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Baker's Dozen

By Design: Jim Jones Of The Righteous Mind's Favourite Albums
Julian Marszalek , September 15th, 2015 13:23

Before they headline Walthamstow's Stow Festival this weekend, The Righteous Mind's leader gives Julian Marszalek an insight into "where my head is at right now" with a tour through his current top 13 albums

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Nick Curran And The Lowlifes - Reform School Girl
I think this is the last proper album that Nick Curran recorded. He died pretty young in his early 30s and I think this album sums up how good he was. Rock & roll is an interesting animal but he had the original recipe going there and he's got it from all the right directions. It's not like he listened to a bit of Elvis and Eddie Cochran and Little Richard and off he went; you can tell that he joined the dots from jump jive, the big bands and western swing and when I listen to Nick Curran I can hear all of that. You can tell that he's got complete understanding of everything that went in to that recipe but it doesn't sound studied.

He was a young guy with probably the best white voice that I've heard. There are some good white voices around and some that you've heard so many times that you don't actually stop to think how good they are. Look at Mick Jagger. A lot of people just think, oh, he's The Rolling Stones guy with the big lips who prances around. It's the same with what we were talking earlier about Lux Interior and how on top of his game his was as a singer and they make it sound effortless like they're throwing it away. So when I talk about Nick Curran then I put him in the same bracket as that: he was a giant but he never became a giant commercially.

I think he was doing his best stuff when he was dying. He was fighting cancer for a long time and he'd had quite a few operations on his throat so he'd get more tattoos to cover up the scars but if you listen to this record and his voice is just ripping. It's incredible! I was lucky enough to meet him when The Jim Jones Revue played a show in Texas and he joined us onstage. We heard through mutual friends that he was into us and we were like, "Who is this guy?" and when I listened to his stuff I realised how good he was. He was as good a singer as The Sonics' Gerry Roslie but not as accidental as Gerry was. It was like he knew what he wanted to be and he loved doing it.

It was so tragic that he died so early. I feel I can say that I know a lot about rock & roll but here was a guy whose abilities went way beyond what I know. I couldn't help looking up to him even though he was younger.


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