I love music of just about very variety. Occasionally, I hope to use this blog to introduce readers to some of my favorite artists that they may not be aware of, or performances they may enjoy. One of my long time favorites is singer/songwriter LLoyd Cole. Lloyd Cole and the Commotions debuted in 1984 with their album, Rattlesnakes, that reached #13 in the UK on the strength of the singles “Perfect Skin”, “Forest Fire” and the title song, “Rattlesnakes”. Over the next five years, they would put out two more albums before breaking up, when Lloyd began pursuing a solo career.
Lloyd is one of the most talented, intelligent (his songs contain many literary and pop culture references) and stylish performers you’ll ever see, respected tremendously by his industry peers. Like Prince, he is a prodigal guitarist and recorded many of his songs in his home, entirely by himself, playing every instrument. His music is largely alternative pop-rock, with an acoustic/folk sensibility. Unfortunately, judging by his Youtube numbers, which range from just a few hundred to about 15,000 views or so, today’s generation is either disinterested or has yet to discover him.
I was fortunate to see Lloyd Cole live in a very small bar right here in Jacksonville just a few years back. I considered it a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity and was able to stand and watch the show with my wife just a few feet from him. It was incredible and believe me when I tell you, I’ve seen a lot of concerts. I’ve posted two clips for you here, both from another one of Lloyd’s concerts back in 1990. These songs (“Jennifer She Said” and “Brand New Friend”), aren’t his most recognizable hits, but some of his greatest, nonetheless. Ignore the cheesy stage lighting and just pay attention to the music. Better yet, ignore the video and just turn up the music.
If you’d like to sample more of Lloyd Cole’s music, know that his are the types of albums that can be listened to straight through with great enjoyment of every track (they are first-rate ambiance for house parties and road trips- your friends will want to know who’s playing.).That said, this Greatest Hits album is an excellent place to start and can be had for just $7.99 on iTunes: http://itunes.apple.com/us/album/lloyd-cole-commotions-1984/id14321168.
While his history is long, rest assured that Lloyd is still cool, still relevant and incredibly, still underrated and undiscovered.