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Baker's Dozen

The Ideal Copies: Graham Lewis Of Wire's Favourite Albums
Luke Turner , April 15th, 2015 13:44

As Wire continue their five-night London residency as part of the tQ co-curated DRILL:LEXINGTON festival, their bassist and lyricist gives Luke Turner a tour of his top 13 records

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Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan - En Concert À Paris
I think it was Mike [Harding] from Touch who first introduced this to me. He said, 'You'll love it, and it's an unbelievable price' which is quite a killer combination if you like collecting things. I bought it and he's absolutely right. It's a master: there's no ways about it, you're hearing virtuosity, ensemble playing to the highest degree. It knows itself inside-out, which means you get this feeling of how it stretches and breathes. Basically if I'm wanting to listen to something from it I close my eyes, fumble around and take one of the six discs out so it's a surprise. Otherwise you can find something for the morning, a raga, blah blah blah. But these are just the most extraordinary devotional love songs. It's from a tradition which has been going on for a very very long time. It's not a part-time job at all; these are people who are dedicated. It's fantastic.

I think it's truly inspiring in the sense that it's through listening to that that I've come upon solutions to things that I've been working on myself. It's the peculiar thing: you wake up in the morning having gone to bed with a problem or you're working on something that you don't quite know what the solution to is, and when that marvellous thing happens that all the work gets done in your sleep, it's just the very best. I had an example of that happening with this record. When Dietmar Post and Lucia Palacios were making the Transatlantic Feedback film about The Monks, in order to get the editing done they asked people if they would contribute a cover version of a Monks track. From the proceeds of that they were able to finish the editing. I was working with a Swedish friend of mine who'd introduced me to The Monks so much later than everybody else. I said he had to choose the song, and he picked 'Oh, How To Do Now'. I listened to it over and over so it got into my head and my conclusion was that we certainly can't do it like that, because the narrator of the song is obviously a young man who has extremely sexual feelings for a young lady and I thought it'd be highly inappropriate for us to pursue that angle. How do you get an in? I woke up the next morning and thought, 'I know what to do'. I rewrote their text and took the emotion down, made it more devotional and I thought, 'Ah, that's it, it's like Ali Khan'; you change it into that, so in fact it has one phrase that's basically stretched over half the song, and the other part fell into place. It's either the love or the devotion but also the sense of melody, really stretching out lines. That's an example of it being inspiring and useful.


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Louise "Louise" Castellanos
Apr 15, 2015 2:38pm

GREAT list-- great artist/musician-- and the Klara Lewis album is really good, even if she is... Graham's daughter. All of Graham's solo albums-- not including myriad with Bruce Gilbert, which are great things themselves-- are estimble in weird and wondrous ways. He even killed on a cover of "Suzanne," which ain't easy--

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sEJgVBjErlA&

In the Top 5 all-time Baker's Dozens, accept no less. (Worst BD has to be Butch Vig always.)

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Summer
Apr 15, 2015 2:59pm

"What was the most disappointing gig you ever went to of someone you really liked?"

I was amused to see this pop up as the answer for me is Wire, at the South Bank 10 years or so ago. They were playing their old stuff, maybe they were bored - certainly they've made good records since. Nice list with lots of enthusiasm.

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phelix
Apr 15, 2015 8:21pm

His last album All Over is fantastic.
Van the Man

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Taun Aengus
Apr 15, 2015 9:02pm

Great bunch from a great guy and bassplayer etc etc etc

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mckenzieg
Apr 16, 2015 7:15pm

`How many great punk records are there? First Ramones album? You know what I mean` ... Hmm, not really.

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Paul K in Brooklyn
Apr 16, 2015 11:37pm

"May I" and "Blessed State" - two personal faves - nice link there Graham!

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Graham Lewis
Apr 17, 2015 2:58pm

In reply to Louise "Louise" Castellanos:

Obviouss ommissions due to interview time limit pressure
Of course New Rose, Modern Dance, Spiral Scratch
Stranded and more...apologies for misleading emphasis!

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Rich
Apr 17, 2015 8:52pm

I'm have a rip of that C90 please.

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JC
Apr 17, 2015 9:28pm

I'd love to hear that C90 as well!

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John
Apr 18, 2015 4:07pm

Last saw them Reading Festival 1990 - they were really good.

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John
Apr 18, 2015 4:13pm

"Dave Coppenhall [compiler] - Around The World On A C90 Cassette"

is that anywhere I can listen to it ?

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Jim Goodson
Jun 21, 2016 7:52am

Always inarested in new ideas/music. Big world and hard to keep track of.

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Jim Goodson
Jun 21, 2016 7:52am

Always inarested in new ideas/music. Big world and hard to keep track of.

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Jim Goodson
Jun 21, 2016 7:52am

Always inarested in new ideas/music. Big world and hard to keep track of.

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Jim Goodson
Jun 21, 2016 7:52am

Always inarested in new ideas/music. Big world and hard to keep track of.

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Jim Goodson
Jun 23, 2016 6:58am

Always inarested in new ideas/music. Big world and hard to keep track of.

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