Liverpool
Liverpool
Liverpool is a city and metropolitan borough of Merseyside, England, along the eastern side of the Mersey Estuary. It was founded as a borough in 1207 and was granted city status in 1880...

 post-punk
Post-punk
Post-punk is a rock music movement with its roots in the late 1970s, following on the heels of the initial punk rock explosion of the mid-1970s. The genre retains its roots in the punk movement but is more introverted, complex and experimental...

 band The Teardrop Explodes
The Teardrop Explodes
The Teardrop Explodes were an English post-punk/neo-psychedelic band formed in Liverpool in 1978. Best known for their Top Ten UK single "Reward" the group originated as a key band in the emerging Liverpool post-punk scene of the late 1970s, the group also launched the career of group frontman...

, he has followed a solo career since 1983 and initiated musical side projects such as Queen Elizabeth
Queen Elizabeth (band)
Queen Elizabeth is a British band. It is a collaborative experimental project between Thighpaulsandra and Julian Cope. The general concept behind Queen Elizabeth was a "sonic ritual" in which sounds, melodies and other sonic properties would combine...

, Brain Donor
Brain Donor
Brain Donor are an English power trio, formed in July 1999 by Julian Cope and two Spiritualized members, Doggen Foster and drummer Kevin 'Kevlar' Bales...

 and Black Sheep
Black Sheep (anarcho-folk band)
Black Sheep are an English anarcho-folk band formed by singer/songwriter and counter-cultural activist Julian Cope. They are the most recent of Cope's ongoing side projects, which include Brain Donor and Queen Elizabeth.-Background and work:...

. Additional to his own work as a musician, Cope remains an avid champion of obscure and underground music.

Cope is also a recognised authority on Neolithic culture, an outspoken political and cultural activist, and a fierce critic of contemporary Western society (with a noted and public interest in occultism, paganism and Goddess worship). As an author and commentator, he has written two successive volumes of autobiography called Head-On (1994) and Repossessed (1999); two volumes of archaeology called The Modern Antiquarian
The Modern Antiquarian
The Modern Antiquarian: A Pre-Millennial Odyssey Through Megalithic Britain is a book written by Julian Cope, published in 1998. It explores a number of sites of Britain's megalithic heritage, including Stonehenge and Avebury...

(1998) and The Megalithic European
The Megalithic European
The Megalithic European : The 21st Century Traveller in Prehistoric Europe is Julian Cope's second book on historic sites, this time looking at continental Europe and Ireland. Like its predecessor - The Modern Antiquarian - the book is split into a shorter, discursive introduction with the bulk...

(2004); and three volumes of musicology
Musicology
Musicology is the scholarly study of music. The word is used in narrow, broad and intermediate senses. In the narrow sense, musicology is confined to the music history of Western culture...

 called Krautrocksampler
Krautrocksampler
Krautrocksampler: One Head's Guide to the Great Kosmische Musik - 1968 Onwards, written by musicologist and former The Teardrop Explodes singer, Julian Cope, is a book describing the underground music scene in Germany from 1968 through the 1970s. The book was first published in the United Kingdom...

(1995), Japrocksampler
Japrocksampler
Japrocksampler: How the Post-war Japanese Blew Their Minds on Rock 'n' Roll, was written by author and musician Julian Cope and published by Bloomsbury on September 3, 2007...

(2007) and Detroitrocksampler.

Early life


Born in Deri, Mid Glamorgan
Mid Glamorgan
Mid Glamorgan is a preserved county of Wales. From 1974 until 1996, it was also an administrative county, with a county council.Mid Glamorgan was formed in 1974 under the Local Government Act 1972...

, Julian Cope spent his early life in Wales
Wales
Wales is a country that is part of the United Kingdom and the island of Great Britain, bordered by England to its east and the Atlantic Ocean and Irish Sea to its west. It has a population of three million, and a total area of 20,779 km²...

. Part of his childhood was spent in the Welsh town of Bargoed
Bargoed
Bargoed is a town in the Rhymney Valley, Wales, one of the South Wales Valleys. It lies on the Rhymney River in the county borough of Caerphilly and straddles ancient boundary of Glamorgan and Monmouthshire. 'Greater Bargoed', as defined by the local authority Caerphilly County Borough Council,...

, adjacent to Aberfan
Aberfan
The Aberfan disaster was a catastrophic collapse of a colliery spoil tip that occurred in the Welsh village of Aberfan on Friday 21 October 1966, killing 116 children and 28 adults.-Mining debris:...

: he has cited the Aberfan disaster of 1966 as a key event of his childhood. Cope’s family later moved to Tamworth
Tamworth
Tamworth is a town and local government district in Staffordshire, England, located north-east of Birmingham city centre and north-west of London. The town takes its name from the River Tame, which flows through the town, as does the River Anker...

, Staffordshire
Staffordshire
Staffordshire is a landlocked county in the West Midlands region of England. For Eurostat purposes, the county is a NUTS 3 region and is one of four counties or unitary districts that comprise the "Shropshire and Staffordshire" NUTS 2 region. Part of the National Forest lies within its borders...

, in the English Midlands, where he spent his adolescence. Despite Cope’s demonstrable intelligence, poor school examination results led to him attending the City of Liverpool College of Higher Education
Liverpool John Moores University
Liverpool John Moores University is a British 'modern' university located in the city of Liverpool, England. The university is named after John Moores and was previously called Liverpool Mechanics' School of Arts and later Liverpool Polytechnic before gaining university status in 1992, thus...

, and it was here that he began his musical career.

Early bands (1976-1977)


In July 1977, Cope was one of the founders of Crucial Three
Crucial Three
The Crucial Three were a short-lived band that existed for approximately six weeks in early 1977. They nevertheless achieved notoriety on account of the individual success of all three founding members: Julian Cope formed The Teardrop Explodes and has enjoyed a long and successful solo career as...

, a Liverpool punk rock band in which he played bass guitar. Although the Crucial Three lasted for little more than six weeks (and disbanded without ever playing in public), all three members would eventually go on to lead successful Liverpool post-punk bands - singer Ian McCulloch
Ian McCulloch (singer)
Ian Stephen McCulloch is an English singer, born in Liverpool, and is best known as the frontman for the rock group Echo & the Bunnymen.-Career:...

 with Echo & the Bunnymen
Echo & the Bunnymen
Echo & the Bunnymen are an English post-punk band, formed in Liverpool in 1978. The original line-up consisted of vocalist Ian McCulloch, guitarist Will Sergeant and bass player Les Pattinson, supplemented by a drum machine. By 1980, Pete de Freitas had joined as the band's drummer, and their debut...

 and guitarist Pete Wylie
Pete Wylie
-Studio albums:- Extended Plays :-Singles:-External links:***...

 with The Mighty Wah. Post-Crucial Three, Cope and McCulloch initially went on to form other short-lived bands UH? and A Shallow Madness (Cope had also spent time with Wylie in another short-lived band, Nova Mob). When Cope sacked McCulloch from A Shallow Madness, McCulloch would go on to form Echo and the Bunnymen. The two former bandmates would maintain a frequently antagonistic rivalry from then on, often carried out in public or in the press.

The Teardrop Explodes (1978-1983)


In 1978, Cope formed The Teardrop Explodes
The Teardrop Explodes
The Teardrop Explodes were an English post-punk/neo-psychedelic band formed in Liverpool in 1978. Best known for their Top Ten UK single "Reward" the group originated as a key band in the emerging Liverpool post-punk scene of the late 1970s, the group also launched the career of group frontman...

 with drummer Gary Dwyer, organist Paul Simpson and guitarist Mick Finkler, with himself as singer, bass player and principal songwriter. Drawing on a post-punk version of West Coast pop music (which gained the nickname of “bubblegum trance”), the band became part of a wave of neo-psychedelic Liverpool bands. Cope and Dwyer (and later their manager-turned-keyboard player David Balfe
David Balfe
David Balfe is most notable for playing keyboards with The Teardrop Explodes, founding the Zoo and Food record labels, signing Blur and for being the subject of their number one hit - "Country House".-Biography:...

, who served both as Cope’s creative foil and his personal antagonist) were the only band constants, although seven other members passed in and out of the lineup during the band’s fractious five-year existence. Several well-received early singles (including "Sleeping Gas" and "Treason") culminated in the band’s biggest hit, "Reward" which hit number 6 in the UK singles chart and took the Kilimanjaro
Kilimanjaro (album)
Kilimanjaro is the 1980 debut album by the neo-psychedelic Liverpool band The Teardrop Explodes. It contains versions of the band's early singles - "Sleeping Gas", "Bouncing Babies", "Treason" & "When I Dream" - as well as their biggest hit, "Reward"...

album to number 24 in the album charts. Cope’s photogenic charm and wild, garrulous interview style helped keep the band in the media eye, and made him a short-lived teen idol during the band’s peak.

