Label: Island Records
Led by the charismatic Julian Cope, the Teardrop Explodes sidestepped the gray gloom of their post-punk peers with proud Technicolor alternative pop. Their songs were drawn from psychedelic rock (the Doors), '60s garage hits and old English orchestral pop (Scott Walker and Petula Clark). "Reward" and "Treason" were both U.K. hit singles and illustrate how the band could attract both dancing girls and their wallflower record-collecting boyfriends. Other standouts include "Sleeping Gas," "Ha Ha, I'm Drowning" and "Bouncing Babies." Cope's charm comes from his combination of blatant thievery and eccentric originality.