The Ape of Naples

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The Ape of Naples
Studio album by Coil
Released 2 December 2005
Recorded 1993–2005
Length 65:36
Label Threshold House
Producer Coil
Coil chronology
...And the Ambulance Died in His Arms
(2005)...And the Ambulance Died in His Arms2005
The Ape of Naples
Duplais Balance
(2006)Duplais Balance2006

The Ape of Naples is the final studio album by English experimental act Coil. The album compiles material from 1993 to 2004[2] assembled and reworked in 2005 by primary Coil musician Peter Christopherson. It was released following the death of lead vocalist John Balance, who died on 13 November 2004. The title of this album was originally intended to be Fire of the Mind.


Several tracks from the abortive Nothing Records album Backwards, believed to be recorded in 1993, are included on the album in reworked form. The last song on the album is a cover version of the theme song from the BBC show, Are You Being Served?, which utilises Balance's last ever words spoken on stage live at the Dublin Electronic Arts Festival in 2004, Coil's final performance. This album was originally pressed as a digipak in the UK, but due to the low quality of the printing, it was repressed in Thailand.

"The Last Amethyst Deceiver" is a reworking of the song "Amethyst Deceivers", which was originally released on Autumn Equinox: Amethyst Deceivers; it is closer to live versions of the song than the original in approach.[how?]

The vocals from "Triple Sun" are taken from the latter of two very different versions of the song, "Triple Sun Introduction" and "Triple Sons and the One You Bury", that appear on the live album ...And the Ambulance Died in His Arms, released the same year.

"It's In My Blood" is a radical reworking of "A.Y.O.R.", which was originally distributed on the bootleg demo collection Backwards, later released on Пособие для кончающих: Волос Злата and The New Backwards.

"I Don't Get It" and "Heaven's Blade" also appeared on the Backwards tape in other forms, the former minus vocals and other effects as "Spastiche", the latter also sans lyrics with no backbeat and much heavier instrumentation.

"Cold Cell" was originally released in alternate form as "A Cold Cell" on the Wire magazine compilation release Wire Tapper 6, and a version on the live album Live Three.

"Teenage Lightning 2005" is a reworking of the songs "Teenage Lightning 1" and "Teenage Lightning 2" from one of their earlier albums, Love's Secret Domain. A version of "Teenage Lightning" very similar to the one on this album appeared on Black Antlers as "Teenage Lightning (10th Birthday Version)".

"Going Up" is a cover version of the Are You Being Served theme tune, the vocals sung by François Testory as well as (mostly much lower in the mix) John Balance. François Testory's vocals are from a studio recording whereas John's are from a bootleg of the last live Coil concert in 2004.


Professional ratings
Review scores
AllMusic4.5/5 stars[3]

The Ape of Naples has been well-received by music critics. Pitchfork reviewer Matthew Murphy gave the album a specific rating of 7.9/10 and described it as "a remarkably unified work, its every meditative gesture alloyed with a looming, unmistakable sense of impending loss and/or transition".[5] AllMusic reviewer James Mason describes it as "one of Coil's best albums and one of the best albums of 2005" and described listening to the album as "a bittersweet experience".[3]

Track listing[edit]

CD pressing[edit]

1."Fire of the Mind"5:14
2."The Last Amethyst Deceiver"10:11
3."Tattooed Man"6:33
4."Triple Sun"3:46
5."It's in My Blood"4:51
6."I Don't Get It"5:35
7."Heaven's Blade"4:21
8."Cold Cell"4:08
9."Teenage Lightning 2005"7:11
10."Amber Rain"5:12
11."Going Up"8:30
Total length:65:36

Vinyl pressing[edit]

Side A
1."Fire of the Mind"5:14
2."The Last Amethyst Deceiver"10:11
3."Tattooed Man"6:33
Total length:21:58
Side C
1."Triple Sun"3:46
2."It's in My Blood"4:51
3."I Don't Get It"5:35
4."Heaven's Blade"4:21
5."Cold Cell"4:08
Total length:22:41
Side E
1."Teenage Lightning 2005"7:11
2."Amber Rain"5:12
3."Going Up"8:30
Total length:20:53

Limited edition copies came with a copy of The New Backwards as a fourth piece of vinyl.

The New Backwards, Side A
1."Careful What You Wish For"9:06
2."Nature Is a Language"8:00
3."Algerian Basses"5:02
Total length:22:08
The New Backwards, Side B
2."Paint Me as a Dead Soul"6:29
3."Princess Margaret's Man In The D'Jamalfna"8:46
Total length:22:04


  • Artwork, photography: Ian Johnstone
  • Hurdy-gurdy - Cliff Stapleton
  • Keyboards - Thighpaulsandra
  • Marimba - Tom Edwards
  • Orchestral Stylings - Thighpaulsandra (track 5 & 6)
  • Performer, Sequenced By, Sound Designer, Producer - Peter Christopherson
  • Pipes, Duduk - Mike York
  • Synthesizer - Ossian Brown
  • Vocals - Jhonn Balance (all), François Testory (track 11)
  • Written By, Recorded By, Producer - Coil (all), Danny Hyde (tracks: 1, 5 to 8, 10)


  1. ^ a b "Coil - The Ape of Naples - Heathen Harvest". Retrieved 8 July 2018. 
  2. ^ "". Archived from the original on 30 December 2017. Retrieved 10 May 2018. 
  3. ^ a b Mason, James. "The Ape of Naples – Coil | Songs, Reviews, Credits | AllMusic". AllMusic. Retrieved 10 May 2018. 
  4. ^ "Julian Cope Presents Head Heritage | Unsung | Reviews | Coil – The Ape of Naples". Head Heritage. 25 February 2010. Retrieved 10 May 2018. 
  5. ^ a b Murphy, Matthew (January 15, 2006). "Coil: The Ape of Naples Album Review | Pitchfork". Pitchfork. Retrieved 10 May 2018. 
  6. ^ "Coil - The Ape of Naples". Stylus. 2005-12-19. Archived from the original on 2006-03-29. 

External links[edit]

The Ape of Naples at Discogs (list of releases)