As he releases new Magnetic Fields album 50 Song Memoir, Stephin Merritt doesn't delve into the past for his Baker's Dozen list but instead gives tQ an A-Z of some contemporary favourites, from Japan to Marc Almond, bawdy cockney songs and the BBC Radiophonic Workship. Pic by Marcelo Krasilcic
E: Jonathan & Darlene Edwards: Greatest Hits
Not lovely at all is the music of the Edwardses, who are always at least slightly off. Cynics say the pair are really actual jazz superstars Jo Stafford and Paul Weston, but I choose to believe there is really a woman who was born to sing 'You're Blasé; as if she were hanging upside down and swinging back and forth like a drunken pendulum, and a man who plays the piano as though he were also juggling. Hailing from Trenton, NJ, the couple tripped onto the world stage in 1957 – twelve years before the Shaggs – and off again in 1982 after five albums and five singles, some of which are pretty hard to find, so the two volumes of Greatest Hits are a good start. (Misleadingly, the Complete Original Albums compilation contains only the first two albums.) Now that I have publicly come out as a fan, I guess I have to buy all the albums. Excuse me for a moment. Okay, I'm back.