Lloyd Cole: The Retrospective Tour- (1983 - 1996)
LLOYD COLE: THE RETROSPECTIVE TOUR TWO SETS OF HIS MUSIC (1983 - 1996)
2015 began Lloyd Cole's "retrospective years" in which the UK born, Western Massachusetts-based musician began to revisit his storied career. In his own words:
Yes, it was me who opened his solo venture (the eponymous 1990 release) with a song called 'Don't Look Back'. I know, I know…
However, the release of 2015's Lloyd Cole and the Commotions Collected Recordings 1983-1989 was received to universal warmth and acclaim, and it sold out far more quickly than UMG anticipated. A second printing is due in March, and a second box is in the works, for September release. It will span 1988 – 1996, my first four solo albums, the lost fifth album, plus rarities and videos.
These boxes are a lot of work, much of which can only be done by me. I must revisit and rediscover material. I am necessarily in retrospective mode. I have decided to embrace it.
Once the world has seen the Retrospective Show I will resume my work as a contemporary artist.
Lloyd Cole, though he'd never be so gauche as to suggest it himself, has enjoyed something of a renaissance in 2013. He released his new 'career best' album 'Standards' in the summer. He also found himself with star billing on the UK's finest music TV show 'Later With Jools Holland' (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HcDUDm4nNm8). He has been playing to sell-out houses across Europe ever since.
Cole played his first electric shows in a decade in January 2014 and the 'never ending' solo acoustic tour resumed in March, crossing Europe, New Zealand and Australia.
But still the album was not released in North America. At last this has been put right and 'Standards' will be released on Omnivore Recordings on September 30th. Cole expects to play a few select US shows in the fall with a fuller schedule in early 2015.
Recorded in late 2012 to early 2013 in Los Angeles, New York and at his home in Easthampton, Massachusetts, 'Standards' is produced by Lloyd and mixed by maverick German producer Olaf Opal. All songs are by Lloyd Cole apart from 'California Earthquake', which was written by American folk artist John Hartford.
Inspired in part by the vitality he found in septuagenarian Dylan's acclaimed 2012 album 'Tempest' – says Cole, 52: "I took it as a kick up the backside…" – 'Standards' is a gloriously electric rock'n'roll record and arguably the best thing he has made since his groundbreaking debut with the Commotions, 1984's 'Rattlesnakes'.
The band Lloyd assembled for 'Standards' comprises Fred Maher (Material, Scritti Politti, Lou Reed) on drums and Matthew Sweet on bass reforming the rhythm section from Lloyd's debut solo album 1990's 'Lloyd Cole' and its follow up 'Don't Get Weird On Me Babe'. With Joan (As Police Woman) Wasser on piano/backing vocals, and Lloyd not only singing but playing synths amidst some of the crispest, stormiest, most stinging electric guitar, it's a tight ship with a tight sound which tautens and relaxes according to the temper of the song. Augmenting the basic band are Lloyd's son Will, Mark Schwaber and Matt Cullen on guitars, Commotions keyboardist Blair Cowan, percussionist Michael Wyzik and backing vocalist and Negative Dave Derby.
Says Lloyd: "I wanted to make an album with a small fixed palette of sounds, like a Van Gogh, like 'Highway 61'. The album format is supposedly dead, but I still want to make them. Not bunches of songs – albums. For the last 10 years I've been primarily an acoustic musician but this is an album for electric guitars, electric bass and loud drums, with piano and a synthesizer for measure. Not quite monochrome, then, but not ever-changing either: it has a unique identity – a sound."
WHAT THE PAPERS ARE SAYING ABOUT 'STANDARDS'
"…a rocking, reinvigorated return…terrific" 8/10 UNCUT July '13
"…captivating!" 4* MOJO July '13
"effortless craftsmanship from a gifted storyteller." Q July '13
"'Standards' is the work of a bristling, alive and fresh-as-a-daisy master, drawing on all of his experience for a mid-life career high."4* Daily Mirror 21 June '13
"…a sound replete with twisting, cyclical guitar lines and tints of keyboards… there's a confidence and flexibility to his disparate themes…may be his best album."
The Independent I 21 June '13
"…- like when Dylan went electric…it's not a fanciful comparison – Cole's lyrics are profoundly poetic and linked to some glorious tunes….terrific."4*
Alan Johnson MP, BIG ISSUE 17-23 June '13
"…pop rock swagger….with a lyric as seductive as ever…" 4*
The Independent On Sunday 23 June '13
"…a vibrant set full of wry wordplay." 4* Mail On Sunday 23 June '13
"…a fine advertisement for approaching the act of writing in a more contemplative way….wonderfully wry…self-knowing lyrics….a plangent beauty…"
Sunday Times 23 June '13
"…ruminative, erudite, rueful…the rockiest thing he has done, but still very Lloyd Cole." Mail On Sunday 9 June '13
"…gloriously, pertinently verbose…career-best…" 4* Record Collector July '13
"…a timeless classic." 5* Classic Pop July/Aug '13
ABOUT THE CONCERTS
"…a little less commotion, but still a legend… just his acoustic guitar and a two-hour set of gorgeous pop songs…" Bristol Post 6 Nov '13
"His voice is still beautiful. It sounds like threadbare velvet, stretched but rich at the same time…His lyrics are full of lust and longing, never overly romantic, but enough for you to realise that they come from a deeply complex man." GodIsInTheTV 13 Nov '13