Success brought the Teardrops plenty of attention, but no further stability. Their second album Wilder
Wilder (album)
Wilder is the second album by neo-psychedelic Liverpool band The Teardrop Explodes, and the final completed album released by the group....

experimented with different and darker psychedelic styles, as well as delving deeper into Cope’s complicated psyche: it spawned no hits and sold relatively poorly at the time (despite being critically praised in retrospect). Excessive drug use plus continued infighting undermined the band, and a final lineup of Cope, Dwyer and Balfe split apart in 1982 after failed attempts to record a third album and a final disastrous tour.

Despite the relatively short life of the band, The Teardrop Explodes has continued to sustain interest and praise since its demise and the band’s back catalogue of recordings has been reissued several times over the next thirty years. Cope, however, has strenuously resisted taking advantage of any nostalgic and commercial opportunies to reunite the band.

The Mercury years - World Shut Your Mouth and Fried (1982-1985)


In 1982 (accompanied by his new American wife Dorian Beslity) Cope had moved to the Warwickshire
Warwickshire
Warwickshire is a landlocked non-metropolitan county in the West Midlands region of England. The county town is Warwick, although the largest town is Nuneaton. The county is famous for being the birthplace of William Shakespeare...

 village of Drayton Bassett
Drayton Bassett
Drayton Bassett is a village and civil parish in the District of Lichfield, Staffordshire, England. Nearby are the town of Tamworth and Middleton Lakes RSPB reserve, formerly a gravel quarry known in part as Drayton Bassett Pits.It formerly had a manor....

 (close to his childhood home of Tamworth
Tamworth
Tamworth is a town and local government district in Staffordshire, England, located north-east of Birmingham city centre and north-west of London. The town takes its name from the River Tame, which flows through the town, as does the River Anker...

). Following the dissolution of The Teardrop Explodes
The Teardrop Explodes
The Teardrop Explodes were an English post-punk/neo-psychedelic band formed in Liverpool in 1978. Best known for their Top Ten UK single "Reward" the group originated as a key band in the emerging Liverpool post-punk scene of the late 1970s, the group also launched the career of group frontman...

, he spent a period in seclusion recovering from the strain of the group’s final year and amassing a collection of vintage toys. Cope’s well-documented Teardrops-era LSD
LSD
Lysergic acid diethylamide, abbreviated LSD or LSD-25, also known as lysergide and colloquially as acid, is a semisynthetic psychedelic drug of the ergoline family, well known for its psychological effects which can include altered thinking processes, closed and open eye visuals, synaesthesia, an...

 excesses, eccentric behaviour and subsequent retreat had led to him being labelled an "acid casualty" in the vein of Syd Barrett
Syd Barrett
Syd Barrett , born Roger Keith Barrett, was an English singer-songwriter, guitarist, and painter, best remembered as a founding member of the band Pink Floyd. He was the lead vocalist, guitarist and primary songwriter during the band's psychedelic years, providing major musical and stylistic...

 and Roky Erikson, an image which would take him several years to shake off. During this period, Cope befriended a teenaged Drayton Bassett musician called Donald Ross Skinner
Donald Ross Skinner
Donald Skinner is a guitarist, songwriter and producer born in Edinburgh, UK primarily known for his work with Julian Cope. Skinner is commonly known by the name Donald Ross Skinner with the addition of the middle name of Ross attributed to him by Cope after Glenn Ross Campbell, the pedal steel...

, who would become his main musical foil for the next twelve years.

Later in 1983 Cope began recording the songs which would make up his first solo album, World Shut Your Mouth
World Shut Your Mouth (album)
World Shut Your Mouth is the debut album solo album by Julian Cope.-Background:World Shut Your Mouth was written during Cope's 1983 retreat to the village of Drayton Bassett , following the breakup of Cope's former band The Teardrop Explodes...

. Although the album generally retained the uptempo pop drive of the Teardrops, it was also an introspective and surreal work with many references to childhood. Former Teardrops drummer Gary Dwyer, guitarist Steve Lovell
Steve Lovell
Stephen William Henry "Steve" Lovell is a former English footballer who played as a striker.-Portsmouth:...

 and Dream Academy oboist Kate St. John (although not Skinner) all contributed to the album, which was released on Mercury Records
Mercury Records
Mercury Records is a record label operating as a standalone company in the UK and as part of the Island Def Jam Motown Music Group in the US; both are subsidiaries of Universal Music Group. There is also a Mercury Records in Australia, which is a local artist and repertoire division of Universal...

 in March 1984. World Shut Your Mouth
World Shut Your Mouth (album)
World Shut Your Mouth is the debut album solo album by Julian Cope.-Background:World Shut Your Mouth was written during Cope's 1983 retreat to the village of Drayton Bassett , following the breakup of Cope's former band The Teardrop Explodes...

was seen as out-of-step with the times gained poor reviews and sold indifferently. A single "Sunshine Playroom", featured a disturbing video directed by David Bailey
David Bailey
David Royston Bailey CBE is an English photographer.-Early life:He was born in Leytonstone, but his family were forced to move to Heigham Road, East Ham when a World War II bomb destroyed their home. Bailey was three years old, and this is where he and Thelma, his younger sister, were raised by...

 (featuring Leah Harounoff in her debut role). During a concert at Hammersmith Palais
Hammersmith Palais
The Hammersmith Palais de Danse, later simply the Hammersmith Palais, was a ballroom and entertainment venue in London that operated from 1919 until 2007...

 on the subsequent promotional tour, Cope slashed across his bare stomach with a broken microphone stand in an act of frustrated self-mutilation. Although the wounds were superficial, it shocked the audience and resulted in another memorable addition to his reputation for bizarre behaviour.

World Shut Your Mouth
World Shut Your Mouth (album)
World Shut Your Mouth is the debut album solo album by Julian Cope.-Background:World Shut Your Mouth was written during Cope's 1983 retreat to the village of Drayton Bassett , following the breakup of Cope's former band The Teardrop Explodes...

was followed just six months later by 1985’s Fried
Fried (album)
Fried is the second solo album by Julian Cope.-Background:Fried was released just six months after Cope’s debut solo album, 1984’s World Shut Your Mouth Cope retained guitarist Steve Lovell Fried is the second solo album by Julian Cope.-Background:Fried was released just six months after Cope’s...

album for which Cope was joined by Skinner, Lovell, St John, ex-Waterboys
The Waterboys
The Waterboys are a band formed in 1983 by Mike Scott. The band's membership, past and present, has been composed mainly of musicians from Scotland, Ireland and England. Edinburgh, London, Dublin, Spiddal, New York, and Findhorn have all served as homes for the group. The band has played in a...

 drummer Chris Whitten
Chris Whitten
Chris Whitten is a British session drummer who provided drums for the hit singles "What I Am" by Edie Brickell & New Bohemians, "World Shut your Mouth" by Julian Cope and "The Whole of the Moon" by The Waterboys...

 and Wah!
Pete Wylie
-Studio albums:- Extended Plays :-Singles:-External links:***...

 guitarist Steve "Brother Johnno" Johnson. The album was much more raw in approach than its predecessor, and although in many respects it prefigured the looser and more mystical style which Cope would follow and be praised for in the next decade, it sold poorly at the time (as did accompanying single "Sunspots"). Notoriously, the sleeve featured a naked Cope crouched on top of the Alvecote Mound slag heap clad only in a large turtle shell. The commercial failure of Fried
Fried (album)
Fried is the second solo album by Julian Cope.-Background:Fried was released just six months after Cope’s debut solo album, 1984’s World Shut Your Mouth Cope retained guitarist Steve Lovell Fried is the second solo album by Julian Cope.-Background:Fried was released just six months after Cope’s...

led to Polygram dropping Cope. He would subsequently hook up with a new manager – artist and musician-cum-prankster Cally Callomon – and sign a deal with Island Records
Island Records
Island Records is a record label that was founded by Chris Blackwell in Jamaica. It was based in the United Kingdom for many years and is now owned by Universal Music Group...

.

The Island years part 1: Saint Julian and My Nation Underground (1986-1990)


With Cally’s encouragement, Cope made the effort to clean up and compete. He formed a new backing group (informally known as the "Two-Car Garage Band") featuring Skinner, Whitten, former Teardrops associate James Eller on bass guitar, and himself on vocals, rhythm guitar and assorted keyboards (Cope performed the latter under the alias of "Double DeHarrison" until the band hired Richard Frost as full time keyboard player). This band lineup recorded Cope’s third solo album Saint Julian
Saint Julian (album)
Saint Julian is the third solo album by Julian Cope. It has a very strong pop sound, compared to other Cope releases, and spawned several of his best known tracks ....

, mostly composed of crisp and memorable rock songs. It was trailed by the single "World Shut Your Mouth", which became Cope’s biggest solo hit, reaching #19 in the UK in 1986 and becoming his only Top 20 solo hit. The parent album was well-received and generated two more singles (“Trampolene” and “Eve’s Volcano”) but the fresh momentum did not last. Cope fell out with Callomon, and the Two-Car Garage band disintegrated as Eller joined The The
The The
The The are an English musical and multimedia group that have been active in various forms since 1979, with singer/songwriter Matt Johnson being the only constant band member.-Early years :...

 and Whitten left for Paul McCartney
Paul McCartney
Sir James Paul McCartney, MBE, Hon RAM, FRCM is an English musician, singer-songwriter and composer. Formerly of The Beatles and Wings , McCartney is listed in Guinness World Records as the "most successful musician and composer in popular music history", with 60 gold discs and sales of 100...

