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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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The MC5 - Kick Out The Jams
I think I was fifteen when I first heard this and I can remember exactly where it was. We were at a party and this was in the days when you brought LPs with you. Everyone was sitting around having a smoke and a drink and I was with Ray Hanson from Thee Hypnotics at the record player going, "I'm going to put on The Heartbreakers' L.A.M.F.!" and there was this guy there who was a little bit older than us. He had the full 70s look - even in the 80s he had the flared trousers, zip-up boots and big sideburns - and he was like, "No, I've got The MC5." And there was a bit of to-ing and fro-ing at the record player and in the end we went, "Oh, alright, you have a go."

The first thing I remember hearing was 'I Want You Right Now' and it was just immediate. It was like, "Alright! This is important!" We just knew it was important. Even though it came from all those years ago it was exactly right.

Years later, I was in the record shop Intoxica! in Notting Hill and this young guy came up to the counter and he had a vinyl version of Babes In Arms and he goes to the guy behind the counter, "Is this any good?" I had to go up to him and say, "You know what? When I was a teenager, you had to know somebody's brother's friend's cousin who would do you a cassette copy and you would then have to share it between five people until it was totally degraded and now you're getting it on vinyl with this spectacular artwork on the cover. So yes, it's good!" A week later I was DJing at Death Disco and Alan McGee goes to me: "I was standing behind you with Wayne Kramer when you were telling this guy to get Babes In Arms." I was like, "Whoah!"

But did The MC5 influence my own politics? Yeah. To hear them talk about the White Panthers, which they help set up, and the combination of guitars and the desire to change the world, then yeah, I really did believe in that. As a young person I wanted more to rebel against and the only thing to rebel against was the crappy charts. As a young teenager, I was like, "Previous generations had T. Rex and The Rolling Stones on Top Of The Pops and now I've got Spandau Ballet? a-ha? Are you kidding me? I'm coming of age and this is what I'm given?" Yeah, I was pretty fucking pissed off! And so you turn elsewhere and luckily for me there was The Cramps and The Birthday Party, and AC/DC were still flying the flag. You couldn't not like them; they were the only people who seemed to stand for anything real. Anything else just seemed like such nonsense. I might have been young then but at least I knew what was nonsense and what was real.

I remember listening to the song 'Kick Out The Jams' with a mate in a car and he goes: "This is it! If ever I have to kill myself, then this is the song I'm going to put on as I drive off a fucking cliff." And I knew exactly what he meant. It does that to you. It gives you the courage to go further out and get higher. It's a real Valhalla thing but not in a stupid, macho, posturing, heavy metal kind of way. This is a visceral and amazing album.


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