ARTIST: Julian Cope
TITLE: St. Julian
YEAR RELEASED: 1987
CHART ACTION: #105 US, #11 UK
SINGLES: World Shut Your Mouth (#84 US, #22 Mainstream, #19 UK), Trampolene (#31 UK), Eve’s Volcano (#41 UK)
OTHER SONGS YOU MAY KNOW: Planet Ride
LINEUP: Julian Cope, Donald Ross Skinner, James Wiler, Chris Whitten with Kate St. John and others
WHAT’S IT ALL ABOUT: After two ‘fried’ albums, as it were, Cope moves to a more commercial rock sound with some success both commercially and artistically.
SOME WORDS, PHRASES AND CLAUSES ABOUT THIS RECORD: With a new manager, and a brain free from LSD (at least he wasn’t taking it daily), Julian Cope turned away from his introspective psychedelic material and towards a more modern-rock sound.
The result wasn’t anything like the Teardrop Explodes or his first solo albums, for better or worse. Cope has a lyrical fixation with space (at least three cuts definitely link to outer space), and his melodies and some of his vocals still have a little of a freak-out bend to them. But in cuts like “Trampolene” and “World Shut Your Mouth”, he embraces rock.
That last cut made a big splash on MTV and on college radio, and made Cope somewhat of a rock star. The album as a whole wasn’t as deep or good as that cut (which shines to this day), and Cope was really more of a reluctant rocker than anything.
NOTES & MINUTIAE: He used a pseudonym (Double DeHarrison) for the keyboards he played on the record. He also played a unique nine-string guitar (a 12-string with single low E, A and D strings)
IS THERE A DELUXE VERSION: No, but in the UK “World Shuts Your Mouth” starts side two.
GRADE: B: Some of the material sounds like Cope’s forcing himself to rock, but “World Shut Your Mouth” is absolutely an all-timer.