Lloyd Cole & The Commotions

Lloyd Cole & The Commotions were a Scottish pop-rock band that released ten singles and the 1984–87 Polydor albums Rattlesnakes, Easy Pieces, and Mainstream. They charted in the UK and Ireland with “Perfect Skin,” “Brand New Friend,” “Lost Weekend,” “Cut Me Down,” and “My Bag.”

Members: Lloyd Cole (vocals, guitar), Stephen Irvine (drums, percussion), Neil Clark (guitar), Lawrence Donegan (bass), Blair Cowan (keyboards)


Background

The Commotions formed in 1982 at the University of Glasgow, where philosphy and English major Lloyd Cole met bassist Lawrence Donegan.

In 1983, they released their first single on one-press Welcome To Las Vegas.

A. “Down at the Mission”
B. “Are You Ready to Be Heartbroken?”


Rattlesnakes

Lloyd Cole and the Commotions released their debut album, Rattlesnakes, on October 12, 1984, on Polydor (UK, Europe) and Geffen (North America).

1. “Perfect Skin” – 3:13
2. “Speedboat” – 4:37
3. “Rattlesnakes” (Cole, Neil Clark) – 3:28
4. “Down on Mission Street” – 3:49
5. “Forest Fire” – 4:34

6. “Charlotte Street” – 3:55
7. “2cv” – 2:52
8. “Four Flights Up” (Cole, Lawrence Donegan) – 2:37
9. “Patience” (Cole, Blair Cowan) – 3:40
10. “Are You Ready to Be Heartbroken?” (Cole, Clark) – 3:06)

Paul Hardiman – producer
Ric Ocasek – remix on “Perfect Skin”, “Four Flights Up” and “Patience”
Anne Dudley and the Commotions – string arrangements

“Perfect Skin” / “The Sea and the Sand”
Released: 11 May 1984
“Forest Fire” / “Andy’s Babies”
Released: 17 August 1984
“Rattlesnakes” / “Sweetness”
Released: 2 November 1984


Easy Pieces

Lloyd Cole and the Commotions released their second album, Easy Pieces, on November 18, 1985, on Polydor and Geffen.

1. “Rich” – 4:23
2. “Why I Love Country Music” (Cole, Blair Cowan) – 3:00
3. “Pretty Gone” (Neil Clark, Cole) – 3:32
4. “Grace” – 4:05
5. “Cut Me Down” – 4:29
6. “Brand New Friend” (Cole, Cowan) – 4:52
7. “Lost Weekend” (Clark, Cole, Lawrence Donegan) – 3:14
8. “James” – 3:53
9. “Minor Character” (Clark, Cole) – 3:46
10. “Perfect Blue” – 4:30
11. “Her Last Fling” (B-side of “Brand New Friend”) – 2:47 (bonus track on cassette and CD)
12. “Big World” (B-side of “Lost Weekend”) – 2:17 (bonus track on cassette and CD)
13. “Nevers End” (Clark, Cole) (B-side of 12″ of “Lost Weekend”) – 2:33 (bonus track on CD only)

Producer Clive Langer Alan Winstanley
Studio Westside Studios (Shepherd’s Bush, London)

Jimmy Thomas, Jimmy Helms, Lance Ellington, Jimmy Chambers, Tony Jackson, Lynda Hayes – additional vocals
Anne Dudley – string arrangements
Gary Barnacle – brass arrangements
“Her Last Fling” produced by Lloyd Cole and the Commotions
“Big World” and “Nevers End” produced by Mark Saunders and the Commotions

“Brand New Friend”
Released: 2 September 1985
“Lost Weekend”
Released: 1 November 1985
“Cut Me Down”
Released: 6 January 1986


Mainstream

Lloyd Cole and the Commotions released their third album, Mainstream, on October 26, 1987, on Polydor and Capitol (US). It features ten group-written songs, including the singles “My Bag,” “Jennifer She Said,” and “From the Hip.”

1. “My Bag” (3:56)
2. “From the Hip” (3:57)
3. “29” (5:28)
4. “Mainstream” (3:14)
5. “Jennifer She Said” (3:02)
6. “Mr. Malcontent” (4:49)
7. “Sean Penn Blues” (3:28)
8. “Big Snake” (5:16)
9. “Hey Rusty” (4:30)
10. “These Days” (2:27)

Producer Ian Stanley
Femi Jiya – engineer
Ian Stanley – producer
Stewart Copeland – producer on “Hey Rusty”
Alastair Thain – photography

Jon Hassell – trumpet on “Big Snake”
Nicky Holland – backing vocals on “29”, string arrangements on “Jennifer She Said”
Tony Jackson – backing vocals on “Mainstream”
John Sloman – backing vocals on “Mainstream”
Fraser Speirs – harmonica on “Sean Penn Blues”
Tracey Thorn – vocals on “Big Snake”
Tommy Willis – lap steel guitar on “29”

“My Bag” / “Jesus Said”
Released: 21 September 1987

“Jennifer She Said” / “Perfect Blue”
Released: 28 December 1987

“From the Hip”
Released: 11 April 1988
A1: From The Hip (Remix)
A2. “Please”
B1. “Lonely Mile”
B2. “Love Your Wife”


Discography:

  • Rattlesnakes (1984)
  • Easy Pieces (1985)
  • Mainstream (1987)

Sources:

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