Ltd. 7-LP Boxset (1000 copies)
‘Lloyd Cole In New York’, released on CD in 2017, will now be available as an exclusive limited edition 7 LP box set via Tapete Records. It features all four solo albums Lloyd released between 1988 and 1996 [‘Lloyd Cole’ (’90), ‘Don’t Get Weird On Me Babe’ (’91), ‘Bad Vibes’ (’93) and ‘Love Story’ (’95)] plus ‘Smile If You Want To’, the ‘unreleased’ fifth album (including one previously unreleased track), and ‘Demos ‘89-‘94’, 20 recordings from home and studio made public for this release. The box will also feature a 24-page LP booklet about this most erudite of artists by John O’Connell with new interviews with Lloyd and featured musicians, producers and collaborators and a wonderful selection of photos from the period plus a poster and postcards that feature Lloyd shot in New York by feted photographer Kevin Cummins.
Lloyd Cole first stepped into the spotlight when Lloyd Cole & The Commotions released their effortlessly hip debut album ‘Rattlesnakes’ in 1984. He went on to make two further albums of cerebral pop with the Commotions (his music from this era was comprehensively catalogued in the LP box set ‘Lloyd Cole & The Commotions - Collected Recordings 1983-1989’). In ’88 Lloyd decamped to New York a solo artist and made a home in the city that had always loomed large in his imagination and he fully embraced its bars, bohemia and beautiful losers. ‘Lloyd Cole In New York’ charts this fascinating phase in Lloyd’s development, which saw him experimenting with his sound and collaborating with some top notch US musicians including guitarist Robert Quine (Richard Hell & the Voidoids, Lou Reed, Brian Eno), drummer Fred Maher (Material, Scritti Politti, Lou Reed) and Matthew ‘Girlfriend’ Sweet.
On his first solo album ‘Lloyd Cole’ (aka ‘The X album’ after the artwork) Lloyd embraced an edgier writing style with a nod to Dylan, Lou Reed and, not abandoning his UK roots completely, Marc Bolan. Unfettered from the democracy of The Commotions, he was happy to go wherever his muse took him and produced some of his most enduring songs such as ‘No Blue Skies’, ‘Undressed’ and ‘Ice Cream Girl’. ‘Don’t Get Weird On Me Babe’ was Lloyd’s concept album – one side orchestral (a la Jimmy Webb), the other rock. Lloyd described it as his ‘farewell to rock’. ‘Bad Vibes’, 1993’s about turn into bold psych-baroque experimentalism, polarized fans and critics alike, but songs such as ‘Mr Wrong’, ‘My Way To You’ and ‘So You’d Like To Save The World’ still stand tall. ‘Love Story’, a lot of people’s favourite Lloyd solo record, restored his critical and commercial reputation and he found himself back in the limelight performing its biggest hit ‘Like Lovers Do’, a dreamy sliver of Byrdsian jangle pop.
‘Smile If You Want To’ was supposed to be Cole’s 5th solo album. It was completed, but record company politics meant it was never released. The songs came out on subsequent albums, yet this is the first time they have been released as they were originally intended and fully mastered by Ian Jones at Abbey Road studios.
The two LPs ‘Demos ’89–‘94’ offer an insight into the development of Lloyd’s sound over this time, from early tentative recordings as a solo artist finding his way in his adopted home town, to demos he recorded for ‘Love Story’ where he embraced a more pastoral folk sound. They also include Lloyd’s previously unheard version of ‘The Ship Song’ by Nick Cave.