Dec 19, 2012

RhoDeo 1251 Aetix

Hello,  Aetix follows through last weeks episode by looking back , how did Julian Cope start out, in some interesting company as it turns out, what followed was a short sharp career with a band that carried the seed of destruction in it's name The Teardrop Explodes....  N'Joy

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The Teardrop Explodes was formed by Julian Cope who had previously been in the short-lived yet locally-renowned band Crucial Three along with Pete Wylie who went on to form Wah! and Ian McCulloch later of Echo and the Bunnymen. The band's initial line-up consisted of singer/bassist Julian Cope, Mick Finkler on guitar, Gary Dwyer on drums and Paul Simpson on keyboards. An early version of the band, called A Shallow Madness, included Ian McCulloch. They were managed by Bill Drummond and signed to his Zoo label, as were Echo and the Bunnymen.

The band issued their 1979 debut single "Sleeping Gas," a surreal electro-pop effort, in February 1979. Soon after, Simpson left the band and was replaced by Zoo label co-owner, David Balfe. As they toured Liverpool, the band steadily gained popularity. Finkler was fired by Cope during the recording of their debut album Kilimanjaro and replaced by Dalek I Love You guitarist Alan Gill. With Gill came an expansion of the group's sound. Armed with trumpeters Ray Martinez and Hurricane Smith who add soaring flourishes and energetic blasts throughout, on Kilimanjaro the Teardrops explode in a torrent of creative, kicky and often downright fun songs that hotwire garage/psych inspirations into something more.

Cope is already a commanding singer and frontman; his clever lyrics and strong projection result in a series of confident performances. In 1981, the group was at the height of its popularity. In January, they hit #6 on the British charts with the "Reward" single and in April they broke the top 20 with "Treason" . They received airplay on progressive radio in the U.S., introducing the band to many new fans. During this period, there were numerous line up changes: Alfie Agius was brought in on bass, Jeff Hammer replaced Balfe on keyboards and Troy Tate replaced Gill on guitar. Expectations were high for the band's second album, Wilder, recorded in late 1981 with a nucleus of Cope, Dwyer, Tate and the returning Balfe. Unlike the first album, which was more of a band effort, Wilder is much more the work of Cope, who took sole songwriting credit on every track on the album. The singles didnt do particularly well, signaling the end of the Teardrops as a popular singles band.

At the end of 1981 the band took up residence at the Pyramid Club in Liverpool, playing twice a day as a five piece, with the addition of Ronnie François on bass. The band then undertook an extensive tour of Europe, the USA and Australia,  with disastrous results; Tate quickly broke ranks to join Fashion, leaving the remaining trio to begin work on a planned third LP, to be dubbed Everybody Wants to Shag the Teardrop Explodes.Tensions were high – Cope wanted to write ballads and quirky pop songs, while Balfe was more interested in recording synth-based dance music. Cope eventually dissolved the band in the middle of the sessions. The material was later released in 1990 under the title Everybody Wants To Shag... the Teardrop Explodes. After the bands breakup, Balfe later re-emerged as the founder of the Food Records label, while Cope embarked on a successful and occasionally brilliant solo career.

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Despite the flux they were going through, the Teardrops somehow got it together to record the heavily-hyped Wilder, which unlike its predecessor did nothing in terms of sales or smash singles, outside of the semi-successful shimmering keyboard/crunch of "Passionate Friend." This isn't for lack of talent on the band's part, and the trademark kicky arrangements and horns appear throughout. However, unlike the joyous outpourings of Kilimanjaro, Wilder sounds distanced. Cope doesn't come across as the lead singer so much as he does someone singing with the music, ironic given that he wrote everything on this album. As a subtler pleasure, though, Wilder offers up some good stuff, with more cryptic compositions and performances throughout, while Clive Langer takes over full production after only doing a few on the first album.  The concluding track, "The Great Dominions," is one of Cope's all-time best, with a sweeping, epic sense of scope and sound. The angular funk of "The Culture Bunker" has both some fine guitar and a sharp lyric or two on Cope's part -- the Crucial Three he refers to was his bedroom-only act with Ian McCulloch and Pete Wylie.

The Teardrop Explodes - Wilder (flac 455mb)

01 Bent Out Of Shape 3:27
02 Colours Fly Away 2:54
03 Seven Views Of Jerusalem 3:47
04 Pure Joy 1:42
05 Falling Down Around Me 3:08
06 The Culture Bunker 5:29
07 Passionate Friend 3:29
08 Tiny Children 3:50
09 Like Leila Khaled Said 3:48
10 ...And The Fighting Takes Over 3:53
11 The Great Dominions 4:26
 Expanded with US mini album Buff Manilla.
12 Window Shopping For A New Crown Of Thorns 3:48
13 East Of The Equator 6:16
14 Rachael Built A Steamboat 4:15
15 You Disappear From View 2:59
16 Suffocate 3:43
17 Ouch Monkeys 5:15
18 Soft Enough For You 3:55
19 The In-Psychlopedia 4:04

