Saturday, July 9, 2011

Juli@n Cop3- Sk3LLingt0n (1989) / Sk3LLingt0n 2 (1993) MP3 & FLAC

"Rattle my chains, shoot my brains, if I can't have you."

Skellington was born out of the frustration and disappointment Julian Cope had experienced throughout the process of recording My Nation Underground, his second LP for Island records, an album the record execs apparently hoped would raise Cope's commercial prospects. The sessions were expensive and badly over-produced,  leading Cope to reportedly express his hatred for the project before it was even finished. Toward the end of these recording sessions, Cope and a group of musicians who had been working with him on the album spent a weekend on the sly in the same studio using Island's money to record another album, which Cope felt better represented his artistic intentions. In reaction to the sonic bluster of the "official" album, Cope set about recording a minimalist, primarily acoustic set of demos that, while sounding under-developed and even fragmentary in places, is extremely listenable and far more worthy of his singular genius. The lead track, "Doomed," is a perfect example; it features Cope repetitively plucking a bass-note lick on a rickety-sounding acoustic guitar while keeping his vocals in the lower range. However, what pulls the song together is a simple electric organ melody that repeats throughout, lending the song both a psychedelic ambiance and touch of Syd Barrett-style whimsy. Another song indicative of the strange pleasures this improvised recording session produced is the acoustic ditty "Robert Mitchum." Originally penned in the late seventies with then-band-mate Ian McCulloch, the song finds Cope in fine, slightly ironic voice as he sings his ode of admiration to the movie star. The session ends with the brilliant "Commin' Soon," which might have been a wistful ballad had Cope not chosen to sing it as a distorted, high-pitched confessional that sounds reminiscent of any number of rock star casualties. Needless to say, Island was less than thrilled about the session and refused to release it, especially as the label still had big plans for My Nation Underground. Despite Island's accusation that he was breaching the contract he had signed with them, Cope decided to release the session, now titled Skellington, on a tiny indie label. Four years later, he revisited the Skellington concept by recording another set of songs under similar conditions, which yielded Skellington 2. While not nearly as essential as Cope's best work, the Skellington albums are deserving of their comparison to other legendary pieces of rock eccentricity such as Syd Barrett's The Madcap Laughs and Skip Spence's Oar, both of which were clearly inspirations for the Skellington sessions.

Ye Skellington Chronicles


 1. Doomed  (2:40)
 2. Beaver  (2:29)
 3. Me & Jimmy Jones  (1:30)
 4. Robert Mitchum  (2:43)
 5. Out of My Mind on Dope & Speed  (3:28)
 6. Don't Crash Here  (1:00)
 7. Everything Playing at Once  (1:31)
 8. Little Donkey  (2:44)
 9. Great White Wonder  (2:12)
10. Incredibly Ugly Girl  (3:04)
11. No How, No Why, No Way, No Where, No When  (2:00)
12. Commin' Soon  (2:26)

Skellington 2

13. Electrical Stormgirl  (1:52)
14. Poppins  (1:39)
15. Skip  (1:33)
16. I've Got My T.V. & My Pills  (1:41)
17. The Angels & the Fellatress  (3:57)
18. Waco-Pops  (1:39)
19. Common Land at Water's Edge  (2:27)
20. Scud-U-Like  (0:48)
21. Grimreaper Is a Krautrocker  (8:33)
22. American Tragedy  (1:20)
23. Wayland's Smithy Has Wings  (1:35)
24. Madonna Baglady Blues  (4:42)
25. London Underground  (2:00)



  1. Thanks so much, love your blog and love anything by Droolian..

    Much Luv
    Betty Big Tits


  2. Betty, thank you. Speaking of "Droolian," that one is coming soon :)

  3. Thanks. The Cope posts never seem to get as much attention, thanks for posting it for me anyway.

  4. Jeff, I get plenty of people asking for Julian Cope, but very few comments when I do post him. It's not that people don't download him because they do. I'll post more Julian for you this summer. I think "Droolian" will be the next Cope I post. Any requests?

  5. Well, I would like to say that as a big fan I have little need for anything else, but most of what I have is what I was able to order when I worked for an unnamed record store chain years ago. So, there is still a big gap in my collection.
    I would definitely appreciate a Droolian post. I have basically everything through Interpreter, but all of his later work has slipped my grasp. What would be really cool is if you posted any extras or EP’s etc. from his earlier work if you have any. I have rarely ever come across any of that sort of thing, so I don’t know how much actually exists or if it has ever been released outside of vinyl, but if you have it, it would be cool.

  6. Jeff, "Droolian" I cvan definitely do. You're right; the EPs are very tough to find. I did post one for "Beautiful Love" a while back, but I send out a search party to hopefully find some more


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