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Baker's Dozen

Peculiar Relationships: Neil Gaiman’s Favourite Albums
Emily Mackay , November 21st, 2013 08:30

Following this week's release of his live collaborative album with Amanda Palmer, the fantasy and science fiction author picks out the records that have most inspired and informed his writing

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Photograph courtesy of Wayne Hoerchel

“What an odd list,” muses Neil Gaiman, his long, black limbs bundled into a low, plush sofa in Brighton's comfortingly old-world Grand Hotel as rain lashes down outside, scrolling perplexedly through his choices on his phone. Odd, of course, is perfectly normal for Gaiman, who has today appeared, talking, appropriately enough, about his first published book, a tome on Duran Duran (the band, not the villain from Barbarella). As we wind through his wonderfully, hypnotically narrated choices, people cast furtive glances at this dark lord of comics, fiction and fantasy. For Neil, though, it's a nice chance to get away from the day job and talk music, with a very idiosyncratic, personal list, that avoids obvious choices in favour of personal stories.

His marriage to former Dresden Doll Amanda Palmer has brought Gaiman's own interest in the world of music back into the spotlight a little more; this week, he’s released a collaborative live album with Palmer. His obsession with punk, post-punk and rock, though, is actually core and formative to his whole career, as his discussion of early favourites will reveal. He was in a punk band as a teenager, and his love of the Velvet Underground and Lou Reed led him to name his daughter after Warhol muse Holly Woodlawn, named in 'Walk On The Wild Side'. His work isn't riddled with references to rock so much as totally infused with it; the sense of dark, slightly seedy outsider glamour and grandness that permeates his most famous work, the Sandman comics is a world that could only have been created by a man raised on Bowie, and in particular, Lou Reed, whose Metal Machine Music was Gaiman's soundtrack of choice while writing the wanderings through Hell of 'Preludes And Nocturnes'. Morpheus' soubriquet 'Prince Of Stories' is also lifted from The Velvet Underground's 'I'm Set Free', as Gaiman revealed in his recent, wonderful tribute to Reed. Yet his picks in our Baker’s Dozen for both Reed and the VU are not, by his own admission, their greatest works. “It is that weird thing,” he explains, “where you can move along and go, well, something else is greater, something else is bigger and more important, but this one...”

These ones. These ones are Neil’s ones.

An Evening With Neil Gaiman & Amanda Palmer is out now via 8ft. Records. Click on his image below to begin scrolling through Neil's choices

Neil_gaiman_-_credit-_wayne_hoerchel



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Nov 21, 2013 8:54pm

I haven't read Neil's choices yet but wanted to know why we can't comment on that Keane chap's selection?

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jelilah
Nov 22, 2013 2:31am

where is the selection? i scroll down and all i see is comments

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Geraint Williams
Nov 22, 2013 12:14pm

In reply to :

Yes, I was wondering about that too

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Nine
Nov 22, 2013 2:52pm

In reply to Geraint Williams:

re: where's the selection

Have you tried using the "Next" links?

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Chris
Nov 22, 2013 2:59pm

In reply to :

There were comments previously, I didn't see them all. Perhaps they became abusive?

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drewberto
Nov 22, 2013 9:24pm

Penelope Houston fronted the uber-influential American punk band the Avengers. If you haven't check that material out.

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Wooky
Nov 23, 2013 2:29am

Yes. If you go under 'Review' and click on the article, you'll see there are bout 25 comments there. Can't figure out why they're not in the actual article. Decent selection, must say, from someone from a shitty band, and don't understand why tQ removed/is hiding them.

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Wooky
Nov 23, 2013 2:29am

In reply to Wooky:

The Keane one, I mean. Not this one.

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sholcroft
Nov 23, 2013 2:20pm

Past Present & Future is a brilliant, brilliant album.

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Chester Whelks
Nov 25, 2013 10:00am

In reply to Wooky:

Doran said on another thread that the inability to comment on the cherubic faced Keane singer's 'Baker's Dozen' is a technical issue, to do with the age of the site and not some sinister conspiracy bankrolled by a record label.

"Open up the windows and let some fresh air into the room truther. We've got an old site in need of repair & some spam breaking the piece means we had to turn the comments off. There are plenty of sites out there taking payola etc. but we're not one of them."

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Pandora
Nov 26, 2013 4:05pm

Tori&Neil's relationship = <3><3><3><3>

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Wooky
Nov 27, 2013 2:22am

In reply to Chester Whelks:

Ah. So that explains the non-conspiracy theory. Much thanks. Would have still loved to read them comments tho.

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