Copendium, Julian Cope
Eschewing the usual criteria of chart success or acknowledged influence, the Copendium - a collection of album reviews and themed track samplers - takes energy, originality and heaviness as its bearings. The result is a feast of obscure and neglected masterworks that together form a surprising but entirely credible new tradition. Krautrock, motorik and post-punk, stoner and doom metal, occasionally even jazz, spoken word and hair metal: they are all represented in a wholly persuasive sequence.
Cope is the perfect guide to this novel terrain: impeccably informed, passionate, insightful and deeply funny. The Copendium is his re-imagining of a useful canon of popular music, and it is set to become required reading.
Paperback, 736 pages