Though British singer/songwriter Lloyd Cole has been recording and performing as a
solo artist since the end of his tenure with the Commotions at the close of the '80s, he
recently began playing with the Negatives.
Cole and the Negatives, who include folk rocker Jill Sobule on guitar, have been touring
and are readying an LP for release in the spring.
Cole was born 38 years ago today in Buxton, England. He studied philosophy at the
University of Glasgow beginning in 1981. But the following year, Cole, keyboardist Blair
Cowan and guitarist Neil Clark (now touring with the Negatives) formed the Commotions,
a soul band with two women vocalists.
But Cole became the Commotions' principal writer and the band dropped the women
and shifted toward folk/pop. The Commotions' first single, "Perfect Skin," and LP,
Rattlesnakes, were issued in England in 1984.
The Commotions' albums Easy Pieces (1985) and Mainstream (1988) both
hit the U.K. Top 10. But after a tour for the latter, Cole decided to go solo and moved to
New York City. His eponymous 1990 debut LP was produced by Lou Reed drummer
Fred Maher. It also featured Matthew Sweet on bass and Richard Quine on guitar.
Cole's next effort, 1991's Don't Get Weird On Me, Babe, was comprised of rockers
and lush ballads. But Cole's first two solo LPs stiffed in America, so his third, 1993's
Bad Vibes, was released initially only in Britain.
Clark returned to work with Cole on 1995's Love Story. The LP included such cuts
as "Like Lovers Do" (RealAudio excerpt)
and "Unhappy Song."
About forming the Negatives, who play guitar-based pop/rock, Cole said: "I wasn't happy
with what I was writing. By coincidence, I just knew a bunch of people who would make a
great band. The ironic thing is that, as soon as I formed the band, I started writing songs
that were exactly what I wanted."
The Negatives also feature bassist Dave Derby and former Ivy drummer Rafa Maciajek.
Since forming the Negatives, Cole also has written several songs that don't seem suited
to the group. He plans to record those for a solo, folk-styled album.
Other birthdays: Philip Glass, 62; Harry Wayne Casey (K.C & The Sunshine Band), 48;
Phil Collins, 48; Phil Manzanera (Roxy Music), 48; John Lydon (Sex Pistols, Public
Image Limited), 43; Jeff Hanneman (Slayer), 35; Alan Jaworski (Jesus Jones), 33; Chad
Channing (ex-Nirvana), 32 ... Terry Kath (Chicago), 1946-1978; Chuck Willis,