b. 31 January 1961, Buxton, Derbyshire, England. Despite his birthplace, this literate singer-songwriter emerged from Glasgow's post-punk renaissance. The Commotions, Neil Clark (b. 3 July 1955; guitar), Blair Cowan (keyboards), Lawrence Donegan (b. 13 July 1961; bass) and Stephen Irvine (b. 16 December 1959; drums) completed the line-up responsible for 1984's Rattlesnakes, a critically lauded set that merged Byrds-like guitar figures to Cole's languid, Lou Reed-inspired intonation. A representative selection from the album, "Perfect Skin", reached the UK Top 30 when issued as a single, while a follow-up album, Easy Pieces, spawned two Top 20 entries in "Brand New Friend" and "Lost Weekend". However, the style that came so easily on these early outings seemed laboured on Mainstream, after which Cole disbanded his group. Retaining Cowan, he switched bases to New York, and emphasized the infatuation with Lou Reed's music by recruiting sidemen Robert Quine (guitar) and Fred Maher (drums), the latter of whom also acted as producer.
1989's Lloyd Cole showed signs of an artistic rejuvenation, but Cole was yet to stamp a wholly original persona and capitalize on his undoubted talent. Both Don't Get Weird On Me, Babe and Bad Vibes failed to lift the atmosphere of bookish lyrics rendered without the requisite soul, but neither were these collections without merit.
Instead, the listener was once again left to reminisce about the power of writing and performance that coalesced on tracks such as "Down On Mission Street" and "Forest Fire" from the artist's debut. His recent band the Negatives, features the occasional services of talented singer-songwriter Jill Sobule. Music In A Foreign Language, released through Sanctuary Records in 2003, represented Cole's first solo release in over eight years