's band.

Back in London, and with only the faithful Skinner remaining, Cope enlisted his A&R man Ron Fair
Ron Fair
Ron Fair is a veteran A&R executive, record producer arranger, recording engineer and songwriter. In a career that has spanned over 30 years at major record labels he has produced and arranged hits for several artists, but he is best known as a "guru/mentor", guiding the careers of unknown artists...

 as producer and recorded a follow-up album called My Nation Underground
My Nation Underground
My Nation Underground is the fourth solo album by Julian Cope. It produced three singles including "Charlotte Anne" ....

. This featured a varied lineup of musicians including Fair, Skinner, Danny Thompson
Danny Thompson
Daniel Henry Edward 'Danny' Thompson is an English multi-instrumentalist best known as a double bassist and businessman...

, eccentric percussionist Rooster Cosby (who’d remain a close Cope associate) and assorted sessions musicians (some of whom, such as James Eller, had contributed to the previous album). My Nation Underground
My Nation Underground
My Nation Underground is the fourth solo album by Julian Cope. It produced three singles including "Charlotte Anne" ....

produced only one Top 40 single, "Charlotte Anne
Charlotte Anne
"Charlotte Anne" is a song by English singer Julian Cope released as the first single from his album My Nation Underground in 1988. The song was Cope's only chart-topping single on any U.S...

", which also met with modest American success by reaching the top of the Modern Rock Tracks
Modern Rock Tracks
Alternative Songs is a music chart in the United States that has appeared in Billboard magazine since September 10, 1988. It lists the 40 most-played songs on modern rock radio stations, most of which are alternative rock songs...

. Subsequent singles "5 O'Clock World" (a cover of a 1965 Vogues
The Vogues
The Vogues are an American vocal group from Turtle Creek, Pennsylvania, a suburb of Pittsburgh. The original group consisted of Bill Burkette , Don Miller , Hugh Geyer and Chuck Blasko .-Career:...

 song) and the orchestral pop ballad "China Doll" both charted considerably lower, disappointing Island Records and further discouraging Cope, who had not enjoyed making the record and did not believe that it represented him properly as an artist.

To comfort himself, Cope spent a single illicit weekend at the end of the My Nation Underground
My Nation Underground
My Nation Underground is the fourth solo album by Julian Cope. It produced three singles including "Charlotte Anne" ....

sessions to create a second, lo-fi and unauthorised album called Skellington
Skellington
Skellington is the fifth solo album by Julian Cope.-Background:Skellington was recorded in just two days at the end of the sessions for Cope's 1988 album My Nation Underground. It was inspired by Cope's frustration with the work on My Nation Underground, which he had lost faith in even as he...

. Recorded in the same studio used for My Nation Underground
My Nation Underground
My Nation Underground is the fourth solo album by Julian Cope. It produced three singles including "Charlotte Anne" ....

on Island’s money (and predominantly featuring the same core team of Cope, Skinner, Cosby and Fair) it was seen by Cope as a far more genuine artistic statement recorded at a fraction of the money and time. However, neither Island Records nor Cope’s current management team had any desire to release Skellington and Cope refused to record any other material while he feuded with them to try to get his new work released. Eventually, Skellington was released on the tiny Zippo label later in 1989, symptomising the poor relations between Cope and Island.

In 1990, Cope followed up Skellington with a second lo-fi album called Droolian
Droolian
-Background:Droolian was recorded against the background of Cope's disagreement with Island Records, the record label to which he was contracted at the time. During this time, Cope was discovering that the recordings he made on a low-budget, one-take approach were more pleasing to him than the...

, similarly recorded over three days. It was released only in Texas (on another small label, Mofoco) and the profits were used to aid of one of Cope’s heroes, the former 13th Floor Elevators
13th Floor Elevators
The 13th Floor Elevators were an American rock band from Austin, Texas formed by guitarist and vocalist Roky Erickson, electric jug player Tommy Hall, and guitarist Stacy Sutherland, which existed from 1965 to 1969...

 frontman Roky Erickson
Roky Erickson
Roky Erickson is an American singer, songwriter, harmonica player and guitarist from Texas. He was a founding member of the 13th Floor Elevators and a pioneer of the psychedelic rock genre.-Biography:...

, who at that time was in jail without legal representation.

The Island years part 2: Peggy Suicide & Jehovahkill (1991-1992)


During this period, Cope discovered the book "Guitar Army: Rock and Revolution with The MC5 and the White Panther Party
White Panther Party
The White Panthers were a far-left, anti-racist, White American political collective founded in 1968 by Lawrence Plamondon, Leni Sinclair, and John Sinclair. It was started in response to an interview where Huey P. Newton, co-founder of the Black Panther Party, was asked what white people could do...

" by John Sinclair
John Sinclair (poet)
John Sinclair is a Detroit poet, one-time manager of the band MC5, and leader of the White Panther Party — a militantly anti-racist countercultural group of white socialists seeking to assist the Black Panthers in the Civil Rights movement — from November 1968 to July 1969...

. He would later describe it as his “Holy Book” and enthusiastically embraced its one-take approach to making and recording music (as well as its message of rock- and-roll being a weapon of cultural revolution). This method would typify Cope’s musical approach from then on, as he forever left behind the more measured and constructed approach of Saint Julian and The Teardrop Explodes in favour of more spontaneous expression.

Having repaired his relationship with Island Records, Cope began recording his next record against the background of the civil demonstrations which became the Poll Tax Riots
Poll Tax Riots
The UK Poll Tax Riots were a series of mass disturbances, or riots, in British towns and cities during protests against the Community Charge , introduced by the Conservative government led by Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher...

. Cope himself joined the demonstrations and took a prominent role in proceedings. Wearing a huge theatrical costume throughout the march, he was later featured on the BBC
BBC
The British Broadcasting Corporation is a British public service broadcaster. Its headquarters is at Broadcasting House in the City of Westminster, London. It is the largest broadcaster in the world, with about 23,000 staff...

's Poll Tax documentary, a lone protester walking down Whitehall
Whitehall
Whitehall is a road in Westminster, in London, England. It is the main artery running north from Parliament Square, towards Charing Cross at the southern end of Trafalgar Square...

 surrounded by seven lines of mounted police.

These (and other) elements fed into the pivotal double album Peggy Suicide
Peggy Suicide
Peggy Suicide is the seventh album by Julian Cope. It is generally seen as the beginning of Cope's trademark sound and approach, and as a turning-point for Cope as a maturing artist.-Background:...

, which was released on Island Records in 1991 and was heralded by critics as Cope’s best work to date. On the album’s songs, Cope laid bare many of his personal convictions including his hatred of organized religion and his increasing public interest in women's rights, the occult
Occult
The word occult comes from the Latin word occultus , referring to "knowledge of the hidden". In the medical sense it is used to refer to a structure or process that is hidden, e.g...

, alternative spirituality (including paganism
Paganism
Paganism is a blanket term, typically used to refer to non-Abrahamic, indigenous polytheistic religious traditions....

 and Goddess
Goddess
A goddess is a female deity. In some cultures goddesses are associated with Earth, motherhood, love, and the household. In other cultures, goddesses also rule over war, death, and destruction as well as healing....

 worship), animal rights
Animal rights
Animal rights, also known as animal liberation, is the idea that the most basic interests of non-human animals should be afforded the same consideration as the similar interests of human beings...

, and ecology
Ecology
Ecology is the scientific study of the relations that living organisms have with respect to each other and their natural environment. Variables of interest to ecologists include the composition, distribution, amount , number, and changing states of organisms within and among ecosystems...

. Skinner, Rooster Cosby, Ron Fair
Ron Fair
Ron Fair is a veteran A&R executive, record producer arranger, recording engineer and songwriter. In a career that has spanned over 30 years at major record labels he has produced and arranged hits for several artists, but he is best known as a "guru/mentor", guiding the careers of unknown artists...

 and former Smiths
The Smiths
The Smiths were an English alternative rock band, formed in Manchester in 1982. Based on the song writing partnership of Morrissey and Johnny Marr , the band also included Andy Rourke and Mike Joyce...

 drummer Mike Joyce
Mike Joyce
Mike Joyce is an English drummer. He is best known as the drummer for The Smiths.-Career:...

 all contributed to the record, as did a new sidekick in the shape of future Spiritualized
Spiritualized
Spiritualized are an English space rock band formed in 1990 in Rugby, Warwickshire by Jason Pierce after the demise of his previous outfit, space-rockers Spacemen 3...

 lead guitarist Michael Watts (better known as Mike Mooney or "Moon-eye"). Although the album produced another well-received single ("Beautiful Love") the political content of Peggy Suicide
Peggy Suicide
Peggy Suicide is the seventh album by Julian Cope. It is generally seen as the beginning of Cope's trademark sound and approach, and as a turning-point for Cope as a maturing artist.-Background:...

caused more friction with Island, who had signed Cope as a marketable hit-making alternative rocker but increasingly found themselves dealing with a latter-day counter-culturalist and revolutionary. Cope toured the album, including several dates in Japan which were recorded (although the results were not released until 2004, on the live album Live Japan '91.)

