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Baker's Dozen

Soundhead: Robert Hampson Of Loop’s Favourite Albums
John Doran , November 13th, 2013 07:37

Ahead of the first Loop gigs in 22 years, Robert Hampson tells John Doran about the LPs that he feels were neglected at the time but are now finding their audience

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Photograph courtesy of Tom Sheehan

This list isn’t necessarily my all-time favourite albums. Some of these are my all time favourites and all of them are great albums, but the worst thing you can ever do to me is ask me to compile a list because that list will probably change every single day. So when I was asked to do this I just got straight to it and jotted down some records. I can already see that I’ve made some glaring errors by not including Forever Changes by Love, Buffalo Springfield Again and other records that I hold in very high esteem. But looking at this list now I can see that these are go-to records for me and have been for most of my adult life. You could describe them as comfort records. I always find great joy in them. There’s a certain amount of emotion in them that reminds me of certain periods of my life.

I really like albums made by bands who are disintegrating: Buffalo Springfield Again, which was recorded as a number of solo albums, Forever Changes made after Arthur Lee had sacked a lot of the other members of the band and then brought them back in again. Big Star’s Radio City, they were beginning to fall apart, Chris Bell had left; obviously it’s not as destructive as they were during Third/Sister Lovers, but I’m very much taken by records that seem to be made by artists who are falling apart at the time. It’s not a conscious thing but I like the dishevelment and the experimentation too.

A lot of the albums I have chosen were critically neglected at the time or received quite poorly. They found their audience much later after they were conceived.

Loop are helping curate the last ever ATP Nightmare Before Christmas event and are playing a series of live dates in the UK soon. Click on his image below to begin scrolling through Robert’s choices

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Moonee Ponds
Nov 7, 2013 12:25pm

Mine & Robert's memories of the '90s are obviously v. different - I remember seeing Loop on several music paper front covers, & reading 2-page interviews with them every time they released a 45/LP, alongside multi-column reviews of their live shows. They even made it onto Saturday morning T.V. c/o The Chart Show - hardly "neglected".

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Alien Observer
Nov 7, 2013 12:40pm

I think Robert was stating that the records he's chosen had been "neglected", not Loop.

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Ladye Nevell
Nov 7, 2013 3:25pm

No Spacemen 3 huh? Very... 'interesting.'

A fine list on its own but only those who don't remember could possibly be fooled.

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~~???~~~
Nov 7, 2013 4:21pm

i dont know what im supposed to be remembering? that loop were a far superior band? who's later output (fade out/black sun ep/a gilded eternity) completely blew any fabricated similarities between the two out of the water?

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jules
Nov 7, 2013 4:24pm

I could never understand the Spacemen3 vs Loop thing. very different bands to these ears.

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Nov 7, 2013 9:28pm

whoa, huge slam on Adventure out of nowhere!

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Anna
Nov 7, 2013 9:50pm

Luc Ferrari!

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loza
Nov 7, 2013 9:59pm

these lot didn't take enough smack, acid or speed

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Chris
Nov 8, 2013 9:36am

In reply to jules:

Manufactured hype by the industry to sell the product.
Beatles / Stones
Oasis / Blur
etc

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John Doran
Nov 8, 2013 12:40pm

In reply to Chris:

Quite. They're nothing like each other. Pathetic people holding on to an imaginary grudge that was laughable 25 years ago. Unbelievable that we can still feel the after affects of a Pete Kember bad mood/come down/hang over some 28 years later. I'll bet that even he's not bothered about this topic any more.

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Hypnoboogie
Nov 8, 2013 10:50pm

In reply to John Doran:

I don't know how imaginary the grudge was. Pete Kember went on about it quite a bit, and Pat Fish, Mark Refoy (to me) and Pete Bain all talked about it too. What annoyed Pete Kember was when it went the other way and journalists were saying they were a second-rate Loop (ah, the old Sounds weekly). His argument was that Hampson encouraged this point of view, pretended that he barely knew Spacemen 3. There's no question Pete Kember had a touch of the Mark E. Smith about him in terms of claiming that everybody was copying him. He'd have to admit that his sound owes quite the debt! I'm sure you're right that it'd mean nothing to him today, and the bottom line of course is that the bands sound more than different enough.

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Hypnoboogie
Nov 8, 2013 11:26pm

Man, I loved Loop anyway but do so even more for introducing me to the Alice Coltrane record. He's right. Perfect complement to Thembi. And he's right about White Light, Big Fun, Exile, Ambient 4, Radio City, Jaki Liebezeit, Faust, Wire (and there's nothing wrong with applying the adjective "angular" to music).

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yamei
Nov 9, 2013 8:15pm

another one here turned onto that alice coltrane album. this is why i love these lists.

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George Hook
Jan 23, 2014 5:25pm

He's right about Television's Second Album. It was one of my biggest disappointments, after the edge of the sonic universe brilliance of Marquee Moon. Surprised he didn't mention Blue Cheer's Second Album, though.

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Ricardo
Jun 26, 2015 6:50pm

100% correct about Wire's 154. Their masterpiece by far-it blew my mind when I first heard in 1981 when I was 17 and still trying to figure music out.

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