Posts Tagged ‘Julian Cope’


Tuesday, April 10th, 2012

Listen: Groovemaster / Arrow

The Island offices on 4th Street, right above Tower Records, were a real hubbub of activity back in the late 80′s and early 90′s. Seems a day wouldn’t go by when at least someone from the roster would stop by. Julian Cope, Phranc, Toots Hibbert, Bootsy Collins, Melissa Etheridge, Etta James, Third World, Rakim, Marianne Faithfull, Anthrax. Seriously, there was never a dull moment.

Arrow lived locally, and seemed genuinely thrilled to have a group of friends at the company, all of whom attended his many in Central Park or SOB’s shows. He was forever a happy jolt to any workday.

Seeing him live was a quick trip to carnival, there was no way you could have a bad time. For an hour or so, everyone danced and laughed and got rid of all their troubles. Sounds all very patronizing I’ll agree, but it really did happen that way.

Despite some of the sonic trappings of his Mango releases, like those electronic drums for instance, overall I have the fondest memories of ‘Groovemaster’ and those days when it was a current single. Not being one for Latin music, like truly not at all, ‘Grooovemaster’ just slides by unscathed. Hey, after all, it was World Music. Most importantly, it’s only possible to remember the good times associated with all things Arrow.

Above: Jukebox Tab signed by Arrow


Tuesday, August 23rd, 2011

Listen: Isi / Neu
Isi / Neu

Shaving off just over a minute from the full length, opening track on NEU ’75, their third album, meant 3:55 worth of hit single potential got itself pressed onto a hopeful UK 7″, anxious to follow Kraftwerk and Mike Oldfield into the charts.

From the way history implies, copies didn’t go much further than from occasional shop counter tops to Julian Cope’s and David Bowie’s houses. Not surprisingly, little to no airplay nor sales transpired, making even the promo pressings scarce.

Nowhere near as raw as expected, my initial few listens didn’t find me returning for multiple plays, not at first. But through the years, ‘Isi’ makes for a handy set breather during my Sunday afternoon record hops at the house, on rainy days, particularly in the autumn. Try it sometime.

Eric B. & Rakim

Friday, December 3rd, 2010

Move the Crowd / Eric B. & Rakim

Move the Crowd / Eric B. & Rakim

Listen: Move The Crowd / Eric B. & Rakim 05 Move The Crowd.mp3

There’s just something about a hip hop track when it’s on 7″ vinyl. Luckily, the 45 configuration was still pretty prevalent during the 80′s but far from the format of choice for the genre. Therefore, very few were manufactured, and even fewer sold. Now, not unlike Jazz singles, they’re fairly collectable and are almost like novelty items. I, for one, stock piled them all: Sugarhill, Def Jam, Wild Pitch, Rock-A-Fella, Tommy Boy etc. So yeah, really appreciative to have the Eric B. & Rakim stuff on 7′s.

In the day, these guys were usually hanging around the Island offices on 4th & Broadway, when the company was located above Tower Records. It was a pretty fun location. All the latest releases one floor down, and Keith Richards living in a duplex at the top – a constant hub-bub of activity. Island seemed to be a place the artists liked to visit, and milling about, sometimes all day. It was not uncommon to have say, Melissa Etheridge and Etta James talking in the hallway, or like one memorable afternoon on my office couch, Chris Blackwell with Phranc, Marianne Faithfull and Julian Cope.

Eric B. and definitely Rakim were often playing records in Kathy Jacobson’s office. Rakim in particular was a mensch, polite, humble and really smart.

I have played ‘Move The Crowd’ hundreds and hundreds of times. It sounds great in the car, on the headphones, definitely on the jukebox, seriously everywhere.

Ricky Nelson

Sunday, November 28th, 2010

Listen: Lonesome Town / Ricky Nelson RickyNelsonLonesomeTown.mp3

Somewhere during their DATE WITH ELVIS / STAY SICK period, The Cramps were doing ‘Lonesome Town’ live. It was around then that I’d joined Island Records and rang Lux and Ivy to update them with my new contact info.

Ivy and I got into a long conversation about all kinds of trivia, which was not uncommon. She and Lux were always the most interesting and intriguing people. We would sometimes stay on the phone for hours.

As we were winding it down, I asked would she like any records from the label.

“What do you have?”

“There’s Robert Palmer, U2, Anthrax, Grace Jones, Julian Cope……”

“Hmmm. I’ve never heard of any of those people. Do you have any Ricky Nelson records?”

Julian Cope

Tuesday, April 20th, 2010

JulianCharlotte, Julian Cope, Island

Listen: Charlotte Anne / Julian Cope JulianCharlotteAnne.mp3

This came out not long after I joined Island in ’88. Ron Fair was part of the A&R team, and produced the single (plus the album from which it came, MY NATION UNDERGROUND).

I hadn’t seen Ron for years, he went on to big success with The Black Eyed Peas and Keyshia Cole – good for him. But we did finally have a chance to reunite at a recent party in New York – and despite my praise of his work with Julian, he was pretty humble.

‘Charlotte Anne’ is such a classic British pop single. I remember sitting in the little parking lot behind Island’s St. Peter’s Square office in London back then, listening to it in Ron’s car. I loved the track that first time and still do.

JulianBeautiful, Julian Cope, Island

Listen: Beautiful Love / Julian Cope JulianBeautifulLove.mp3

Luckily I had the privilege of getting to know Julian and his then sidekick/producer Donald Skinner. They were making one of his masterpieces, PEGGY SUICIDE. What a fucking fantastic work from start to finish that baby is. Soon after release, I ventured to Norwich and caught an early show on the UK tour in support of the album. No lie – it was the place to be in the solar system that night.

‘Beautiful Love’ is probably my all time favorite Julie single – reminds me so much of The Herd’s ‘I Don’t Want Our Loving To Die’. So what’s not to like.

Visiting New York for a few days press prior to the album’s US release, he stayed, as always, with his in-laws out on Long Island. It was a blistering hot July day, and into the office comes Julian wearing flip flops, a wide brimmed sun hat, shades and swim trunks just a touch bigger than your average sized thong. That’s it. He plopped onto the sofa in my office and proceeded to have a totally casual conversation with Phranc and Marianne Faithfull, neither of whom seemed to blink twice.

Island was one hell of a fun place to work at times.