In 1992, Cope released another double album - Jehovahkill
Jehovahkill
-Track listing:All tracks composed by Julian Cope; except where indicatedPhase 1# "Soul Desert" - 3:53# "No Hard Shoulder to Cry On" - 2:44# "Akhenaten" - 2:52# "The Mystery Trend" - 4:17# "Up-Wards at 45°" - 5:46# "Know " - 3:19...

- on Island Records. Musically, the album reflected his interest in Krautrock
Krautrock
Krautrock is a generic name for the experimental music scenes that appeared in Germany in the late 1960s and gained popularity throughout the 1970s, especially in Britain. The term is a result of the English-speaking world's reception of the music at the time and not a reference to any one...

 (though in a more electro-acoustic based form) and his teenage fascination for Detroit hard rock. (A deluxe edition, with a disc of extra material, was released fourteen years later in 2006). Lyrically, the album was fiercely anti-Christian, with such songs as "Poet is Priest", "Julian H. Cope", and the single "Fear Loves This Place" espousing Cope’s pagan
Paganism
Paganism is a blanket term, typically used to refer to non-Abrahamic, indigenous polytheistic religious traditions....

esque perspective and being highly critical of the established Church. The content (and lack of sales) proved to be too much for Island Records, who dropped Cope from the label in the same week that his three shows sold out at London's 1,800 capacity Town & Country Club. The music press mounted an outcry at Island's decision, with the New Musical Express (NME) featuring him on their front cover under the headline 'Endangered Species' while Select magazine started a campaign to have Cope re-signed. Engaged in a tour of the Highlands and Islands of Scotland, Cope refused to comment.

On and off the road - Rite , Autogeddon, ‘’Queen Elizabeth’’, ‘’20 Mothers’’ & Interpreter (1993-1996)


From this point onwards, Cope began to take greater personal control of his career and business affairs. While he would continue to sign contracts with established record labels, he would begin to release more esoteric projects independently. The first of these projects (issued on Cope’s own K.A.K. label) was a collaboration with Donald Ross Skinner: an album of instrumental jams called Rite
Rite (album)
Rite is an ambient album by Julian Cope and Donald Ross Skinner, released in 1992. It is the first album in the Rite series and has been described as "a series of lengthy, mostly instrumental jamming freakouts influenced by both Krautrock and psychedelic funk."-Track listing:#"The Indians Worship...

, inspired by Krautrock, Sly Stone-styled psychedelic funk and spiritual mysticism. Cope also took the opportunity to issue Ye Skellington Chronicles
Skellington
Skellington is the fifth solo album by Julian Cope.-Background:Skellington was recorded in just two days at the end of the sessions for Cope's 1988 album My Nation Underground. It was inspired by Cope's frustration with the work on My Nation Underground, which he had lost faith in even as he...

(an expanded version of Skellington along with a follow-up album in the same vein called Skellington 2: He's Back ... and this time it's personal) and would record a number of tracks released eighteen years later as 2011’s The Jehovacoat Demos. During this period, Cope began his work as a writer, completing the first volume of his autobiography and beginning to research works on Krautrock and Neolithic architecture.

Signing to the Def Jam subsidiary American Recordings for a one-off album deal, Cope recorded Autogeddon
Autogeddon
Autogeddon is an album by Julian Cope released in 1994 via The Echo Label. According to the album's sleeve notes, written by Cope, it was "inspired by Heathcote Williams' epic poem of the same name and a little incident concerning my pregnant wife and £375,000 of yellow Ferrari in St...

, which was released in 1994. Continuing to build on the musical approach of Peggy Suicide
Peggy Suicide
Peggy Suicide is the seventh album by Julian Cope. It is generally seen as the beginning of Cope's trademark sound and approach, and as a turning-point for Cope as a maturing artist.-Background:...

and Jehovahkill
Jehovahkill
-Track listing:All tracks composed by Julian Cope; except where indicatedPhase 1# "Soul Desert" - 3:53# "No Hard Shoulder to Cry On" - 2:44# "Akhenaten" - 2:52# "The Mystery Trend" - 4:17# "Up-Wards at 45°" - 5:46# "Know " - 3:19...

but with a greater element of space rock, the album used the automobile
Automobile
An automobile, autocar, motor car or car is a wheeled motor vehicle used for transporting passengers, which also carries its own engine or motor...

 as its central metaphor for individual and collective struggles between responsibility and selfishness, along with further stabs at patriarchy. Autogeddon
Autogeddon
Autogeddon is an album by Julian Cope released in 1994 via The Echo Label. According to the album's sleeve notes, written by Cope, it was "inspired by Heathcote Williams' epic poem of the same name and a little incident concerning my pregnant wife and £375,000 of yellow Ferrari in St...

was the first Cope album to feature synthesizer player Thighpaulsandra
Thighpaulsandra
Thighpaulsandra is a Welsh experimental musician and multi-instrumentalist known mostly for performing on synthesizers and keyboards. As Tim Lewis, he began his career working with Julian Cope. A collaboration with Cope in 1993 followed, as the experimental duo Queen Elizabeth...

, who would become another key Cope collaborator. In the same year, Cope and Thighpaulsandra would form the ambient-electronic project Queen Elizabeth
Queen Elizabeth (band)
Queen Elizabeth is a British band. It is a collaborative experimental project between Thighpaulsandra and Julian Cope. The general concept behind Queen Elizabeth was a "sonic ritual" in which sounds, melodies and other sonic properties would combine...

: their eponymous Queen Elizabeth debut album was released on the Echo Label, Cope’s mainstream home for the next two years.

Cope’s next album under his own name was 1995’s 20 Mothers
20 Mothers
20 Mothers is a 1995 album by Julian Cope. The sub-title is "Better To Light A Candle Than To Curse The Darkness".-Track listing:-Poetic notes:The album includes a booklet with descriptions of the music and a number of poems:...

which revisited many of his existing lyrical preoccupations but with a more sprawling and eclectic musical approach (including stronger elements of pop and folk) and more directly personal and reflective material dealing with Cope’s own family. The album received very positive reviews and also spawned Cope’s last hit to date, the Top 40 single "Try, Try, Try", which led to two Top of the Pops performances. The subsequent British live tour (featuring Cosby, Mooney, Thighpaulsandra, and keyboard-player-turned-bass-guitarist Richard Frost) was fraught with tension, and Mooney would subsequently move on to Spiritualized
Spiritualized
Spiritualized are an English space rock band formed in 1990 in Rugby, Warwickshire by Jason Pierce after the demise of his previous outfit, space-rockers Spacemen 3...

. Cope had also parted company with his longterm foil Donald Ross Skinner during the recording of 20 Mothers
20 Mothers
20 Mothers is a 1995 album by Julian Cope. The sub-title is "Better To Light A Candle Than To Curse The Darkness".-Track listing:-Poetic notes:The album includes a booklet with descriptions of the music and a number of poems:...

, although the parting was relatively amicable.

Having been dropped by Echo when he refused to visit the USA, Cope then signed to Cooking Vinyl
Cooking Vinyl
Cooking Vinyl is a UK-based independent record company, founded in 1986. Its original orientation was toward contemporary folk music—notably Billy Bragg, and Michelle Shocked's Texas Campfire Tapes, recorded on a Sony Walkman, one of its first releases...

 and delivered the Interpreter
Interpreter (album)
Interpreter is a 1996 album by Julian Cope, particularly inspired by Cope's involvement and observations at the 1995-96 Newbury bypass protest.-Track listing:#"I Come from Another Planet, Baby" - 3:29#"I've Got My TV & My Pills" - 2:22...

album in 1996. This continued in a similar but more disciplined vein to its predecessor, with stronger elements of techno and of humour (as exemplified in songs like “Cheap New Age Fix”) amongst the more serious topics, such as those inspired by Cope’s attendance at the Newbury Bypass protests. It was also the first album to feature another ongoing Cope guitar foil, Tony "Doggen
Doggen
Doggen is the pseudonym of the Nottingham born guitarist Tony Foster .Doggen is presently playing lead guitar, piano and organ with Jason Pierce's Spiritualized.- References :...

" Foster.

Head Heritage, first decade: assorted solo and collaborative work including Brain Donor (1997-2006)


Cope's own ongoing battle with music industry operatives (whom he referred to as "greedheads") saw him finally turn his back on the mainstream music industry from this point onwards. From 1997, Cope opted for full career independence, launching his Head Heritage organisation as combined record label, website and discussion forum. Freed from external disputes and career guidance, he began to fully indulge himself and his core fanbase with a variety of projects.

