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Rattlesnakes (Deluxe Edition)

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iTunes Review

Lloyd Cole & The Commotion’s 1984 debut album, Rattlesnakes, practically defines the sound of mid-‘80s college rock with its cold, jangly guitar lines, its modest-for-the-era production and its soulful yet detached vocals from leader Lloyd Cole. While today tunes such as “Perfect Skin,” “Rattlesnakes” and “Forest Fire” sound like completely normal, literate pop songs (with references to Eva Marie Saint and Joan Didion), back upon first release, they were treated like alien missives by the mainstream who promptly ignored them. But the group is practically a classic rock band cloaked in indie-rock production. “Speedboat” shifts its mood from its Tom Verlaine-like vocals and moments of quiet contemplation to bursts of Midwestern U.S. organ textures that take the band a long way from their University of Glasgow, Scotland roots. “Down On Mission Street” aches with the ghosts of Robyn Hitchcock and the Soft Boys’ version of pop music. The deluxe edition includes b-sides (“Glory,” “Jesus Said,” “Sweetness,” “The Sea and the Sand,” “You Will Never Be No Good”) and live tracks (“Forest Fire,” “Charlotte Street”) and even a demo (“Perfect Skin”) that present a complete picture of the band’s early days.

Customer Reviews

A true classic

This really is a brilliant album. I was back in college when it came out, and i've always loved it, and always enjoyed turning people on to it. Hasn't aged a day at, beautiful, melancholy. It really is gorgeous and should be in anyone's collection.


A great album. A classic from my youth that still holds up great today.

Great Album

Still sounds great today.


Born: January 31, 1961 in Buxton, England

Genre: Rock

Years Active: '80s, '90s, '00s, '10s

Through both his lauded work fronting the Commotions and his more eclectic solo efforts, Lloyd Cole established himself as one of the most articulate and acute songwriters of the post-punk era. Born January 31, 1961, in Buxton, England, Cole formed the Commotions in 1982 while studying philosophy at the University of Glasgow. Originally a large soul band, the group eventually trimmed itself down to a quintet that included keyboardist Blair Cowan, guitarist Neil Clark, bassist Lawrence Donegan, and...
Full Bio