Saint Julian (album)

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Saint Julian
Studio album by Julian Cope
Released 2 March 1987
Genre Alternative rock
Length 41:43
Label Island
Producer Warne Livesey, Ed Stasium
Julian Cope chronology
Fried
(1984)
Saint Julian
(1987)
My Nation Underground
(1988)
Professional ratings
Review scores
Source Rating
Allmusic 3.5/5 stars[1]

Saint Julian is the third solo album by Julian Cope. It has a very strong pop sound, compared to other Cope releases, and spawned several of his best known tracks (including "World Shut Your Mouth" and "Trampolene", which were both hit singles).

Background[edit]

Saint Julian was the first album recorded under a new Cope deal with Island Records, following two poorly selling albums on the Mercury/Polygram label. Encouraged by his new manager Cally Callomon, Cope cleaned up and changed his image: cutting his hair, wearing rocker’s leathers and embracing a "Rock God" perspective, as well as investing in a bizarre climbable microphone stand with integral steps.

To record and tour the album, Cope put together a new backing group, informally known as the "Two-Car Garage Band".[2] This featured lead guitarist Donald Ross Skinner and former Waterboys drummer Chris Whitten (both of whom had played on Cope’s previous and ill-fated album Fried), plus bass player James Eller (who’d played alongside Cope on the second Teardrop Explodes album, Wilder) and Cope himself on vocals and rhythm guitar. For the album, Cope also played keyboards under the alias of "Double DeHarrison", although Richard Frost joined the band to play keyboards for live appearances.[2] Cope also used the DeHarrison pseudonym for the "Oregon guitar" playing on "A Crack in the Clouds" and would go on to use it again on subsequent solo albums.

Several songs on the album originated from much earlier than the others. "Screaming Secrets" had been a Teardrop Explodes song[2] which never made it to album, while "Spacehopper" may date back to late 1970s writing sessions with Ian McCulloch (although only Cope was credited as songwriter).

The album’s new songs abandoned the collapsing psychedelic styles of Fried in favour of a crisp, punchier and more structured sound, drawing partially on Cope’s professed love for Detroit heavy rock acts such as early Alice Cooper. Early sessions were supervised by Ramones producer Ed Stasium and delivered the song "World Shut Your Mouth" (which became Cope’s biggest solo hit, reaching #19 in the UK in 1986), "Pulsar" and "Spacehopper". The remaining album sessions were produced by Warne Livesey. The parent album was well received and generated two more singles, "Trampolene" and "Eve’s Volcano", but the fresh momentum did not last. Cope fell out with Callomon, and the Two-Car Garage band disintegrated as James Eller joined The The and Chris Whitten left for Paul McCartney’s band.[2]

Cope played a red Gibson ES-335 12-string guitar strung with 9 strings (a single course of E, A and D strings, with the G, B and high E strings doubled) to get a fuller sound. The distinctive electronic peal which punctuates "World Shut Your Mouth" is the start-up tone of Cope’s main keyboard[2]

Cope has subsequently described Saint Julian as not being one of his favourite albums, although he acknowledges that "it has its moments."

Track listing[edit]

All songs written and composed by Julian Cope

No. Title Length
1. "Trampolene"   3:33
2. "Shot Down"   3:35
3. "Eve's Volcano (Covered in Sin)"   4:16
4. "Spacehopper"   3:59
5. "Planet Ride"   5:42
6. "World Shut Your Mouth"   3:06
7. "Saint Julian"   3:20
8. "Pulsar"   2:46
9. "Screaming Secrets"   3:27
10. "A Crack in the Clouds"   7:59

Chart positions[edit]

Charts (1987) Peak
position
Swedish Albums Charts [3] 39
New Zealand Albums Charts[4] 25
UK Albums Chart[5] 11
US Billboard 200[6] 105

Personnel[edit]

  • Julian Cope - vocals, 9-string rhythm guitar; (also performs pseudonymously as "Double DeHarrison" playing organ, Hohner Clavinet and 'Oregon' guitar on "A Crack in the Clouds")
  • Donald Ross Skinner - electric & slide guitars, 'airhead' guitar & screams on "Spacehopper"
  • James Eller - bass guitar
  • Chris Whitten - drums
  • Warne Livesey - synthesizer, strings on "A Crack in the Clouds"
  • Paul Crockford - Ace Tone organ on "Planet Ride"
  • Richard Frost (credited as "Keith-Richard Frost") - string machine on "Saint Julian"
  • Kate St. John - cor anglais on "Saint Julian" & "A Crack in the Clouds"
  • Dee Lewis, Tessa Niles - chorus vocals on "Eve's Volcano", chorus agreement vocals on "Planet Ride"

Some sources say that future Marillion singer Steve Hogarth sang backing vocals on the album, although he is uncredited on the inlay.[7]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Raggett, Ned. "Saint Julian". Allmusic. Retrieved October 6, 2012. 
  2. ^ a b c d e Cope, Julian (2000). Head-On/Repossessed. Thorsons Publishers. ISBN 0-7225-3882-0. 
  3. ^ "Julian Cope - Saint Julian". swedishcharts.com. Retrieved October 6, 2012. 
  4. ^ "Julian Cope - Saint Julian". charts.org.nz. Retrieved October 6, 2012. 
  5. ^ "Julian Cope - Saint Julian". chartarchive.org. Retrieved October 6, 2012. 
  6. ^ "Julian Cope - Saint Julian". billboard.com. Retrieved October 6, 2012. 
  7. ^ Guest credit details on Steve Hogarth page on Marillion website