The first Head Heritage release was 1997’s Rite 2
Rite 2 (album)
Rite 2 is an ambient music album by Julian Cope, released in 1997. It is technically Cope’s fourteenth solo album, but is also the follow-up to the earlier album Rite and is the second in the Rite series.For Rite 2, Cope collaborated extensively with synthesizer player Thighpaulsandra Rite 2 is...

, Cope’s follow up to 1993’s Rite
Rite (album)
Rite is an ambient album by Julian Cope and Donald Ross Skinner, released in 1992. It is the first album in the Rite series and has been described as "a series of lengthy, mostly instrumental jamming freakouts influenced by both Krautrock and psychedelic funk."-Track listing:#"The Indians Worship...

(with Thighpaulsandra taking over from Donald Ross Skinner as creative foil). It was followed in the same year by the second Queen Elizabeth album,QE2: Elizabeth Vagina, which expanded on its predecessor’s cosmic rock experiments. Thighpaulsandra would then follow Michael Mooney into Spiritualized (as would Cope’s string arranger Martin Shellard), once more depriving Cope of a key collaborator. Cope’s next full solo album was 1999’s Odin, which consisted of a single 73-minute mantra for voices and electronics (although Thighpaulsandra has claimed credit for some of the work).

In 1999, Cope launched another side project. This was the garage-rock/heavy metal
Heavy metal music
Heavy metal is a genre of rock music that developed in the late 1960s and early 1970s, largely in the Midlands of the United Kingdom and the United States...

 power trio Brain Donor
Brain Donor
Brain Donor are an English power trio, formed in July 1999 by Julian Cope and two Spiritualized members, Doggen Foster and drummer Kevin 'Kevlar' Bales...

, which featured Cope on bass, Doggen on guitar and Spiritualized
Spiritualized
Spiritualized are an English space rock band formed in 1990 in Rugby, Warwickshire by Jason Pierce after the demise of his previous outfit, space-rockers Spacemen 3...

 drummer Kevin "Kevlar" Bales. The band was as much theatrical as musical, featuring full face makeup, platform boots and ostentatious double-neck guitars. Cope stated that the band’s aim was to fuse the swaggering arena rock of KISS
KISS (band)
Kiss is an American rock band formed in New York City in January 1973. Well-known for its members' face paint and flamboyant stage outfits, the group rose to prominence in the mid to late 1970s on the basis of their elaborate live performances, which featured fire breathing, blood spitting,...

 and Van Halen
Van Halen
Van Halen is an American hard rock band formed in Pasadena, California, in 1972. The band has enjoyed success since the release of its debut album, Van Halen, . As of 2007 Van Halen has sold 80 million albums worldwide and has had the most #1 hits on the Billboard Mainstream Rock chart...

 with elements of Japanese heavy metal, Detroit garage rock and Blue Cheer
Blue Cheer
Blue Cheer was an American psychedelic blues-rock band that initially performed and recorded in the late 1960s and early 1970s and was sporadically active until 2009...

. He also described Brain Donor as "pure white lightning played by forward-thinking motherfuckers" while also asserting that he loathed the "microcephalous ass (of) real heavy metal", seeing Brain Donor as part of his ongoing shamanic efforts.

In 2000, Cope released another solo album - An Audience With The Cope
An Audience With the Cope 2000/2001
An Audience With the Cope 2000/2001 is the sixteenth album by Julian Cope.The album was originally released in 2000 as a “souvenir CD concert programme” provided to tie in with Cope’s 2000 live concert tour, and contained a variety of material varying from psychedelic pop songs to space-rock...

. While appearing to be pitched as a retrospective live recording, it actually consisted of a series of newly-written psychedelic studio jams.

Since 1998, Cope had developed a parallel reputation as a serious antiquarian
Antiquarian
An antiquarian or antiquary is an aficionado or student of antiquities or things of the past. More specifically, the term is used for those who study history with particular attention to ancient objects of art or science, archaeological and historic sites, or historic archives and manuscripts...

. This resulted in his 2001 album Discover Odin
Discover Odin
Discover Odin is an album and booklet written by Julian Cope and released in a limited edition in 2001. It was produced in collaboration with the British Museum...

being a limited-edition tie-in with a talk he had given at the British Museum, featuring a mixture of spoken-word tracks exploring Nordic mythology and various musical tracks including a Cope setting of the epic Norse poem "Hávamál
Hávamál
Hávamál is presented as a single poem in the Poetic Edda, a collection of Old Norse poems from the Viking age. The poem, itself a combination of different poems, is largely gnomic, presenting advice for living, proper conduct and wisdom....

". In the same year Head Heritage released the first two Brain Donor singles ("She Saw Me Coming" and "Get Off Your Pretty Face", followed by the debut Brain Donor album Love Peace & Fuck. Cope, Doggen and a returning Thighpaulsandra would also team up as the drummer-less psychedelic/meditational heavy metal group L.A.M.F. who released the Ambient Metal album the same year. Brain Donor’s "Get Back On It" single followed in 2002, as would the third album in Cope’s Rite series, Rite Now.

In 2003 Cope performed at the Glastonbury Festival
Glastonbury Festival
The Glastonbury Festival of Contemporary Performing Arts, commonly abbreviated to Glastonbury or even Glasto, is a performing arts festival that takes place near Pilton, Somerset, England, best known for its contemporary music, but also for dance, comedy, theatre, circus, cabaret and other arts.The...

 as well as launching his own three-day Rome Wasn't Burned In A Day event. A tie-in album, also called Rome Wasn't Burned In A Day, was released to mark the event and included an "eight-minute long Armenian epic" called "Shrine of the Black Youth (Tukh Manukh)". The album was recorded by a trio of Cope, synth player Christopher Patrick “Holy” McGrail and Donald Ross Skinner (returning to work with Cope after seven years away). The year also saw more Brain Donor activity via the "My Pagan Ass" single and the album Too Freud To Rock'n'Roll, Too Jung To Die.

Cope released two more albums in 2005. The first of these was the long-delayed Citizen Cain'd
Citizen Cain'd
Citizen Cain'd is an album by Julian Cope released in 2005.-Tracklisting:SIDE ONE:#Hell Is Wicked#I Can't Hardley Stand It#I'm Living In The Room They Found Saddam In#Gimme Head#Dying To Meet You#I Will Be AbsorbedSIDE TWO:...

, an album which Cope had promised for several years and now delivered as a short double album (71 minutes over two discs) sold at a single album price. (According to Cope, the two-disc format was due to some of the songs being "too psychologically exhausting" to fit together onto a single album). The second album, Dark Orgasm
Dark Orgasm
-Track listing:SIDE ONE:#Zoroaster#White Bitch Comes Good#She's Got A Ring On Her Finger #Mr. Invasion#Nothing To Lose Except My Mind#I've Found A New Way To Love Her#I Don't Wanna Grow BackSIDE TWO:...

was a forthright hard-rock exercise which Cope described as "a violent sequence of outcast broadsides leveled at the coming new 21st-century conservatism." Meanwhile, Brain Donor (proving to be an enduring Cope project) was presented to America via a self-titled compilation album. Plans to tour the United States were dropped because the INS
Immigration and Naturalization Service
The United States Immigration and Naturalization Service , now referred to as Legacy INS, ceased to exist under that name on March 1, 2003, when most of its functions were transferred from the Department of Justice to three new components within the newly created Department of Homeland Security, as...

 refused to grant Cope a visa.

2006 saw the release of the third proper Brain Donor album (Drain'd Boner) and the fourth album in the Rite series (Rite Bastard).

Head Heritage, second decade: Black Sheep and beyond (2007-present)


Cope’s 2007 album, You Gotta Problem With Me
You Gotta Problem with Me
-Track listing:SIDE ONE:#Doctor Know#Beyond Rome#Soon To Forget Ya#You Gotta Problem With Me#They Gotta Different Way Of Doing Things#Peggy Suicide Is A JunkieSIDE TWO:#A Child Is Born In Cerrig-Y-Drudion#Woden#Sick Love#Can't Get You Out Of My Country...

, was something of a return to his early solo material: more post-punk styled, and featuring swathes of Mellotron
Mellotron
The Mellotron is an electro-mechanical, polyphonic tape replay keyboard originally developed and built in Birmingham, England in the early 1960s. It superseded the Chamberlin Music Master, which was the world's first sample-playback keyboard intended for music...

 and orchestral percussion. Conceptually, it continued his attacks on religion, bigotry, corporate greed and environmental destruction. As with Citizen Cain'd
Citizen Cain'd
Citizen Cain'd is an album by Julian Cope released in 2005.-Tracklisting:SIDE ONE:#Hell Is Wicked#I Can't Hardley Stand It#I'm Living In The Room They Found Saddam In#Gimme Head#Dying To Meet You#I Will Be AbsorbedSIDE TWO:...

, Cope divided the fifty-six minutes of material across two CDs and also included lavish packaging including printed poems.

