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Baker's Dozen

There's A Song Playing: Brett Anderson's Favourite 13 Albums
Luke Turner , October 5th, 2011 11:03

From The Fall to Kate Bush, Bjork to Eno and Bowie to Midlake, Brett Anderson guides Luke Turner through his favourite 13 albums

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Brett Anderson's childhood home, in commuter belt England in the late 70s and early 80s, was, he tells us, a musical battleground. While he and his sister were fans of pop, his taxi driver father was a classical music obsessive. "We weren't allowed to listen to music on my dad's stereo, that was only for classical music," Anderson explains. "We had this crappy little Boots record player upstairs and we'd sit there listening to pop songs while my dad was blasting Liszt really loud. If you stood in the middle of Liszt and the Sex Pistols." Anderson Snr apparently used to find his son's burgeoning musical tastes rather amusing. "He was constantly taking the piss out of The Smiths, doing impressions of Morrissey and singing comedy words to 'There Is A Light That Never Goes Out'," Anderson remembers, adding: "He was always taking the piss out of my bands. I remember proudly taking home this demo we'd made and he was just stood there laughing."

Yet this ideological division between the two stereos seems to have been a good natured one, even if it was intense. "I hated classical music. There was something quite aggressive about my dad's obsession with classical music that made you want to reject it and find fault in it," Anderson says. "I was constantly arguing with him about whether pop music was better than classical music, these quite personal, violent intellectual jousting tournaments of me proving that 'Satisfaction' was better than Beethoven's Ninth. It went on for years, right up until he died. At Christmas you know when you're at your parents again because you become 13 again, you're in short trousers and you fall into the same patterns."

Nevertheless, Brett credits his father with handing on an obsessive appreciation of music that can be heard in the attitude of both Suede and Brett's solo albums, the latest of which, Black Rainbows, has just been released. "I definitely inherited my obsessions. He was a different level, my dad. He used to go Liszt's birthplace every year to get soil and bring it back like it was this holy relic. He would go in this Morris Traveller that was tenth hand from 1962. It was so old that the woodwork used to grow mushrooms in the autumn, and whenever it got to 55 mph it'd rattle, and it had holes in the floor that you could see the motorway through."

Click the image of Brett below to see his run-down of 13 favourite albums of all time.


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Oct 6, 2011 9:04am

Spellcheck: Lou REID??

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Bob Bob Bob Bob Fish
Oct 6, 2011 12:23pm

How dreadfully... well, boring and predictable, especially compared to other artists who have appeared in this series. It's nice to learn or listen to something new, be educated, but there's just nothing here.

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Oct 6, 2011 5:29pm

This is probably the best Baker's dozen I've read so far. Almost every record here is a stone cold classic.

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Oct 6, 2011 5:46pm

In reply to Bob Bob Bob Bob Fish:

I think he is being honest about his picks. I bet that some of the other artist make their picks based on how cool will they look by choosing some obscure 60´s band that nobody even remembers

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Oct 6, 2011 10:13pm

Bob Bob Bob Bob Fish we are bored of people like you...but probably you are the most bored with the way he made a very interesting and marvelous choice...but who can fight with your superb artistic and novelty taste in music...have fun...

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Julian S
Oct 7, 2011 4:18pm

I've had that Interpol album lying around on my hard drive for a while now and Brett's selection has finally made me listen to it. It sounds dreadful - like The Editors or something. Fifth rate Joy Division is being kind.

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John Doran
Oct 7, 2011 5:57pm

In reply to Julian S:

Only people who don't actually listen to Joy Division say this though. Interpol actually sound like The Chameleons... they don't sound anything like JD.

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John Blonde
Oct 7, 2011 6:29pm

Would you have been happier, Bob Fish, if he'd picked some contemporary Chinese experimental music?

Besides, what mattered in this list wasn't the choices themselves but rather what he wrote about them. I very much enjoyed his writing here and in the brief notes included with the recent Suede reissues. He's reflective, self-deprecating, and humorous.

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Julian S
Oct 8, 2011 9:59am

Actually I do listen to Joy Division - it's Interpol I don't listen to. :)

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ted kettle
Oct 8, 2011 10:17am

Morrissey's lyrics are better than Dylan's? That should start a few arguments. Personally, I think he may have a point. But Unknown Pleasures over Closer? No. Sorry, just no :)

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Oct 8, 2011 10:13pm

I just LOVE how you all are complaining about his music choices. Why does everything have to be so unknown and obscure to be considered "cool"?
I was thrilled when I saw Interpol on the list because they are my favorite band. I personally don't see any comparison to Interpol and Joy Division, and I am a fan of both. I just don't see where all this hate is coming from.

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Oct 12, 2011 10:07am

In reply to andres:

Couldn't agree more. "Favorite" must be something personal, it shouldn't about something else

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Justine D.
Oct 13, 2011 4:01am

I think it would be incredibly difficult to pick just 13 favourite albums. A eclectic and seemingly heartfelt selection that speaks volumes about the man and his music. Great.

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alex caz
Oct 25, 2011 4:33am

In reply to John Doran:

i don't believe interpol sounds anything like JD or the Chameleons! lol... they just ripped off Television. i kinda liked them at first but once i heard jJ72 i was so blown away. one of the best albums ever. love suede, smiths, VU, NYDolls, JD, Chameleons, and the Trashcan Sinatras!

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Jason Parkes
Mar 31, 2012 5:54pm

As a teenager my father insisted on playing 'There is a Light...' after a few ales at family events. He was taking the piss out of it too and my mother joined in. Secretly they both adore that song, I think! Amused at the similar experience...

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zheng lulin
Oct 17, 2012 8:39am

Newer trailers resemble unique cars and trucks and may even be purchased originating from a company.

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