On Monday 27 March, Lloyd Cole will stop by Sheffield City Hall to play his classic songbook 1983 – 1996.
The release of 2015’s ‘Lloyd Cole and the Commotions Collected Recordings 1983-1989’ was received with such universal warmth and acclaim, and it sold out far more quickly than anticipated that 2016 / 2017 will see Lloyd Cole performing live sets comprised of material from 1983 to 1996 only.
Expect the hits Perfect Skin, Rattlesnakes, Forest Fire, Lost Weekend, Brand new friend, Jennifer She Said, Are you ready to be heartbroken?
In 1983, Lloyd Cole and Blair Cowan left Glasgow University to become professional musicians. Lloyd Cole and the Commotions signed publishing deal with April Music (soon to become CBS Songs).
In 1984, the Commotions sign to Polydor UK and Perfect Skin was released. It reached #26 on UK singles chart, and the band appeared on Top of The Pops. Album Rattlesnakes was released to near universal praise, and stayed in the UK top 100 for 12 months.
In 1987, Lloyd Cole and the Commotions released their final album Mainstream which was critically lauded but performed less well in the record shops.
As a solo artist, Cole released The X Album in 1990 to huge record company marketing campaign and expectation. Life size scowling Lloyd Cole figures were found in record stores all around the world. The album was critically acclaimed and vaulted Cole to superstar status in France and Sweden, but nowhere else. On the sell out world tour, Cole shocked Commotions fans with dirty loud rock music. Not all are happy with his reinvention.
In 1991, he and Blair Cowan co-wrote a group of songs which cry out for an Orchestra. At the same time, Cole was writing rock tunes and decided to make deliberately schizophrenic album, produced by the same Lloyd Cole team with the addition of legendary string arranger Paul Buckmaster (Elton John, Rolling Stones) and recorded in NYC and LA. Don’t Get Weird On Me, Babe received great reviews and a huge marketing campaign, but a hit could not be bought and, although sales are again healthy, Polydor and Capitol must have been becoming frustrated.
In 1993, Having bought a swanky NYC pad and installed a recording studio at huge expense, Cole set about making a record that didn’t sound like a Lloyd Cole record. Electro/Dance remixer Adam Peters was brought in as producer. Did Bad Vibes succeed in its goal of not sounding like a Lloyd record? Not really, but it did prove the final straw for Capitol who decided to pass on it. In the rest of the world things went little better.
In 1995, After almost a year in the studio with Adam Peters, Adam and Chris Hughes, Stephen Street, and eventually no producer, Cole deliverd Love Story. Hailed as back to basics, return to form, etc, Cole found himself back on Top of the Pops with his first solo hit Like Lovers Do.
After the struggle that was the making of Love Story, Polygram actually had faith in Cole to produce the next record himself. A band was put together from the previous years’ touring band with the addition of Robert Quine on electric Guitar and Neil Clark on lap steel. The album was delivered at the end of the year and mixed early 1997. Polygram A&R man Dave Bates and new publisher Chrysalis were both very happy with it. Howard Berman, however, the managing director or Polygram, was less enthused. The album was never released.
Tickets for Lloyd Cole are available from the Sheffield City Hall box office on 0114 278 9789 or via their website. Tickets at £20 (advance). The show starts at 7:30pm.
LLoyd Cole plays at Sheffield City Hall on Monday 27 March 2017.