You Gotta Problem With Me
You Gotta Problem with Me
-Track listing:SIDE ONE:#Doctor Know#Beyond Rome#Soon To Forget Ya#You Gotta Problem With Me#They Gotta Different Way Of Doing Things#Peggy Suicide Is A JunkieSIDE TWO:#A Child Is Born In Cerrig-Y-Drudion#Woden#Sick Love#Can't Get You Out Of My Country...

was followed by 2008’s Black Sheep
Black Sheep (Julian Cope album)
Black Sheep is a 2008 double album by Julian Cope, former lead singer of The Teardrop Explodes, released on Head Heritage Records. Cope described the album as "a musical exploration of what it is to be an outsider in modern Western Culture"...

, which Cope described as "a musical exploration of what it is to be an outsider in modern Western Culture" and which featured his most outrightly anarchic pronouncements to date. Dominated by Mellotron, hand drums and acoustic guitars, the album also featured Doggen and McGrail plus new recruits Michael O’Sullivan and Ady "Acoustika" Fletcher. In November 2008, Cope released the "Preaching Revolution EP", mingling acoustic protest songs with rockabilly pieces: along with material from the unreleased "Diggers, Ranters, Levellers EP", these songs would be reissued on Cope’s limited-edition Cope solo album, Julian Cope Presents The Unruly Imagination.

Cope, McGrail, O’Sullivan and Acoustika would go on to form a new ten-piece Cope side project (also called Black Sheep) which included new cohorts such as drummer Antony "Antronhy" Hodgkinson
Antony Hodgkinson
Antony Hodgkinson was the drummer for the indie rock band Bivouac. He has also played drums in several bands such as Punish the Atom, , and now writes and performs with Julian Cope & also his Black Sheep . Hodgkinson is best known for dancing on stage for Nirvana's 1992 Reading Festival...

, "Fat Paul" Horlick and former Universal Panzies leader Christophe F. To date, Black Sheep has generated two further albums, both released in 2009 - Kiss My Sweet Apocalypse and Black Sheep at the BBC. 2009 also saw the release of a fourth Brain Donor album (Wasted Fuzz Excessive) and the third Queen Elizabeth recording (Queen Elizabeth Hall).

Cope has continued to perform live in the UK and Europe: despite travelling to Armenia in 2003 for research, he has not toured professionally beyond Europe for several years. He was chosen by Belle & Sebastian
Belle & Sebastian
Belle and Sebastian are an indie pop band formed in Glasgow in January 1996. Belle and Sebastian are often compared with influential indie bands such as The Smiths, as well as classic acts such as Love, Bob Dylan and Nick Drake. The name Belle & Sebastian comes from Belle et Sébastien, a 1965...

 to perform at their second Bowlie Weekender
Bowlie Weekender
The Bowlie Weekender was a music festival curated by Belle & Sebastian at the Pontin's Holiday camp in Camber Sands, Sussex between Friday 23rd and Sunday 25 April 1999....

 festival presented by All Tomorrow's Parties
All Tomorrow's Parties (music festival)
All Tomorrow's Parties is a music festival which takes place at Camber Sands holiday camp in East Sussex and Butlin's holiday camp in Minehead, Somerset, England....

 in the UK in December 2010.

Autobiography


In the course of one of his many record company stand-offs, Cope began to write his first autobiographical book, Head-On which covered the years 1976 to 1982, focusing on Cope's time before and during the life of The Teardrop Explodes and ending with the break-up of the band. This was followed a few years later by Repossessed, covering the years 1983 to 1989 and the recording of Cope's first series of solo albums, as well as the writing of Head-On (The books were republished in one volume in 2000, titled Head-On/Repossessed).

Music commentary


Cope has long been noted as an avid champion of obscure and underground music. While still a member of The Teardrop Explodes, he was instrumental in the critical rehabilitation of the reclusive singer Scott Walker
Scott Walker (singer)
Scott Walker, born Noel Scott Engel on January 9, 1943 is an American singer-songwriter, musician, record producer, and the former lead singer of The Walker Brothers. Despite being American born, Walker's chart success has largely come in the United Kingdom, where his first four solo albums...

, compiling Fire Escape in the Sky: The Godlike Genius of Scott Walker
Fire Escape in the Sky: The Godlike Genius of Scott Walker
Fire Escape in the Sky: The Godlike Genius of Scott Walker is a compilation album of previously released Scott Walker material. Compiled by Julian Cope in 1981 and released by Zoo Records...

for release by Bill Drummond
Bill Drummond
William Ernest Drummond is a Scottish artist, musician, writer and record producer. He was the co-founder of late 1980s avant-garde pop group The KLF and its 1990s media-manipulating successor, the K Foundation, with which he burned a million pounds in 1994...

's Zoo Records. This sparked renewed interest in the work of Walker (although years later Cope would comment that the singer’s "Pale White Intellectual" outlook on life no longer held any fascination for him).

Krautrocksampler
Krautrocksampler
Krautrocksampler: One Head's Guide to the Great Kosmische Musik - 1968 Onwards, written by musicologist and former The Teardrop Explodes singer, Julian Cope, is a book describing the underground music scene in Germany from 1968 through the 1970s. The book was first published in the United Kingdom...

, released in 1996 and now out of print, covers the German krautrock
Krautrock
Krautrock is a generic name for the experimental music scenes that appeared in Germany in the late 1960s and gained popularity throughout the 1970s, especially in Britain. The term is a result of the English-speaking world's reception of the music at the time and not a reference to any one...

 musical movement. Reviews at the time were ecstatic, Rolling Stone
Rolling Stone
Rolling Stone is a US-based magazine devoted to music, liberal politics, and popular culture that is published every two weeks. Rolling Stone was founded in San Francisco in 1967 by Jann Wenner and music critic Ralph J...

 citing it as "a work of real passion and scholarship". NME agreed: "This is a superb book ... this is an extraordinary book." Mojo
Mojo (magazine)
MOJO is a popular music magazine published initially by Emap, and since January 2008 by Bauer, monthly in the United Kingdom. Following the success of the magazine Q, publishers Emap were looking for a title which would cater for the burgeoning interest in classic rock music...

went further, writing: "Brilliantly researched, Krautrocksampler abounds with revelations, and Cope's enthusiasm verges on the lethal ... a sort of lysergic Lester Bangs
Lester Bangs
Leslie Conway "Lester" Bangs was an American music journalist, author and musician. He wrote for Creem and Rolling Stone magazines, and was known for his leading influence in rock 'n' roll criticism....

." In the Sunday Times, the reviewer wrote: "German 1970s minimalism is invading the British rock scene ... an Englishman is to blame ... Krautrocksampler is a lively history of a fascinating period, half encyclopedia, half psychedelic detective story." Before the publication of this book the genre itself had all but disappeared off the musical map; both the phrase and the genre are now firmly ingrained and have subsequently been heralded in the likes of Mojo and The Wire
The Wire (magazine)
The Wire is a British avant garde music magazine, founded in 1982 by jazz promoter Anthony Wood and journalist Chrissie Murray. The magazine initially concentrated on contemporary jazz and improvised music, but branched out in the early 1990s to various types of experimental music...

. The book was also the subject of fierce controversy due to Cope's outspoken remarks that Can's
Can (band)
Can was an experimental rock band formed in Cologne, West Germany in 1968. Later labeled as one of the first "krautrock" groups, they transcended mainstream influences and incorporated strong minimalist and world music elements into their often psychedelic music.Can constructed their music largely...

 Bel-Air was a "shambles" (though Can's drummer Jaki Liebezeit concurred with Cope's opinion). In the years to come, Krautrocksampler
Krautrocksampler
Krautrocksampler: One Head's Guide to the Great Kosmische Musik - 1968 Onwards, written by musicologist and former The Teardrop Explodes singer, Julian Cope, is a book describing the underground music scene in Germany from 1968 through the 1970s. The book was first published in the United Kingdom...

was also published in German, French and Italian language editions.

In October 2007, Japrocksampler
Japrocksampler
Japrocksampler: How the Post-war Japanese Blew Their Minds on Rock 'n' Roll, was written by author and musician Julian Cope and published by Bloomsbury on September 3, 2007...

was released, subtitled How the post war Japanese blew their minds on rock and roll. This much larger hard back book (304 pp) was written in a similar style to Krautrocksampler, but was a far more detailed study and took in the years 1951-78. It has been translated into Italian and Japanese.

His Album of the Month reviews on the Unsung section of his website have promoted bands such as Comets on Fire
Comets on Fire
Comets on Fire was an American noise rock band from Santa Cruz, California. The band was formed in 1999 by guitarist and vocalist Ethan Miller and longtime friend bassist Ben Flashman, who were seeking to create rhythmically and sonically intense music that paid no attention to categorizations.-...

, Sunn O)))
Sunn O)))
Sunn O))) is an American doom metal band known for its synthesis of diverse genres including drone, ambient, noise, and black metal. Supported by a varying cast of collaborators, the band has two core members: Stephen O'Malley and Greg Anderson .-History:Sunn O))) is named after the Sunn...

