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Baker's Dozen

Girls Don't Cry: Rumer's Favourite Albums
Simon Price , December 3rd, 2014 15:46

Platinum-selling MOR singer Rumer is back with her third album, Into Colour. She tells Simon Price about her Baker's Dozen of inspirational LPs

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Van Morrison - Astral Weeks
I don't remember how I first heard Astral Weeks, but I love it because it's a rambling stream of consciousness. And there are such great lines in it: 'Gone for cigarettes and matches in the shops', or, 'And I will walk and talk. In gardens all wet with rain', or, 'If I ventured into the slipstream/ Between the viaducts of your dream...'. It's boyish and dreamy and poetic and imaginative. What's beautiful is all that industrial imagery. It's probably to do with where he was at the time, which was probably Northern Ireland. I took a lot of inspiration from the conversational style, 'I did this and then I did this', that rambling style. I love Van Morrison as a storyteller. It's nice cos all the songs seem like part of the same story, it's one big long play. It's an experience: you're walking into someone's world for 40 minutes or whatever it is. There are only eight songs, but some of them are nine minutes long. I love the decadence of how long they are. And the synergy between the musicians is amazing. Danny Thompson's on bass, and I love that the bass is stupidly loud. I once was about to record an album with someone, and it was all set up and ready to go, and I heard that they don't like Astral Weeks and I said, 'I'm sorry, I can't do it any more'. He called up and said, 'Really? Because I don't like Astral Weeks?' and I said, 'Yeah.' It was a dealbreaker, for me.

This album is Van Morrison at his very best, his most spirited and fired and channelling. Because I think Van Morrison is one of those artists where the reason that he's grumpy is because he knows he's at the mercy of grace. By which I mean that he knows that he's channelling, and it comes from somewhere else, and it can make you really grumpy because you don't know where it comes from. He says it here in an interview: 'Astral Weeks songs... were from another sort of place... They are poetry and mythical musings channelled from my imagination... The songs were somewhat channelled works... As my songwriting has gone on, I tend to do the same channelling.' See, that's why he's a grumpy fucker. 'Cause he can't do it. He's at the mercy of grace. And that can make you really quite tetchy. I've been to a Van Morrison gig that's amazing, and I've been to a Van Morrison gig where I'm bored and nothing's happening. He's one of those people where either god shows up, or he doesn't. But I'd love to meet him and work with him. Because, I know it sounds really bad, but I understand that grumpiness.


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Joe
Dec 3, 2014 6:42pm

I get what she's saying with Oasis and the pub. But I'm pretty sure she's missing the point a bit with that Manics lyric.

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GRIM
Dec 4, 2014 10:46am

In reply to Joe:

of course, when Manics released Everything Must Go, loads of those Oasis fans latched onto Manics, for entirely the wrong reasons. They thought they the band were speaking with them, when they were speaking about them.
But then you can't get away from the fact that for a few years, at the end of brit-pop, they became a massive arena/stadium band, with the anthem and lyrics that many weren't really listening to.

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johnnym
Dec 4, 2014 6:14pm

Oasis is kleptomania, theft of songs. Gary Glitter himself took time off from episodes of child molestation to sue Oasis over the opening song to Rumer's beloved What's The Story. He won - check the writing credits. And when the Rutles sue you - and, again, WIN! - you're a joke. These are lucky millionaires, nothing more...

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Asunderground
Dec 4, 2014 6:54pm

"everyone's doing coke and everyone's doing pills. I'm in a druggy little town, going nowhere, and there are a lot of drugs". So was there a lot of drugs?

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Asunderground
Dec 4, 2014 7:03pm

The notion that Oasis we're 'subversive' is hilarious. They were the epicentre of pedestrian new-lad culture. They were the ultimate terrace-anthem band. In all fairness they did subvert. Not in a culturally useful way like punk did. More in that they massively commodified 'indie', did untold proxy damage to the uk music press and introduced an unwanted thuggishness to the music scene.

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Dec 4, 2014 9:57pm

i love her story about the bass played not liking astral weeks. she's funny and human too.lovely

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Dec 5, 2014 9:24am

That's a nice list, by the way.

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Tony_Badgers
Dec 5, 2014 1:07pm

Stephen Bishop looks like a dude.

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Monty
Dec 7, 2014 5:20am

Finally, Cat Power gets the recognition she so deserves.

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Matt Raindrop
Dec 9, 2014 5:51pm

'Seeds of Memory' by Terry Reid is a lovely, lovely album. Good to see it get a mention

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Rumer
Dec 10, 2014 7:34pm

I wish to point out an innaccuate quote
I did not produce the album by myself. Steve Brown
produced the album with me sat next to him but! Slow,
I produced more by myself, with steve taking a back seat
on the sessions as he didn't understand what I meant by " cosmic"
On the tape recorder I was talking about Slow not the album but things
get lost on tape. While Steve and I don't speak and haven't spoken for two years I
wish to be clear that he not only produced the album but he paid for it upfront
So he was very cool at the time and I don't wish to re invent history and mischaracterise his massive contribution . Thanks!

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Oliver
Jan 9, 2015 6:40pm

In reply to Joe:

Agreed.

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Afro Zen
Mar 4, 2015 11:43pm

Danny Thompson on Astral Weeks?

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