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Baker's Dozen

Joking Aside: Jaz Coleman's 13 Favourite Albums
Dayal Patterson , March 26th, 2012 06:12

Killing Joke's front man chooses his 13 favourite albums. As told to Dayal Patterson

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As eccentric and outspoken as he is talented and well-connected, Jaz Coleman is best known with rock circles for his vocal contributions to the long-running and ever-shifting beast that is Killing Joke, the post punk/ industrial/ metal band he co-founded in 1978. A hugely pioneering outfit, the group have influenced artists as wide-ranging as Nirvana, Metallica, Fear Factory, Amebix and Ministry and are still going strong, their new album MMXII proving a storming follow up to 2010's Absolute Dissent, a record that reunited the original line-up with explosive results.

But as well as his acclaimed work in the band, Jaz has managed to forge an equally successful career in classical composition. Beginning his studies in the early 80s, after departing to Iceland to survive what he believed was the oncoming apocalypse, he would go on to work with a dizzying array of highly-accomplished artists and musicians including Nigel Kennedy, Sarah Brightman, the London Philharmonic Orchestra and the Prague Symphony Orchestra. His achievements saw him given the role of Composer in Residence for the European Union in 2006 and four years later he was knighted by the French government for his contribution to contemporary music, decorated with the impressive-sounding 'medal of Chevalier of Arts and Letters'.

With that in mind, it's not surprising that when we caught up with Jaz in his favourite hotel, The Columbia in Lancaster Gate (an establishment who still treat Jaz as a guest of honour despite him once causing a flood by falling asleep with the bath running, a situation he chose to deal with by climbing out onto the fire escape and fleeing the scene) many of his Baker's Dozen choices came from well outside the sphere of pop or rock music. Indeed, narrowing it down to thirteen choices was no easy task and in many cases the choices came down individual pieces of music as opposed to entire releases.

As Jaz himself explained between draws on his trademark cigars; "I'm not sure I like any albums all the way through - as Youth will tell you, I don't listen to music and I don't buy records!"

Click the image of Jaz below to start the Baker's Dozen countdown.

MMXXII is released on Spinefarm, on April 2

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Rooksby
Mar 26, 2012 10:40am

Not what I was expecting... & all the better for it!

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Hard Format
Mar 26, 2012 8:59pm

Bloody hell. What a brilliant selection - particularly ending on Lygeti's Requiem - and what fascinating comments. I didn't keep up with Killing Joke after Revelations. Makes me want to hear more of them and more from Jaz Coleman. Thank you.

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Mar 26, 2012 9:28pm

Albinoni's Adagio in Gm is my all time favourite.
Great selection. and the story about hearing Can for the first time is fantastic.

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SY
Mar 27, 2012 9:22am

wow - Faith Healer could BE Killing Joke..... and would be one of their best too

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George Beatty
Mar 30, 2012 9:23pm

Wow what a memory Jaz has, the explanations he gives are facinating to say the least...cant wait to get the new KJ album!!!!

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A.S. Swanski
Apr 12, 2012 9:55am

Great artists always listen to many different kinds of music. Jaz Coleman is no exception. Killing Joke was one of the very first bands I saw live, back in the early 1980s, and seeing Coleman's devilish performance was one of those rare moments you could call life changing. You could say the same about many of the albums he selected. Impressive list.

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CALOS
Jul 21, 2012 3:56pm

If u see this jAZ get back to me....HOPE ALL IS WELL.

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Ulrich
Jan 14, 2015 2:21pm

"That’s what it was like, there was a lot more fraternity in the industry than there is now."

I think the world changed ca. in 1980. Artists could make money with quality up to this point of time. Commercial views were accepted but though NOT common sense. We live in a total different time today. It ist difficult to understand why people prefer a "fun" culture nowadays. Good work for good money: that's what it was.

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Mar 23, 2015 7:09pm

Is it just me or is there some text in the dark parts of Jaz's makeup in the pic above?

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GBT
Mar 23, 2015 7:10pm

Is it just me or is there some text in Jaz's dark makeup in the pic above?

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Oct 21, 2015 2:49pm

some great classical music

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texshelters
Jul 24, 2016 12:31am

Great list except the excruciatingly boring Yello. But Jaz justified all his choices through pretty good reasoning.

Not exactly what I expected other than 16 and 15. PTxS

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