The ambitious, eclectic and eccentric Julian Cope has been one of the more interesting figures in the music industry over the past few decades. Cope first showed up on the scene as the lead singer of The Teardrop Explodes, a psychedelic new wave band from Liverpool. The band achieved a fair amount of success in the UK in the early 1980's, before creative tensions and drug use tore the band apart.
Cope then went on to a successful solo career. To be fair, his solo work is somewhat inconsistent, partly due to continued drug use and partly a result of his avant-garde tendencies. However, at his best, Cope recorded some truly great (and under appreciated) independent rock.
"World Shut Your Mouth" was Cope's most successful single, and was off the Saint Julian LP. The song was a top 20 hit in the UK, but only rose to #84 in the U.S. It remains Cope's only charting (top 100) song on Billboard. The video is pretty straight ahead, with the exception of the jungle gym mike stand.
In the aftermath of Saint Julian, Cope remained a prolific songwriter and continues to release material to the present day. In addition, he has written 2 autobiographies, 2 books on lesser-known music (one each on the German and Japanese underground music scenes), and 2 books on ancient monuments and sites in the UK and Europe.
Cool trivia fact: Cope recorded Saint Julian using a Gibson ES-335 12-string guitar, but he only used 9 strings -- the E, A and D strings were singles, while the the G, B and high E strings were doubled. This is an unusual set up, but it does seem to fit Cope.
Cool trivia fact #2: Chris Whitten (formerly of The Waterboys) played drums on Saint Julian. Whitten was also the drummer on "The Whole of the Moon."