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Baker's Dozen

A Flash Of Brightness: Mark Morriss’ Favourite Albums
Wesley Doyle , February 25th, 2014 11:03

Following the release of his new solo album, the ex-Bluetone talks Wesley Doyle through his top 13 records

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"I really struggled with this list," says former Bluetone Mark Morriss. "Anyone who knows me would say there's a few glaring omissions: The Stone Roses, Pet Shop Boys, The Smiths; but they've all been talked about until the cows came home so I wanted to include records that still have things to be said about them."

Since The Bluetones split in 2011, the self-titled "tidiest man in pop" has carved out a career that could see him claim the sobriquet 'hardest working' too. Part-troubadour, part-stand up comedian, he clocked up over a hundred gigs last year and is well on the way to doing the same in 2014. His new album, A Flash Of Darkness, which was originally funded through PledgeMusic gets a full release this week on Acid Jazz. His most accomplished album to date, it shows a range of influences as wide as the artists in his Baker's Dozen and continues a mining of the seam of melancholy and melody that set The Bluetones apart from their peers.

"I started writing in earnest for this record about three years ago," he says. "Songs like 'Space Cadet' and the title track came out of a little project I did with Matt Berry called The Swedish Twins, as did the idea of covering The Shins' 'Pink Bullets'. I like sticking a couple of covers on a record, there's kind of something a bit old fashioned about it. I've also done a version of Kavinsky's 'Nightcall', which since has been covered by some hot, hip act. I was there first though!"

In addition to his never-ending acoustic tour, Morriss will be playing some full band shows to promote the album and fans of his previous incarnation will recognise a few of the faces backing him. His immediate concerns though are negotiating a conveyor belt of Japanese food and talking us through his Baker's Dozen.

"I don't listen to anything ironically," he says, "I either like it or I don't. I was very much a pop kid and these are all albums that I became obsessed with at some point. It wasn't until I went back and listened to them again did I realise they all share a key element of an individual pursuing a singular vision, often to the detriment of the commercial aspects of their career. I do think the world sometimes gets offended by people who have the chutzpah to say, 'I'm going to do something completely different and I'm going to do it by myself too.'"

A Flash of Darkness is out now via Acid Jazz Records. Mark plays a sold-out date at The Admiral in Glasgow on Friday, February 28, followed by the Electric Circus in Edinburgh on Saturday and then touring; head to his website for full details and tickets. Click on Mark's image below to begin scrolling through his choices

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reggie p
Feb 25, 2014 4:10pm

Great list and words thanks, Mark. No Level 42 though?

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danmac
Feb 25, 2014 6:37pm

Nice to see Scott Walker finally recognised alongside Terence Trent D'Arby and Jeff Wayne. Long overdue. But in all seriousness, kudos to the guy for simply going with what he likes - as should we all.

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J.B.
Feb 25, 2014 11:56pm

We make fun of artists for picking "obvious" albums like Scott 4, but you have to remember how cultured some of us are as listeners. My boss, a supposed music fan, had only this to say when I introduced him to Scott 4 (and Scott Walker in general) for the first time: "he's pretty smooth."

He hadn't heard Pet Sounds (at 40!) until I shared a copy last year. His response: "I like it, but they're kind of soft."

Don't take your tastes for granted, people.

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Catro
Feb 26, 2014 3:09pm

Wow, like me, Mark Morriss is an 80s child extradonaire!
If I was ever chosen for Baker's Dozen, (and I know deep down I won't), "Rio" would certainly be on my list.
Also, I think it was Jonathan King that had a spot on TOTP, not Jonathan Ross.

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Scott
Feb 27, 2014 1:04pm

Great list makes a change from the usual Lou Reed and Bowie.

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Feb 28, 2014 12:36pm

The Cult led to The Mission which led to The Sisters Of Mercy? What?

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