The Entropy Tango
London: New English Library, 1981 (October) hardcover;
sub-titled “A Comic Romance” on title page;
original price: £5·95;
cover artist: Romain Slocombe (also interior);
frontispiece: Michael Moorcock (uncredited);
no (individual) American edition.
Jerry Cornelius — the ambiguous, amoral, androgynous English Assassin —
The Entropy Tango is a supplementary novel to the Cornelius tetralogy, sometimes (although not herein) considered a “Fixup … a book made up of previously published stories fitted together – usually with the addition of newly written or published cementing material – so that they read as a novel”.
Quote (Brian Tawn): “Mid-1976 found Michael Moorcock and Pete Pavli working on songs for The Entropy Tango. This was an ambitious project, for which Mike planned a large format, illustrated book which would include a record consisting of songs from the book. Pierrot were to publish it. Sadly, Pierrot went to the wall and there was no other publisher with that sense of adventure so the large format idea and the record were dropped and the book appeared as a standard hardback from New English Library in 1981 … with Romain Slocombe’s large and beautifully-coloured artwork reduced to small black and white illustrations. There was no record, but the lyrics, at least, were reproduced in the book” (from The Time Centre Times Vol. 2 No. 4, February 1994, and Dude’s Dreams: The Music Of Michael Moorcock, 1997).
The Entropy Tango was collected in The Cornelius Chronicles Vol. II (1986, sans illustrations) with The Lives And Times Of Jerry Cornelius, and later in A Cornelius Calendar with The Adventures Of Una Persson And Catherine Cornelius In The Twentieth Century, ‘Gold Diggers Of 1977’/The Great Rock ’n’ Roll Swindle and ‘The Alchemist’s Question’ (1993, expanded in 2015 to include Firing The Cathedral and Modem Times 2.0). Demo recordings were also released on two albums, Hawkfan 12 (1986) and The Entropy Tango & Gloriana Demo Sessions (2008, incorporating the Hawkfan material).