Lloyd Cole and The Commotions – Cole, Blair Cowan, Lawrence Donegan, Neil Clark and Stephen Irvine – were formed in Glasgow in 1982, where Buxton-born singer-songwriter Cole was studying Philosophy and English at the University of Glasgow -Their sound swam against the tide of shiny 80s synthesisers, offering intense, melodic, guitar-based pop, topped with droll words packed with literary references.
Signing to Polydor Records, the group's debut single, Perfect Skin, was released in early 1984 followed in October of that year by their debut album, Rattlesnakes. Produced by Paul Hardiman with strings arranged by Anne Dudley, it became one of the most cherished albums of the 80s. Including further singles Forest Fire and the title track, the group found themselves as the darlings of the music press, at a time when a university education was still a relative rarity. Cole wasted little time in cramming cultural allusions in his material – listeners were introduced to a world of Norman Mailer, Eva Marie Saint and Truman Capote, all wrapped in delightfully written pop music.
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