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Baker's Dozen

Elements Of Confusion: Nick McCabe Of Black Submarine's Favourite LPs
Joe Clay , March 11th, 2014 09:21

With New Shores, the long-awaited debut by Black Submarine, out this week, the former Verve guitarist goes from teenage mainstays to recently-heard favourites in his top 13 albums

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Mobb Deep – The Infamous
Nineties hip-hop has never been bettered for me. I kind of lost interest in the eighties when electro started morphing into hip-hop. It got a bit clunky for me as it tried to sound more real, it sounded clumsier. By the time you get to the nineties, you had a mutation of what's real. The production on The Infamous – sonically it's just genius. It's a shame some of the lyrics are so offensive as it detracts from how good the music is. It's brilliant soundtrack music – it carries on the thread for me of the stomach knot for me, from John Carpenter. I don't know why they were so quick to move on from the sound of The Infamous. I suppose the royalties thing is huge in hip-hop, now everybody buys an off-the-shelf keyboard and has a stab at it to avoid having to clear samples. But it doesn't sound the same.

It was hard to pick one. When I got ousted from The Verve in 1995, I stumbled on Tical by Method Man. That's definitely my favourite Wu-Tang record, probably because it was my first. The production doesn't bear any relation to anything I'd heard before. You could draw a parallel with Tom Waits – it's from another world really. That one needed perseverance as well. It sounds shit at first, but then it reveals itself.


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Mar 11, 2014 2:25pm

Sounds like a guy with eclectic tastes, which I didn't expect from knowing his work with The Verve. Good stuff.

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Star sail
Mar 11, 2014 9:15pm

This was a revelation. Full of interesting stories about records that I now look forward to checking out. Always the best thing about this excellent series. (Nick, your music has been a huge part of my life since I - somehow - managed to get into a Verve gig at the Jericho Tavern aged 15.)

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Mar 11, 2014 11:16pm

Seems a nice lad

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autechrejambo
Mar 12, 2014 11:34am

Love Nick's guitar playing so much; 'Reprise' from A Northern Soul still gives me goosebumps after about 1000 listens ;)

Nice to see shout-outs for Autechre and Mobb Deep as well...

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Gareth
Mar 12, 2014 12:37pm

In reply to autechrejambo:

This, totally! Just an astonishing piece of music/guitar playing/alchemy!

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Mar 12, 2014 1:11pm

Great to read about someone's obvious love and passion for music, made me want to check a few things...thanks.

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Al
Mar 13, 2014 10:16am

Sometimes I google 'Life's An Ocean - Jools Holland 1997' to be reminded of the moment when everything I knew about what guitars could and should do was irrevocably changed. This man is a genius in the true sense of the word.

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teddy dogs
Mar 22, 2014 7:29pm

Love Nick's descriptions of why these albums mean so much to him. Can't wait to check out a lot of this stuff.

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lisa m. washer
Mar 24, 2014 8:07pm

I would be the first to comment on nick and simons jones talent as well. My god simon soooo good looking back the and talented and still is. And nick as well,. Too bad richards ego got in the way or who knows the verve might still be together,. I will buy the black suberine c. D. When it comes out look forward to it lol lisa m. Washer

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James
May 24, 2014 12:32pm

Fantastic interview. Some of the greatest guitar lines in British rock from the 90s come from this guy. There were supposed to be deluxe reissues of A Northern Soul and A Storm In Heaven but it takes all 4 members to sign off on it. Imagine the studio outtakes! Also there was talk of a live Verve record release.

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