 (with whom he performed a guest vocal on their White1
White1
White1 is the fourth album by Sunn O))). It was the most significant departure from their original style to date. Each track was experimental in its own way, with Julian Cope reciting occultic druidist poetry for half of "My Wall," Norwegian lyrics sung by Runhild Gammelsæter of Thorr's Hammer as...

 album) and several Japanese bands which feature in Japrocksampler. Unsung is another community-based site that invites contributors' reviews, and Cope and the site's numerous contributors have been instrumental in kick-starting the interest in bands like Sir Lord Baltimore
Sir Lord Baltimore
Sir Lord Baltimore is a pioneering American heavy metal band from Brooklyn, New York, formed in 1968 by lead vocalist/drummer John Garner, guitarist Louis Dambra, and bass player Gary Justin. They are notable for the fact that a 1971 review of their debut record, Kingdom Come, contained the first...

, Blue Cheer
Blue Cheer
Blue Cheer was an American psychedelic blues-rock band that initially performed and recorded in the late 1960s and early 1970s and was sporadically active until 2009...

, Les Rallizes Denudes
Les Rallizes Denudes
Les Rallizes Dénudés were an influential, yet reclusive Japanese avant-garde band. They originally began in 1962 as a musical theatre troupe, however the formation of the band was not until 1967...

, Tractor
Tractor (band)
Tractor is a band founded in Rochdale, Lancashire, England by guitarist/vocalist Jim Milne and drummer Steve Clayton in 1971. Both had been members of a beat group, The Way We Live since 1966. They are notable both for their appreciation by John Peel and Julian Cope, but also for their longevity...

 and the Groundhogs
The Groundhogs
Groundhogs are a British rock band founded in late 1963, that toured extensively in the 1960s, achieved prominence in the early 1970s and continued sporadically into the 21st century.-Career:...

. Cope is also considered to be one of the first bloggers; he has been airing his sometimes controversial views since 1998 via his website's "Address Drudion" on the first day of each month.

Archaeology and antiquarianism


1998 saw the release of Cope's long-awaited and widely-acclaimed bestseller The Modern Antiquarian
The Modern Antiquarian
The Modern Antiquarian: A Pre-Millennial Odyssey Through Megalithic Britain is a book written by Julian Cope, published in 1998. It explores a number of sites of Britain's megalithic heritage, including Stonehenge and Avebury...

, a large and comprehensive full-colour 448-page work detailing stone circles and other ancient monuments of prehistoric Britain
Great Britain
Great Britain or Britain is an island situated to the northwest of Continental Europe. It is the ninth largest island in the world, and the largest European island, as well as the largest of the British Isles...

, which sold out of its first edition of 20,000 in its first month of publication and was accompanied by a BBC Two
BBC Two
BBC Two is the second television channel operated by the British Broadcasting Corporation in the United Kingdom. It covers a wide range of subject matter, but tending towards more 'highbrow' programmes than the more mainstream and popular BBC One. Like the BBC's other domestic TV and radio...

 documentary. The Times
The Times
The Times is a British daily national newspaper, first published in London in 1785 under the title The Daily Universal Register . The Times and its sister paper The Sunday Times are published by Times Newspapers Limited, a subsidiary since 1981 of News International...

called the book: "A ripping good read ... it is deeply impressive ... ancient history: the new rock 'n' roll." The Independent
The Independent
The Independent is a British national morning newspaper published in London by Independent Print Limited, owned by Alexander Lebedev since 2010. It is nicknamed the Indy, while the Sunday edition, The Independent on Sunday, is the Sindy. Launched in 1986, it is one of the youngest UK national daily...

said: "A unique blend of information, observation, personal experience and opinion which is as unlike the normal run of archaeology books as you can imagine." The historian Ronald Hutton
Ronald Hutton
Ronald Hutton is an English historian who specializes in the study of Early Modern Britain, British folklore, pre-Christian religion and contemporary Paganism. A reader in the subject at the University of Bristol, Hutton has published fourteen books and has appeared on British television and radio...

 went further, calling the book: "the best popular guide to Neolithic
Neolithic
The Neolithic Age, Era, or Period, or New Stone Age, was a period in the development of human technology, beginning about 9500 BC in some parts of the Middle East, and later in other parts of the world. It is traditionally considered as the last part of the Stone Age...

 and Bronze Age
Bronze Age
The Bronze Age is a period characterized by the use of copper and its alloy bronze as the chief hard materials in the manufacture of some implements and weapons. Chronologically, it stands between the Stone Age and Iron Age...

 monuments for half a century."

The Modern Antiquarian was followed in 2004 with an even larger 484-page study of similar monuments across Europe entitled The Megalithic European
The Megalithic European
The Megalithic European : The 21st Century Traveller in Prehistoric Europe is Julian Cope's second book on historic sites, this time looking at continental Europe and Ireland. Like its predecessor - The Modern Antiquarian - the book is split into a shorter, discursive introduction with the bulk...

, the most extensive study of European megalithic sites to date. In addition to his books on prehistoric monuments, Cope hosts a community-based Modern Antiquarian website that invites contributors to add their own knowledge of the ancient sites of the United Kingdom and Ireland. Cope has lectured nationally on the subject of prehistory
Prehistory
Prehistory is the span of time before recorded history. Prehistory can refer to the period of human existence before the availability of those written records with which recorded history begins. More broadly, it refers to all the time preceding human existence and the invention of writing...

, and also at the British Museum
British Museum
The British Museum is a museum of human history and culture in London. Its collections, which number more than seven million objects, are amongst the largest and most comprehensive in the world and originate from all continents, illustrating and documenting the story of human culture from its...

 on the subjects of Avebury
Avebury
Avebury is a Neolithic henge monument containing three stone circles which is located around the village of Avebury in Wiltshire, south west England. Unique amongst megalithic monuments, Avebury contains the largest stone circle in Europe, and is one of the best known prehistoric sites in Britain...

 and Odin
Odin
Odin is a major god in Norse mythology and the ruler of Asgard. Homologous with the Anglo-Saxon "Wōden" and the Old High German "Wotan", the name is descended from Proto-Germanic "*Wodanaz" or "*Wōđanaz"....

.

Personal life


Julian Cope lives near Avebury, Wiltshire with his wife, Dorian, and their two daughters, Albany (born 10 August 1991) and Avalon (born 29 April 1994).

Albums

  • 1984 World Shut Your Mouth
    World Shut Your Mouth (album)
    World Shut Your Mouth is the debut album solo album by Julian Cope.-Background:World Shut Your Mouth was written during Cope's 1983 retreat to the village of Drayton Bassett , following the breakup of Cope's former band The Teardrop Explodes...

    (UK
    UK Albums Chart
    The UK Albums Chart is a list of albums ranked by physical and digital sales in the United Kingdom. It is compiled every week by The Official Charts Company and broadcast on a Sunday on BBC Radio 1 , and published in Music Week magazine and on the OCC website .To qualify for the UK albums chart...

     #40)
  • 1984 Fried
    Fried (album)
    Fried is the second solo album by Julian Cope.-Background:Fried was released just six months after Cope’s debut solo album, 1984’s World Shut Your Mouth Cope retained guitarist Steve Lovell Fried is the second solo album by Julian Cope.-Background:Fried was released just six months after Cope’s...

    (UK #87)
  • 1987 Saint Julian
    Saint Julian (album)
    Saint Julian is the third solo album by Julian Cope. It has a very strong pop sound, compared to other Cope releases, and spawned several of his best known tracks ....

    (UK #11)
  • 1988 My Nation Underground
    My Nation Underground
    My Nation Underground is the fourth solo album by Julian Cope. It produced three singles including "Charlotte Anne" ....

    (UK #42)
  • 1989 Skellington
    Skellington
    Skellington is the fifth solo album by Julian Cope.-Background:Skellington was recorded in just two days at the end of the sessions for Cope's 1988 album My Nation Underground. It was inspired by Cope's frustration with the work on My Nation Underground, which he had lost faith in even as he...

  • 1990 Droolian
    Droolian
    -Background:Droolian was recorded against the background of Cope's disagreement with Island Records, the record label to which he was contracted at the time. During this time, Cope was discovering that the recordings he made on a low-budget, one-take approach were more pleasing to him than the...

  • 1991 Peggy Suicide
    Peggy Suicide
    Peggy Suicide is the seventh album by Julian Cope. It is generally seen as the beginning of Cope's trademark sound and approach, and as a turning-point for Cope as a maturing artist.-Background:...

    (UK #23), reissued with a second disc of extra material in 2009
  • 1991 Peggy Suicide Radio Sessions (Japan)
  • 1992 Jehovahkill
    Jehovahkill
    -Track listing:All tracks composed by Julian Cope; except where indicatedPhase 1# "Soul Desert" - 3:53# "No Hard Shoulder to Cry On" - 2:44# "Akhenaten" - 2:52# "The Mystery Trend" - 4:17# "Up-Wards at 45°" - 5:46# "Know " - 3:19...

    (UK #20), reissued with a second disc of extra material in 2006
  • 1993 Rite
    Rite (album)
    Rite is an ambient album by Julian Cope and Donald Ross Skinner, released in 1992. It is the first album in the Rite series and has been described as "a series of lengthy, mostly instrumental jamming freakouts influenced by both Krautrock and psychedelic funk."-Track listing:#"The Indians Worship...

    credited to Julian Cope and Donald Ross Skinner
    Donald Ross Skinner
    Donald Skinner is a guitarist, songwriter and producer born in Edinburgh, UK primarily known for his work with Julian Cope. Skinner is commonly known by the name Donald Ross Skinner with the addition of the middle name of Ross attributed to him by Cope after Glenn Ross Campbell, the pedal steel...

