Julian Cope

Bill Drummond Said

Song Review by

A key track from Julian Cope's fragmentary second solo album, 1984's Fried, "Bill Drummond Said" is the only song on the album that resembles the swirling psych-pop of his old band the Teardrop Explodes. This is no doubt intentional, as the lyrics take aim at the group's former manager, Bill Drummond (later half of the Timelords, the KLF, and the JAMS), albeit in a typically vague way. The lyrics are skeletal enough that several interpretations might be brought to them, but they seem to recount a dream in which Cope witnesses his former manager in the act of strangling an unidentified woman to death. In contrast to the vaguely unpleasant lyrics, this is by far the catchiest and sweetest tune on Fried, with a dreamy folk-rock sound to its ringing 12-string guitar riffs and breathy harmonies. Coming between more disjointed and edgy tracks like the bizarre fairy tale "Reynard the Fox" and the Syd Barrett-like ramble "Laughing Boy," "Bill Drummond Said" sounds downright bubblegummy. Unsurprisingly, the always combative Drummond got in the last word with his answer song, "Julian Cope Is Dead," a sarcastically folky acoustic tune from his odd 1986 solo album The Man in which Drummond claims that in the waning days of the Teardrop Explodes, he had suggested that Cope commit suicide to make the band famous and laments that the singer didn't take him up on it.

Appears On

Year Artist/Album Label Time AllMusic Rating
Fried 1984 Mercury Records 2:26
The  Collection 2002 Universal / Universal/Spectrum 2:28
Live Japan '91 2004 Head Heritage 2:25
blue highlight denotes editor's pick