Daily Dose: ‘Dust’ by Julian Cope

Julian Cope: musical maestro, noted antiquarian, enthusiastic oculist, and all round radical dude. Interpreter, which this track is from, is as close to a concept album about the Newbury bypass protest as you’re ever going to get. He is a champion of bizarre and unknown music, things, and people. What I’m saying is that Julian Cope is the master of the weird and obscure and we should all just respect that fact. Indeed, it’s kind of easy to be a little bit annoyed at Julian really, for being a cool dude who can work on all these different things whenever he feels like it, but that would be churlish: anyone who gives lectures on prehistory in five inch platform boots gets, at least, a free pass in my book.

The song itself is in two halves, the first part, being a catchy indie/alternative rock jaunt, is my favourite. I heard this song on the radio recently (hence this piece) and was immediately reminded of just how nice it sounds. It’s got such a sublime intro/chorus that while not especially complex, has a timeless relaxing quality to it that has held up really well. I like the lyrics as well, which manage to be hopeful whilst seeming utterly nihilistic at the same time (is there any other way to be?)

Then it goes a bit early period REM for the second half, with some high octane drumming meshed with the jangliest of guitars giving a real neo-psychedelia feel. Then, Julian has a bit of a gentle rant, before the discordant choral style finish takes us off to what would have been the end of the album. It’s a potent end, certainly, and the track is worth a listen, even if just for the first half, which is Mr. Cope at his finest. This a fine example of the kooky side of the nineties, which are basically the only bits worth remembering anyway.

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