Julian Cope ‘Self Civil War’ (2020)

In a bizarre year where I have, like many other people, not attended many live shows there has been one artist who has pulled me through and who I was lucky enough to see before the lockdown. Julian ‘Godlike Genius’ Cope released his ‘Self Civil War’ album in January and managed to play some live shows before cancellations for personal health reasons and then due to the lockdown.

Self Civil War (Head Heritage Records)

13 tracks across four phases make up the album and, which is for me, one of his strongest records since ‘World Shut Your Mouth’ and ‘Fried’ both graced our presence in 1984. I’m not a music journalist in any way, and I don’t have the ability to break each song down and paint a picture of it in words but there are some incredible songs on here. The opener ‘That Ain’t The Way To Make A Million’, which I am certain is about a recent court case that took place between Julian and a ‘local villager’, is the best track on the album and highlights Julian’s distinctive voice alongside his omnipresent Mellotron. Key lyrics from this song.

‘Deep in the lost luggage of your mind
Time for a rummage sale, make time
Time to slay your golden calf
If he’s benign, be nine and a half’

Throughout the album the consistency of the songs make this such a memorable experience for fans of the Drood. From the acoustic based ‘You Will Be Mist’ (‘When you die, you will be mist’) to the simple pop song that is ‘Billy’ and arguably three minutes too short. It also includes, what can only be assumed as, a love song to Dorian with the lyrics to the chorus:
I will take every pill in your hand
I will snort every powder in your handbag
I will score all the pot in the land
Just to show you that I am your man

It took me three or four plays to totally get the album but it has consistently been played across 2020 and is second only to Wesley Gonzalez’s ‘Appalling Human’ for my album of the year. For a lot of people Julian is now off of their radar but for the fans, and there are still many of them, this album continues to justify his ‘national treasure’ status.

In the true spirit of independence this album is not available to stream on ANY of the platforms and can only be purchased as a CD or a download. Do the man a favour and buy a copy of it and listen to it while re-reading ‘Head On’ for the umpteenth time.

BUY/DOWNLOAD THE ALBUM HERE: https://www.headheritage.co.uk/self-civil-war/

Follow Dorian Cope on twitter for amazing footage: https://twitter.com/OnThisDeity

Julian Cope – SUB89 Reading (02/02/20)

Lyrics published by WARNER/CHAPPELL MUSIC 2019

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