The Teardrop Explodes — Kilimanjaro

I first heard The Teardrop Explodes on an excellent compilation called The Sound of the Suburbs, which had Reward on it. I didn’t know much about them at the time other than Julian Cope was the singer and Dave Balfe played keyboards, and he was the subject of Blur’s Country House.

The rest of the album is made up of similar sounds to Reward (uptempo, melodic, lots of brass) although, confusingly, Reward isn’t actually on the original tracklisting. This became doubly confusing to me when I bought the album later on vinyl and Reward was on there. What the hell is going on there? I must have a reissue that came out after Reward was a hit and got shoved it on there. I hate it when bands do that. The worst example of this is when WEA reissued The Smiths’ back catalogue in 1992 and dropped How Soon Is Now? right in the middle of Meat Is Murder. The horror of it! How Soon Is Now? belongs on Hatful Of Hollow, and only on Hatful of Hollow. Even my nan knows that.

Anyway, The Teardrops made this record before Cope completely fried his brain on acid and it’s bloody brilliant, but even better than the music is the fact that the working title for it was ‘Everybody Wants to Shag The Teardrop Explodes,’ which surely represents one of the great missed opportunities in the history of pop music.

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