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Baker's Dozen

Nearly Perfect But Not Quite: Lloyd Cole's Favourite Albums
Lisa Jenkins , June 21st, 2013 07:07

The former Commotions man rifles through his record collection to pick his top 13 records

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The years have been kind to Lloyd Cole. Meeting him on a spring afternoon in an Aldwych pub in London, it strikes me that if it wasn’t for the silver fox grey hair, you would be forgiven for thinking we were back in 1984 when The Commotions' debut Rattlesnakes was released.

For anyone that remembers the much-missed institution of Top Of The Pops in the 80s, Lloyd Cole And The Commotions were one of those bands that stuck in the memory. The years have passed, Lloyd Cole went solo in 1989 and has continued to make music to critical acclaim. Quietly spoken, self-deprecating and still amazed that my female friends of a certain age were rather excited that I was interviewing him, Cole knows his musical nuts and bolts. A fan first and foremost, his musical knowledge and love is clear from the start. His queries around how to use Dropbox and iTunes I’m convinced are just to start polite conversation: “Maybe I should start naming my tracks, instead of having them by date, what do you think? Is there anyway I can stop it uploading everything... every single time”. After having an embarrassing long ten second fan girl moment, I manage to mumble a reply. I hope it’s the right one.

His influences are mainly 70s and range from punk to glam to prog rock. We bond over the genius of Prince and his love for The Walkmen [as an aside: if by chance The Walkmen find themselves reading this, please get in touch: Mr Cole would like to work with you. Very soon]. Pulling in technical knowledge combined with passion, it is an hour-long master class in music. When I ask him what connects these 13 albums his response is: “Nothing really, except that there is virtually no ‘noodling’ in any of them.”

Lloyd Cole's new album Standards is out on June 24 via Tapete. Click on his picture below to begin scrolling his noodle-free choices


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Tim E
Jun 21, 2013 11:35am

What an interesting article...and a great insight into one of our most underrrated artists. Still think Hey Rusty is one of the great rocks songs.

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Neil T
Jun 21, 2013 1:06pm

From one Derbyshire lad to another, well done Lloyd! My first ever gig was just ahead of Mainstream being released in 1988. Thanks for the piece and what is a great collection; good to hear an intelligent appraisal of Prince my opinion he gave us probably the greatest run of albums from 1999 through to Sign o' the Times.

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Jun 22, 2013 8:48am

In reply to Neil T:

"the girl on the seesaw is laughing
for love is the colour this place imparts
paisley park
admission is easy, just say you believe
and come to this place in your heart
paisley park is in your heart"

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Jun 22, 2013 10:32am

I remember feeling the same way when Johnnie Walker played 'All The Way From Memphis' twice in a row. Interestingly, it's the opener on another of Lloyd's choices, 'Mott'

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the olde contrarian
Jun 22, 2013 12:44pm

I somehow did expect to find the third LP by the Velvet Undergound in this batch.
And good to have somebody remember Peter Perret's then wonderful voice. I prefer the Peel Sessions LP by The Only Ones. Those geezers at Maida Vale got the best out of Shriekback, The Only Ones, Babes in Toyland, The McKenzies (on Ron Jonson Records).
And thanks for suggesting Cluster. My knowledge of German music is somewhat scant.

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Jun 23, 2013 1:04pm

When a person mentions albums containing"Whizz Kid", "Computer Love" as we'll as the band The Raincoats... I know I could sit down for hours chatting with Lloyd.

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Sonia, Berlin
Jun 23, 2013 5:54pm

Interestimg choices but i was positive he'd picked Marquee Moon by Television

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Diane Pekarcik
Apr 19, 2016 12:42am

I actually think Only Serpents Shine is quite perfect, and am hoping Peter Perrett will get into the studio sometime soon to record some of those 20+ new songs he's got stored up.

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