Copendium by Julian Cope – the visionary musician, antiquarian and musicologist – is an alternative history of the last six decades of popular music.
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Eschewing the usual criteria of chart success or acknowledged influence, the Copendium – a collection of album reviews and themed track samplers – takes energy, originality and heaviness as its bearings. The result is a feast of obscure and neglected masterworks that together form a surprising but entirely credible new tradition. Krautrock, motorik and post-punk, stoner and doom metal, occasionally even jazz, spoken word and hair metal: they are all represented in a wholly persuasive sequence.
Cope is the perfect guide to this novel terrain: impeccably informed, passionate, insightful and deeply funny. The Copendium is his re-imagining of a useful canon of popular music, and it is set to become required reading.
Copendium is a collection of album reviews, exactly 10 years worth, which Cope wrote for his own Head Heritage website. He homes in on the unsung, music that is unknown, unloved, even unreleased...If, like me, you thought you knew your musical onions, if you pride yourself on knowing or just owning the work of musicians whose mothers don t even know they exist, then reading Copendium is a humbling exercise...Every essay in Copendium is an adventure
Here is a book of umpteen reviews by Cope of umpteen bands, a book so thick that its spine alone can accommodate not only the book's title and author, Faber's logo and a drawing of the Cerne Abbas giant waving an electric guitar, but three quotes from reviews of the book itself (from Bobby Gillespie of Primal Scream, Roddy Doyle and Q magazine). Of these umpteen bands, I had heard of about 11.
Cult singer and songwriter Julian Cope's Copendium is a wonderful tribute to the misfits, outsiders and head-cases who have marked music's most magnificent margins. While heavyweights such as Miles Davis and Black Sabbath are loudly hymned, so are 'underpraised' artists such as the Mops and Jex Thoth.
I think Julian is the best writer on rock and roll in the world today. No contest. Lester Bangs would love him if he were still alive. They'd be blood brothers. He's got the spirit alright. True faith.
Julian Cope's Copendium provides an alternative history of popular music from the Fifties to the present. Cope is the well-read jester of English pop, a real one-off, and we're lucky to have him.
Inside a black tortoise-shell cover, Copendium finds the erstwhile Teardrop Explodes loon vibing about some of the most outré rock records ever made. Collated from 10 years worth monthly posts on Cope s Head Heritage website, each entry reads like a mission statement to convert you to the Arch-Drude's latest space-cake obsession. Whether raving about mid-60s proto-metallers Blue Cheer or contemporary psych troop Sunburned Hand Of The Man, Cope makes most other rock writing seem lifeless.
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