The Second King Cole

Jun 22nd, 2010 in Music

First there was Nat.  And then there was Lloyd.  The Kings of Cole.

We have been huge fans of Lloyd Cole since his “Rattlesnakes” record first came out in the Darker Ages (1984 for you Orwell and Bowie fans).   Cole made quite a commotion back then and in the 90s with his jangle-pop, crafty songwriting and literate lyrics.  Since then, he has released additional great records, though arguably not at the level of his earlier years.

But never count out a great artist.  We were reminded of Lloyd recently when listening to Believer magazine’s annual music issue and Cole’s included one-off song, Coattails, came on. On first listen, you recognize the voice but aren’t drawn in completely by the song.  Repeated listens, however, leave you recognizing the brilliance, artistry and delivery of  Lloyd King Cole, who has been doing it on and off for 27 years.  For those who are Cole-savvy, Coattails is done more in the style of Cole’s under-appreciated “Don’t Get Weird On Me Babe” record, and in particular its croonier, cabaret-esque second side (though with less production).  We love the piano’s relaxed, eloquent intro to this song, followed by Cole’s lament for another soul, and his seeming gut-check of his prior offerings (of all sorts) and his resolve that “you have yet to read my defining works.”  This previously unreleased song is articulate and soulful and harkens back to another era.

So listen in below, and if you haven’t heard Lloyd Cole (gasp!), we include a couple of our favorites from his earlier discography.  We can’t wait for his “defining works” given what he’s already delivered.

“Couldn’t get arrested
So you went and stole a car
And now you say that it was me
Who drove you where you are

Got out of the city
Everyone agreed
The life that you were living
It wasn’t healthy

And now it’s
One more piece of paper
Flying through the air
Are these your waste paper basket diaries?
And you wont get to the future
In that old time machine
But if you climb in back
We could take you a little while

And then again

Written for kicks
Paid by the line
Straight from the sticks
To the beginning of Time
Who wouldn’t want to raise a glass to that?

And I may be drunk
But this is no church
And you have yet to read
My defining works
I’m getting close
I’m closing on the final scene

And now it’s
One more piece of paper
Flying through the air
Are these my waste paper basket diaries?
And I know that I wont get to the future
In thisold time machine
But if I climb in back
You could take me a little while

And then again
And then again”

Lloyd Cole–Coattails

[audio:|titles=04 Coattails]

Lloyd Cole–Rattlesnakes

Pertinent lyrics:

“She is less than sure if her heart has come to stay in San Jose
And her neverborn child still haunts her
As she speeds down the freeway
As she tries her luck with the traffic police
out of boredom more than spite
She never finds no trouble she tries too hard
She’s obvious despite herself”

[audio:|titles=05 Rattlesnakes]

Lloyd Cole–Forest Fire

Pertinent lyrics:

“She crossed herself as she put on her things
She has promised once before not to live this way
If she don’t calm down she will burn herself out
Like a forest fire well doesn’t that make you smile”

[audio:|titles=03 Forest Fire]

Lloyd Cole–Are You Ready to Be Heartbroken?

Well are ya?

[audio:|titles=02 Are You Ready To Be Heartbroken_]

All lyrics written by Lloyd Cole and published by Chrysalis Music.

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