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The title was originally intended for the band's debut, but attaching it to the long-unreleased third and final Teardrops album, an expansion of the four-track You Disappear From View EP, is as good a use as any. Cope trashed these sessions shortly after they were completed, but admitted years later that it wasn't all that bad. While this is a Balfe album more than anything else (he's credited with all the arrangements) with Cope on vocals, the rapidly collapsing band, augmented by a variety of other players, still manages to get in some good work. Cope certainly sounds like he's not entirely there at points -- particularly on the lengthy opening number "Ouch Monkeys," where his voice is mixed in the background while Balfe's lounge-styled lead keyboards play against spectral choir sounds and echoed drums. Much of the percussion is a combination of Dwyer's suddenly arena-scaled pounding and rhythm box pulses, which, combined with the lack of guitars on all but two songs oftens transforms the Teardrops into something approaching New Romantic synth rock! "You Disappear From View" sounds like a reject from Spandau Ballet's early days. Often cuts sound like demos for fuller arrangements, which turned out to be the case for two of the songs, "Metranil Vavin" and "Sex (Pussyface)," which Cope recut on his solo debut World Shut Your Mouth. When Cope is fully engaged in the material, like on the charging "Count to Ten and Run For Cover," or the gently mysterious flow of "Soft Enough For You," it's a gentle revelation. A ringer concludes things -- "Strange House in the Snow," an off-kilter, wiggy 1980-era cut with Gill on guitar.

The Teardrop Explodes - Everybody Wants to Shag (flac 265mb)

01 Ouch Monkeys 5:29
02 Serious Danger 3:30
03 Metranil Vavin 3:06
04 Count To Ten And Run For Cover 3:20
05 In-Psychlopaedia 4:00
06 Soft Enough For You 3:28
07 You Disappear From View 3:00
08 The Challenge 2:57
09 Not My Only Friend 2:54
10 Sex (Pussyface) 4:09
11 Terrorist 3:32
12 Strange House In The Snow 4:43

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Julian Cope isn't one to dwell on the past, but he isn't opposed to re-evaluating it, either. When going through some old tapes, he evidently found enough material to convince him to add one more compilation to the Teardrop Explodes post-breakup catalog. This set is evenly split between demos, early versions, and live tracks. As with any anthology of this kind, the sound quality tends to vary. The earliest songs, a few instrumentals from 1978, sound the roughest, but the majority of the tracks sound excellent. Audio clarity is hardly an issue, though, when legendary lost Teardrop gems like "Log Cabin" and the original "You Disappear From View" are finally unearthed. The latter's stripped-down sound is indescribably better than the cheesy, faux soul version that appeared on Everybody Wants to Shag the Teardrop Explodes. Just more evidence that their unfinished third album would have been another classic had Cope been able to keep David Balfe's synth at bay. While a few of the alternate takes aren't terribly different from the common ones, "Tiny Children" is utterly charming and upbeat, a far cry from the haunting take included on Wilder. Musically speaking, the best version of the group was the one that featured Jeff Hammer on keyboards and Alfie Agius on bass. The sometimes comedic differences these hired hands had with core members Cope and Gary Dwyer are highlighted in Cope's hilarious book, Head-On. But the diversity seems to have worked: this incarnation of the band is featured on exciting live renditions of "The Culture Bunker" and "Sleeping Gas," which both display the band's unique fusion of the sounds of 1967 and 1977. The disclaimer on the cover which states that Zoology is to rhyme with "eulogy," indicates this may be the final word on the group.

The untiteld final track  is an interview with several luminaries, including Cope, concerning the fabled Columbia Hotel in London, a favorite hideaway for new wave artists in the early '80s.

The Teardrop Explodes - Zoology (  flac 510mb)

01 From Five Miles Up 2:18
02 Camera Camera 2:57
03 Brave Boys Keep Their Promises 2:11
04 Nobody Knows This Is Everywhere 4:04
05 When I Dream 4:10
06 Screaming Secrets 4:06
07 Books 2:10
08 The Culture Bunker 7:52
09 I'm Not The Loving Kind 2:47
10 Log Cabin 3:07
11 Tiny Children 3:10
12 You Disappear From View 3:03
13 ...And The Fighting Takes Over 4:04
14 Sleeping Gas 4:25
15 The Tunnel 3:09
16 Ritchie Blofeld 3:50
17 Untitled 13:35

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previously Now in Flac re-upped 8-10-17

Teardrop Explodes - Kilimanjaro ( 80 flac 497mb)

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Skip said...

Zoology! Wow! That is so great!

Anonymous said...

just searched for teardrop and saw that you had put some their greatness up here. Any chance of an upload?


Inertia from Oz

bibboity said...

hello great blog would a repost of the teardrop explodes be possible particularly wilder thank you

bibboity said...

many many thanks fantastic musics