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Baker's Dozen

Dulli Noted: Greg Dulli Of The Afghan Whigs' Favourite Albums
Aug Stone , May 9th, 2014 06:23

With Do To The Beast, the first Afghan Whigs album since 1998, recently released, frontman Greg Dulli takes Aug Stone through the crime scenes of his all-time top LPs

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Prince And The Revolution - Purple Rain
My life is kinda pre-Purple Rain/post-Purple Rain. I had already been a fan of Prince before that. 1999 was when I really got in. I heard 1999 and I went back and got Dirty Mind and Controversy. I saw the 1999 tour. 1999 is a very synthy album, but when I saw him in concert, he was playing a lot of guitar, and he's really good. I wasn't fully prepared for that. There's parts of Controversy that have guitar but nothing prepared me for the guitar playing on Purple Rain. From start to finish, from the first song to the last song, it's one of the greatest records I have ever heard. There's nine songs, they're all great. They're all different. The first song that everybody heard from that record was 'When Doves Cry'. There's no bass on it. It's really a strange, avant-garde hit song. Sort of like in the way 'Hey Ya' was. 'Hey Ya' was such a weird song. 'When Doves Cry', what sounded like that? What has sounded like that? Nothing. And then there's that fucking solo, man. It's like Hendrix.

When the album came out and I heard 'Let's Go Crazy', good Lord, I was never the same after that. From the church organ to the monologue to the drum beat to the kickin' down and the song starting, it just goes from strength to strength to strength. It's like a fucking four-minute orgasm. 'Take Me With U' is the second song. That's Apollonia. 'The Beautiful Ones' is third. 'Computer Blue', which is when in the film, he's portraying his difficult side. But it's a jam. It's fully funky and robotic in its weird way but still a jam. Then 'Darling Nikki' is when he outrages everybody, but that's just big nasty fun. Watching him hump the stage and freaking everybody out in the audience is great.

Side two is one of the best sides of a record anyone will ever make. 'When Doves Cry', 'I Would Die 4 U', 'Baby I'm A Star', and 'Purple Rain'. You can't touch that. No one can touch that. It is an artist fully finding himself. He had already stated his intent with 1999, but this is the crystallisation of his talent. And he went on a run after that – Around The World, In A Day, Parade, Sign O'The Times – just a great run from Controversy on.

But Purple Rain is one of the greatest rock & roll albums ever made. It completely changed me. I never looked at music the same again. I got really serious about music after that. I wanted to do that. I wanted to make great songs like that guy did. I wanted to put on concerts like that guy did. I remember when we first played First Avenue, where they filmed the concert scenes, I had us introduced like he was in the film, "Ladies and gentlemen, The Revolution…" I rarely geek out, but I geeked out hard on that. I saw that movie twice in one day when it first came out. I became friends with Apollonia. She sings on a Twilight Singers record. She sang onstage with me. She and I covered 'When Doves Cry' for a compilation record a few years ago. Gun to my head, it's my favourite record.


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