"Ignored on its release, this 1985 solo release for ex-Teardrop Explodes leader Julian Cope pre-dated any return to the mainstream. As an album, it does seem to be intentionally obscure, but for fans, its all the better for it. This is Cope with 2 fingers up to his opponents and critics, making an album that seems to burn with a strange, bleak but wonderous atmosphere. Although eclectic, this unusual ambience holds the album together, even when it seems to be collapsing. Highlights include the rocky REYNARD THE FOX, the psychedelic HOLY LOVE and the singles SUNSPOTS and BILL DRUMMOND SAID. The prize cuts, though, are the 3 acoustic songs, LAUGHING BOY, ME SINGING and SEARCH PARTY, all of which glow with space and melancholy. These wonderful tracks make up for the disposable TORPEDO, BLOODY ASSIZES and the uneven extra songs. Unlikely ever to go beyond its status as a forgotten cult classic, FRIED holds a special place in my collection- perhaps not as an easy listen, but as a truly adventurous psychedelic album."
Tezcatlipoca | Espinho,Portugal | 05/10/2004
(5 out of 5 stars)
""Fried" was Julian Cope's second solo offering after desmantling the neo-psychedelic band the Teardrop Explodes and was by then the most reflective of both his electric and acoustic songwriting skills.His psychedelic rock is here complemented by some slower acoustic numbers,somewhat reminiscent of Syd Barret's solo work.Being less focused than"World Shut your Mouth" the album is nonetheless more varied and rewarding.The album boasts over ten sparkling songs and is a must for anyone intrigued by Cope's music("Peggy Suicide" is the more comprehensive demonstration of his ability though).REYNARD THE FOX-It's one of his all time best;everyone I know finds the track's chorus incredible and rightly so.The final freak out and the spoken word bit make it even better.And who besides Cope would write a song about a fox hunt focusing the fox's point of view:"The red men come again,they kill my children and they kill my wife(...)and then they leave me bleeding..." Talking about lyrical originality...BILL DRUMMOND SAID-About the Teardrop Explodes' manager Bill Drummond,this one has some fantastic melodic twists.LAUGHING BOY-A heart beat gives it its pulse and the track is conducted in a way that wouldn't be strange to Syd Barret.ME SINGING-Not as slow as the previous,has some great pre-chorus action(isn't Radiohead's "Pyramid Song"riff similar?).SUNSPOTS-The single.It didn't chart as it should have but its power is undeniable.All kinds of strange noises and instruments(an oboe?)coalesce in this unforgettable love song.BLOODY ASSIZES-This anti death penalty song is the album's most uptempo cut and a great rocker anywhere in the world.SEARCH PARTY-Is gentler and resembles XTC circa "English Settlement".O KING OF CHAOS-A dramatic tune,it always makes me think of a biblical or greek tragedy setting.HOLY LOVE-A sweet love song filled with colourful touches.TORPEDO-An entrancing track featuring only Julian and a keyboard.I WENT ON A CHOURNEY-A short instrumental ditty.MIC MAK MOK-A grooving and driving tune(are the Zig Zags of the chorus a reference to the Zig Zag Wanderer known as Captain Beefheart?).LAND OF FEAR-Reminds me"Head Hang Low" from his solo debut and is like the latter a superb Scott Walker-esque song.Definitely worth checking out."
At his best
Tezcatlipoca | 09/25/2001
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Beautiful songs. Julian boldly went where Syd Barrett had gone, but is back to talk about it."
Tezcatlipoca | 06/11/1998
(5 out of 5 stars)
"This 1984 disk is Copey second post-Teardrop effort. Introspective comes to mind. With great tracks like Reynard The Fox and Sunspot it's a sure take. Some thinks he's weird, I think it's a Classic Cope record..."