- Personnel: Julian Cope (vocals, guitar, bass); Lulu Chivers, Camilla Mayer, Edwina Vernon (vocals); Donald Ross "Donn-eye" Skinner (guitar, keyboards, bass, drums); What's Michael Moon-Eye (guitar); Dan Levett (cello); William Stukeley Quintet (strings); Wayland Smitty (reeds); Ronnie Ross (baritone saxophone); Aaf Verkade (trumpet); Ron Fair (piano); Tim Bran of Gwernsey (Hammond organ); G.S. Butterworth (Moog synthesizer); DeHarrison (synthesizer); Rooster Cosby (drums, percussion, congas); J.D. Hassinger (drums, tambourine, percussion); Mike Joyce (drums).
- Producers: Julian Cope, Donald Ross Skinner.
- Engineers include: Hugoth Nicolson, Ingmar Kiang, Tim Bran.
- Photographers: Lynne Patterson; Susan Moore; Seamus McGarvey.
- PEGGY SUICIDE is either Julian Cope's fifth or seventh album, depending on how you count. After his fourth, MY NATION UNDERGROUND, he recorded two records, SKELLINGTON and DROOLIAN, that were intended mostly for release to his fan club--both are strange, drug-soaked sonic experiments that veer from folksy campfire songs to feedback freak-outs. PEGGY SUICIDE sees Cope reigning himself back in after those "excesses" and, though he delivers one of the most anti-commercial commercial records in the Island Records catalogue, it was also his most cohesive solo album up until that point.
- Structured into four "phases," the album is a loosely connected concept album about the human-engineered and accelerated decay of the mythic Mother Earth figure. The tracks address this concept from, for the most part, a strictly personal, rather than global, perspective. Standouts include "Safesurfer," a freaky AIDS narrative with a not insignificant Krautrock influence; "Drive, She Said," a singalong about automobile pollution; "You…," a short, charged rant against insincerity with a wicked, fuzzed-out bass line and snaky sax solo; and the staggering "Beautiful Love," a pristine reflection on just how "in love" one can be--if you hear only one Julian Cope song, it ought to be this one.
Rolling Stone (5/30/91) - 4 Stars - Excellent - "...PEGGY SUICIDE is an extraordinary opus, an ecological protest album, a dream-state odyssey tracing humanity's relentless march to self-destruction....combines rhythmic precision and artful keyboard deployment with swelling guitar chaos and first-take vocal immediacy..."
Spin (6/91, p.79) - Highly Recommended - "...The basic gist? Mother Earth bites it. Pollution, poll tax, AIDS, and war all fit the fucked-up picture, and the accompanying music on this double record is equally as skewed..."
Q - One of Q's 50 best albums of 1991.
Q (10/94, p.135) - 4 Stars - Excellent - "...grand, over-ambitious, shamelessly conceptual...laced with jolly, commercial singles..."
NME (Magazine) (3/2/91) - 8 (out of 10) - "...a rich double album which consistently elucidates and hallucinates on one subject: Our Planet..."
Record Collector (magazine) (p.82) - 4 stars out of 5 -- "There's a breathtaking sprawl of musical styles on display, the experimentation of previous albums still evident, but tempered with a more accessible and traditional rock blueprint..."
Uncut (magazine) - 4 stars out of 5 -- "[A]n expansive eco-concept piece that managed to be eclectic, psychedelic and surprisingly funky."