50 Ways to Prove I’m Rubbish #18

Today, not just a single, but an album.

Now, I must profess I wasn’t that late into cottoning on to how great this record is; I recall liking a couple of the singles from this album at the time, but the money was not to be parted from my pocket (not when there were old Quo records which simply needed to be bought, anyway.)

By the time of the second album, Easy Pieces, released a year after today’s subject, I’d given in; I bought the first single from the album on 12″, and then when a mate said he had the album and didn’t like it (the fool) I bought that off him too. Best £2 I ever spent.

For some reason that I don’t quite understand, I’ve never fully got behind Lloyd Cole’s solo career – everything I’ve heard, or owned, by him I’ve really liked; maybe it’s that thrust of youth and discovery that can never be bettered – but for me his first album (with The Commotions) is an absolute jewel.

A friend of mine went to see Cole play recently; back at the office, my first question was: “Did he play anything off Rattlesnakes?”

It’s such an important album for me. Here was a lyricist who seemed wordy, intelligent, bookish, and who made references to people who seemed within my grasp. Whilst Morrissey may have introduced me to Oscar Wilde, Keats & Yeats and Shelagh Delaney, Lloyd Cole made me aware of people like Eve Marie Saint, Greta Garbot, Truman Capote and Simone de Beauvior.

I was only a year or so late buying this album, an album which I would still say is one of my favourite records ever, but a year or so late is enough to qualify for this series.

It’s really tough picking my favourite songs from this wonderful, wonderful album, because frankly I could just post the whole album.

But I’ll give it a go, here’s six from it. Most of you will know them; if you don’t, what are you doing reading this? Go buy it (or stream it or whatever you young people do these days):

Lloyd Cole & The Commotions – Perfect Skin

Lloyd Cole & The Commotions – Speedboat

Lloyd Cole & The Commotions – Rattlesnakes

Lloyd Cole & The Commotions – Forest Fire

Lloyd Cole & The Commotions – 2CV

Lloyd Cole & The Commotions – Four Flights Up

Lloyd Cole & The Commotions – Are You Ready To Be Heartbroken?

More soon.