  • 1993 Ye Skellington Chronicles
    Skellington
    Skellington is the fifth solo album by Julian Cope.-Background:Skellington was recorded in just two days at the end of the sessions for Cope's 1988 album My Nation Underground. It was inspired by Cope's frustration with the work on My Nation Underground, which he had lost faith in even as he...

    (an expanded version of Skellington along with the sequel Skellington 2)
  • 1994 Autogeddon
    Autogeddon
    Autogeddon is an album by Julian Cope released in 1994 via The Echo Label. According to the album's sleeve notes, written by Cope, it was "inspired by Heathcote Williams' epic poem of the same name and a little incident concerning my pregnant wife and £375,000 of yellow Ferrari in St...

    (UK #16)
  • 1995 20 Mothers
    20 Mothers
    20 Mothers is a 1995 album by Julian Cope. The sub-title is "Better To Light A Candle Than To Curse The Darkness".-Track listing:-Poetic notes:The album includes a booklet with descriptions of the music and a number of poems:...

    (UK #20)
  • 1996 Interpreter
    Interpreter (album)
    Interpreter is a 1996 album by Julian Cope, particularly inspired by Cope's involvement and observations at the 1995-96 Newbury bypass protest.-Track listing:#"I Come from Another Planet, Baby" - 3:29#"I've Got My TV & My Pills" - 2:22...

    (UK #39)
  • 1997 Rite 2
    Rite 2 (album)
    Rite 2 is an ambient music album by Julian Cope, released in 1997. It is technically Cope’s fourteenth solo album, but is also the follow-up to the earlier album Rite and is the second in the Rite series.For Rite 2, Cope collaborated extensively with synthesizer player Thighpaulsandra Rite 2 is...

  • 1999 Odin
  • 2000 An Audience With the Cope 2000/2001
    An Audience With the Cope 2000/2001
    An Audience With the Cope 2000/2001 is the sixteenth album by Julian Cope.The album was originally released in 2000 as a “souvenir CD concert programme” provided to tie in with Cope’s 2000 live concert tour, and contained a variety of material varying from psychedelic pop songs to space-rock...

  • 2001 Discover Odin
    Discover Odin
    Discover Odin is an album and booklet written by Julian Cope and released in a limited edition in 2001. It was produced in collaboration with the British Museum...

  • 2002 Rite Now
  • 2003 Rome Wasn't Burned In A Day
  • 2004 Live Japan '91
  • 2005 Citizen Cain'd
    Citizen Cain'd
    Citizen Cain'd is an album by Julian Cope released in 2005.-Tracklisting:SIDE ONE:#Hell Is Wicked#I Can't Hardley Stand It#I'm Living In The Room They Found Saddam In#Gimme Head#Dying To Meet You#I Will Be AbsorbedSIDE TWO:...

  • 2005 Dark Orgasm
    Dark Orgasm
    -Track listing:SIDE ONE:#Zoroaster#White Bitch Comes Good#She's Got A Ring On Her Finger #Mr. Invasion#Nothing To Lose Except My Mind#I've Found A New Way To Love Her#I Don't Wanna Grow BackSIDE TWO:...

  • 2006 Rite Bastard
  • 2007 You Gotta Problem With Me
    You Gotta Problem with Me
    -Track listing:SIDE ONE:#Doctor Know#Beyond Rome#Soon To Forget Ya#You Gotta Problem With Me#They Gotta Different Way Of Doing Things#Peggy Suicide Is A JunkieSIDE TWO:#A Child Is Born In Cerrig-Y-Drudion#Woden#Sick Love#Can't Get You Out Of My Country...

  • 2008 Black Sheep
    Black Sheep (Julian Cope album)
    Black Sheep is a 2008 double album by Julian Cope, former lead singer of The Teardrop Explodes, released on Head Heritage Records. Cope described the album as "a musical exploration of what it is to be an outsider in modern Western Culture"...

  • 2009 Julian Cope Presents The Unruly Imagination
  • 2011 The Jehovacoat Demos


Compilations

  • 1992 Floored Genius
    Floored Genius
    Floored Genius - The Best of Julian Cope and The Teardrop Explodes 1979-91 is a compilation album by Julian Cope, released in 1992, combining Cope's work with The Teardrop Explodes and his early solo work.-Track listing:#Reward #Treason...

     - The Best Of Julian Cope And The Teardrop Explodes 1979-91
    (UK
    UK Albums Chart
    The UK Albums Chart is a list of albums ranked by physical and digital sales in the United Kingdom. It is compiled every week by The Official Charts Company and broadcast on a Sunday on BBC Radio 1 , and published in Music Week magazine and on the OCC website .To qualify for the UK albums chart...

     #22)
  • 1993 Floored Genius 2 - Best of the BBC Sessions 1983-91 (compilation of material recorded for BBC Radio
    BBC Radio
    BBC Radio is a service of the British Broadcasting Corporation which has operated in the United Kingdom under the terms of a Royal Charter since 1927. For a history of BBC radio prior to 1927 see British Broadcasting Company...

    )
  • 1997 The Followers Of Saint Julian (rarities compilation)
  • 1997 Leper Skin - An Introduction To Julian Cope ("best of")
  • 2000 Floored Genius 3 - Julian Cope's Oddicon Of Lost Rarities & Versions 1978-98 (rarities)
  • 2002 The Collection (1983-1992)
  • 2007 Christ vs Warhol (rarities)
  • 2009 Floored Genius 4 - The Best of Foreign Radio, Rare TV Appearances, Festival Songs & Miscellaneous Lost Classics 1983-2009 (rarities)


Other projects


With Queen Elizabeth:
  • 1994 Queen Elizabeth (Queen Elizabeth)
  • 1997 QE2: Elizabeth Vagina (Queen Elizabeth)
  • 2009 Queen Elizabeth Hall (Queen Elizabeth)


With L.A.M.F.:
  • 2001 Ambient Metal (L.A.M.F.)


With Brain Donor:
  • 2001 "She Saw Me Coming" (single)
  • 2001 "Get Off Your Pretty Face" (single)
  • 2001 Love Peace & Fuck (Brain Donor)
  • 2002 "Get Back On It" (single)
  • 2003 "My Pagan Ass" (single)
  • 2003 Too Freud To Rock'n'Roll, Too Jung To Die (Brain Donor)
  • 2005 Brain Donor (U.S. compilation album)
  • 2006 Drain'd Boner (Brain Donor)
  • 2009 Wasted Fuzz Excessive (Brain Donor)


With Black Sheep
  • 2009 Kiss My Sweet Apocalypse (Black Sheep)
  • 2009 Black Sheep at the BBC (Black Sheep)

Singles

  • 1983 "Sunshine Playroom" (UK
    UK Singles Chart
    The UK Singles Chart is compiled by The Official Charts Company on behalf of the British record-industry. The full chart contains the top selling 200 singles in the United Kingdom based upon combined record sales and download numbers, though some media outlets only list the Top 40 or the Top 75 ...

     #64)
  • 1984 "The Greatness & Perfection of Love" (UK #52)
  • 1985 "Sunspots"
  • 1985 "Competition" (UK Indie #30, released under the pseudonym Rabbi Joseph Gordon)
  • 1986 "World Shut Your Mouth" (UK #19, Canada #97, US #84)
  • 1987 "Trampolene" (UK #31)
  • 1987 "Eve's Volcano (Covered in Sin)" (UK #41)
  • 1988 "Charlotte Anne
    Charlotte Anne
    "Charlotte Anne" is a song by English singer Julian Cope released as the first single from his album My Nation Underground in 1988. The song was Cope's only chart-topping single on any U.S...

    " (UK #35)
  • 1988 "5 O'Clock World" (UK #42)
  • 1988 "China Doll" (UK #53)
  • 1991 "Beautiful Love" (UK #32)
  • 1991 "Safesurfer"
  • 1991 "East Easy Rider" (UK #51)
  • 1991 "Head" (UK #57)
  • 1992 "World Shut Your Mouth" (re-issue) (UK #44)
  • 1992 "Fear Loves This Place" (UK #42)
  • 1994 "Paranormal In The West Country"
  • 1995 "Try, Try, Try" (UK #24)
  • 1996 "I Come From Another Planet Baby" (UK #34)
  • 1996 "I Come From Another Planet, Baby (Ambulence Remix)"
  • 1996 "Planetary Sit-In" (UK #34)
  • 1996 "Radio Sit-In"
  • 1997 "Propheteering" (limited edition 7")
  • 2008 "Preaching Revolution" EP (limited edition 7")


External links

  • Head Heritage - Julian Cope's own site
  • The Modern Antiquarian - An online community and resource on ancient sites in the UK & Ireland, inspired by Cope's book of the same name