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Baker's Dozen

Rubber Rings: Johnny Marr's Favourite Albums
John Freeman , June 16th, 2015 10:33

As he embarks on a world tour, Johnny Marr talks to John Freeman about how his 13 favourite albums have provided career-spanning inspiration for everything from The Smiths to his latest solo record, Playland

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T. Rex - The Slider
I always say that T. Rex were my band when I was a kid. What I mean by that is so much of my identity was about being a T. Rex fan. A bit like choosing your colours as to which football team you would support, when I was nine or ten I found T. Rex. I was obsessed with Bolan. At that point, coincidentally, they were about to hit their stride as a commercial and artistic force. They had released Electric Warrior and they were on the precipice of being the most important band around.

The Slider came out and it had 'Metal Guru' on it. It was a song that changed my life as I had never heard anything so beautiful and so strange, but yet so catchy. 'Telegram Sam' was also on that album and the whole thing was unusually spooky and had a weird atmosphere, considering it was a number one record and they were essentially a teenybop band. It's another one of those records that what you get on the cover is what you get inside.

I was a teenybopper at the time. I was ten, eleven, buying lots of records and loving the pop music I heard on the radio. I consider myself very lucky that what was on the radio at the time and the music being made for very young children happened to have some substance to it. T. Rex was pure pop, but it was coming from someone who had had a go at being a hippy and being a mod.

The album was very much of its time, and had a sexuality to it that I didn't understand at that age. There is an aspect of the sound that Tony Visconti must have had a large part in, and Flo [Mark Volman] and Eddie [Howard Kaylan] from The Turtles on backing vocals added this odd, druggy spook to the whole thing.


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