Taylor has impeccable rock credentials. Small, frail, almost consumptive in pallor, the north London son of divorced Jewish parents was something of a guitar and piano prodigy who used the period of convalescence following a serious road accident to hone his skills. He spent his early 20s as a greengrocer before being invited to play guitar in a latterday incarnation of freaky prog-rockers the Edgar Broughton Band.
On the road with such grizzled veterans of the 70s underground circuit, he took every drug under the sun, LSD and heroin included. By 1986, he had hooked up with an eccentric fanzine writer who became his publicist, changed his name to Sheriff Jack, and released two LPs of melodic psychedelia. Comparisons with rock's lunatic fringe abounded.
By the time he was 30 and calling himself Lewis Taylor again, Island Records gave him the green light to make an album. It was a densely packed affair that reflected his intense personality and myriad obsessions. It featured enigmatic one-word titles (Track, Song, How, Right, Damn, Spirit) and lyrics about black moods and shattered dreams.
The songs themselves were so structurally convoluted that it would be minutes before the chorus would break in; crazed synthesiser and guitar passages regularly disturbed the flow. "I'm fascinated with the idea of art born of a disintegrated mind," he said at the time, hailing the visionary dementia of Syd Barrett and Brian Wilson as inspiration.