There just aren’t enough albums that feature male singers with turtle shells on their backs. But then, Julian Cope, surely by now regarded as one of the UK ‘s greatest living songwriters, was always a true eccentric.
‘Fried’ is, I reckon, one of the best albums ever made. From the brittle psych meltdown of ‘Reynard The Fox’, to the wide -eyed pop of ‘Sunspots’ , which charted the adoration of his wife Dorian-oh yes, and she had a dream about a turtle boy, hence the cover- the album is caught between some gorgeous, Syd Barrett-esque pop, and his fondness for English history (‘The Bloody Assizes’)
Having left The Teardrop Explodes and eschewed his pin -up reputation, the album was both impossibly beautiful and delicate, and pretty niche. It chronicled the start of an independent but erratic career, where Cope rejected any prevailing trends in lieu of something richer and more singular.
It is so timeless, and his voice so assured, that it still stands up wonderfully today. With bands like Goat, King Gizzard and others mining the lysergic past, it’s almost as if time has even caught.up now. But he’s always just Julian Cope, and that’s more than enough.