Track of the Day: 'Rattlesnakes'

Editor’s Note: This article previously appeared in a different format as part of The Atlantic’s Notes section, retired in 2021.

A reader pivots off the selection from Sunday:

The Prefab Sprout got me thinking about other records I was playing around the same time in my freshman year dorm room, and I landed on Lloyd Cole pretty quickly.  I’d be happy to hear anything from the hat trick of ‘80s Commotions’ releases more often than I do, but one would be hard pressed to find a better “here I am” career announcer than “Rattlesnakes,” the title track of the first record. The jangly guitars across the album were right where I lived at the time (it was kind of where we all lived at the time; Peter Buck, call your office), but it was probably the strings and the name-checking of Simone de Beauvoir and the French pronunciation of Eve Marie Saint on “Rattlesnakes” that appealed to my budding late-teen pretension.   

Cole went on to make several other good post-Commotions records, but I don’t play any of them as often as is probably warranted. (The record he made with Jill Sobule in a band called The Negatives especially hit home for me as kind of a grown-up version of the earlier work.)

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