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Baker's Dozen

This Must Be The Plaice: Fish's Favourite Albums
Rev Rachel Mann , May 20th, 2013 05:57

The former Marillion frontman now solo singer-songwriter, picks out the gems in his record collection

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Joni Mitchell – Hejira
It’s an album that always makes me think of Berlin. I’d got the Sony Walkman Pro, which every musician had to have in the 80s, and I was walking about the Embassy Quarter and all the derelict buildings down by the wall at Potsdam and I remember listening to Hejira.

Joni Mitchell has always been one of the biggest influences on me because of her approach to lyrics. She’s very poetic and sculpted – carefully thought out. I love the human observations and the way she can encapsulate emotions in a couple of very simple phrases. As a lyricist I try to write movies for people’s ears: what I’m always trying to do is take a lyric and sculpt and edit it to such a point that with a quick turn of a phrase you can bounce an image into someone’s head and they know exactly what you’re getting at. Joni Mitchell is amazing at that. 'Amelia', in particular, is such a poignant song. If I’m ever on one of those sauvignon blanc moments at 3am, maybe after Quadrophenia, it’s got to be Joni Mitchell.

On Hejira, the bass isn’t just plodding along with the drums. It’s a melodic instrument and it contributes to the overall melody of the song. Pistorius was brilliant at that. Joni always picked up very melodic bass players. The thing with Joni Mitchell is the jazz phrasing – the way she employs jazz together with folk and pop. It’s the jazz phrasing – the way she can bounce lyrics around and bounce syllables around into melodies in the song as well. Again it really touches me.

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May 20, 2013 11:08am

So he's finally on the road again and working. That's terrific news, guys, thank you.

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May 20, 2013 11:43am

sauvignon blanc moments

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Kev Moore
May 20, 2013 4:09pm

I enjoyed that. Thanks!

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May 20, 2013 4:23pm

That Lowell George album is fucking horrible... First two-- maybe two and half-- Little Feat records are great, however, and Lowell George Factrory is very good too...

Some people should NOT do drugs and Lowell was one of 'em. (Tho Little Feat boogie dudes are too dull to bother with.)

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May 21, 2013 9:00am

"In all honesty if I was going to switch the album I’d probably go for Yessongs because that album captured all three albums in a brilliant live rendition. It captured the energy that was in Yes."

Good to see prog rockers have a sense of humour. Yessongs is as dull as dishwater.

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T-Babes Randhawa
May 21, 2013 1:22pm

it's PAStorius

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May 22, 2013 1:42am

No Bieber? No Celine? No Timberlake?

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tony burrows
May 22, 2013 5:37pm

Everyone's a winner!!

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May 23, 2013 6:44am


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May 23, 2013 4:35pm

I kept hoping for at least one surprising choice, but no.

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James Reid
Jun 4, 2013 9:08am

In reply to Alex:

Like what? Teenage Jesus & The Jerks, maybe?

At least he's honest. ;)

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Jun 22, 2013 4:03pm

Progrock forever. Great List!!!

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Oct 20, 2013 1:17am

Pleased that someone else makes the connection between Peter and Joni. Is it so obvious that no one sees fit to comment?

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byron of calgary
Feb 29, 2016 3:37am

well said Fish - i would pick yessongs -misplaced childhood -Hackett's Spectral Mornings -ELP Welcome Back Live - Moodies 7th Sojourn - Classic Strawbs - Ummagumma - Zep 1 or 2 -totally agree on Quadroprenia - Rennaissance's latter 2cd live - Young Person's Guide to King Crimson and various folk cds by Jorma Kaukonenen - Sandy Denny and the Strawbs -Mary Hopkin and a good variety by The Fixx, The Mission and Simple Minds.... cheers ! !

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Mar 7, 2016 8:01pm

In reply to byron of calgary:

I would choose:
Pink Floyd Dark side and WYWH
Peter Gabriel 3
Rickie Lee Jones Pirates
Dire Straits Making Movies
Elton John Madmen across the water
David Bowie Hunky Dory
Marillion CaS
Fish Fellini Days

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