Wednesday, July 25, 2007

Julian Cope - World Shut Your Mouth EP

Uncut magazine wants to know if you have a question for Julian Cope. But hurry because submissions are due tomorrow, July 26th. I probably haven't kept up with Julian Cope's career as much as I should have, so I'm not sure what I'd ask him. But I noticed that while UMG has released a deluxe 2-Disc edition of 1992's Jehovahkill, Cope's initial Island solo releases, the World Shut Your Mouth EP and Saint Julian are out-of-print. Considering Saint Julian looks to be fetching good money on's marketplace, perhaps a deluxe edition of Saint Julian is in order as well.

I think this EP was my first exposure to Cope's music, although I may have heard one of the Teardrop Explodes' albums first. It's hard to be sure. When this came out in 1986, I was a junior in high school and discovering new music at a fast and furious pace; this was around the time I discovered both the Velvet Underground and Love, as well as many later day acts that were producing music under those band's influence. It seemed like every week I brought home a new record that blew my mind, whether it was by the Dream Syndicate, Robyn Hitchcock/The Soft Boys, any number of SST acts, Echo & the Bunnymen, or Julian Cope.

When I first heard "Umpteenth Unnatural Blues" I thought it sounded like a long-lost outtake from Love's Forever Changes. I still do. The guitar break distinctly recalls "A House Is Not A Motel" and Cope's lyrics wishing a violent death unto himself ("I want to die in solitude, I want to die in pain, I want to see my rotting body swept out in the rain") recall Arthur Lee's dark vision. "Levitation" is a rocking cover of The Thirteenth Floor Elevators' classic, and is probably what led me to discover that band.

Also, I would be remiss if I did not mention that Julian Cope has a robust web presence.


anne said...

Whoa! I wonder if I can lay my hands on my old Saint Julian cassette. Who knew I was sitting on such a goldmine?

Pete Bilderback said...

Hi Anne, thanks for stopping by! FYI, sitting on cassettes tends to diminish their value.

dan said...

Thanks for the memories, Pete. This EP was also my introduction to JC (I expect my younger brother has either sold or stolen the vinyl copy, by now).

Saint Julian has a few very good songs (the title track, Spacehopper, World Shut..., Trampoline, Shot Down), though it was a very overproduced affair. I once had a cassette of a live recording from that era, and the songs sounded REALLY good, especially Shot Down.
His next album, Our Nation Underground, was the nadir of career, and he had a creative reawakening after that.

His works range from new wave dance to glossy sublime pop to pared down acoustic hippydom to Krautrock-inspired workouts.

I guess my favorites would rank something like World Shut Your Mouth (which does not include the song of that name), Fried, 20 Mothers, Skellington, Interpreter, and Jehovahkill, though most of his records have something to recommend them...well, maybe not Brain Donor. Of course, the early stuff he did with Teardrop Explodes is good, too.

I have only heard two songs from Citizen Cain'd, though they were both very good and incredibly loud. I should probably order it from his website.

dan said...

His works range from new wave dance to glossy sublime pop to pared down acoustic hippydom to Krautrock-inspired workouts.

Somehow, I missed stomping garage rock, in that rundown. That's a key component of his output

Pete Bilderback said...


I think there is pretty much universal agreement among Cope's fans on My Nation Underground. I should certainly pick up some of the post-Nation albums...20 Mothers, Interpreter, Jehovahkill, etc. Skellington and Droolian, are very hard to find now. If you ever want to post on those albums, or Cope in general, let me know.

dan said...


You can buy Skellington, Droolian, the Rite stuff (giggle), and lots else on his website. Apparently, he has a new cd coming this month.

Paul said...

I have an original signed copy of Saint Julian still in the celophane. Probably worth a bomb, but couldn't bear to part with it.

And if you want to find out more about Julian read his excellent two part autobiog Head-on and Repossessed. Available from his excellent website.


Philco Brothers said...

A little late on commenting but I
highly recommend these four albums:
Peggy Suicide