The Teardrop Explodes formed in 1978 with original members Julian Cope (real name Kevin Stapleton) on vocals and bass, Mick Finkler on guitar, Paul Simpson on keyboards and Gary Dwyer on drums, and quickly became the focal point for Liverpool’s emerging post-punk new wave scene.
After playing their debut show at Liverpool’s infamous ‘Eric’s’ club, the band recorded three singles for the local Zoo label before signing to Phonogram, where they perfected their provocative pop psychedelia, or “bubblegum trance music,” as one hipster put it.
Several hit singles – Reward, When I Dream, Treason – two albums and many madcap acid japes later, the group split up in 1982 amid no little rancour.
Paul Simpson was replaced by Big In Japan‘s Dave Balfe, whose keyboard work was an important part of the band’s sound. He also co-produced their 1980 debut album, Kilimanjaro.
Heralded by the bittersweet brilliance of early singles Reward and Treason (which both appeared on Kilimanjaro) the band had a sense of joyful madness, insatiable curiosity and Julian Cope’s Christ-in-a-jar take on pop culture – chaotically but melodically expressed on Passionate Friend and You Disappear From View.
Cope shed band members like socks until he was virtually a solo artist in all but name. Guitarist Finkler wasn’t even listed on the LP’s cover and Cope asked Balfe to leave just before Christmas 1980.
Released eight years after their dissolution, Everybody Wants To Shag The Teardrop Explodes reconstructed the band’s aborted third album, gathering seven outtakes with the four-track You Disappear From View EP.
Although it isn’t as polished as their two official studio albums, it is filled with adventurous music and is frequently more exciting than their second studio album, Wilder.