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Baker's Dozen

Alan Wilder Of Recoil & Depeche Mode's 13 Favourite LPs
Luke Turner , May 9th, 2011 07:29

As Short Circuit fast approaches, we talk to Alan Wilder about his 13 favourite records, and how they shaped his work in post-Depeche Mode project Recoil


The Beatles - The White Album
I would have discovered this later than childhood, because most of The Beatles career happened really before I was aware of who they were, so I would have gone back and discovered it later on. You can imagine the days when they were making The White Album, Abbey Road, Revolver and Sgt. Pepper's - it kind of reminds me of when we were first discovering samplers, and that level of excitement with this new technology. We were all so enthusiastic about trying to break new ground and do something that no-one else had done before. I get the feeling that around that time, it was very much the same for The Beatles – they were doing things no-one else would dare do or think of doing, and as George Martin said, they were eternally curious – all of them in different ways. They always wanted to do something different or not do the obvious. The White Album has all of that.

I guess you could compare it to what I was saying about Songs Of Faith And Devotion, where we were in the worst possible state as members but we were creating some of our best work. The stories I hear about them not being even in the same room together – that was very much the same with us, when one person would be in the studio and the other would be in another city, and then the next day that person would come and do their vocal and you'd go away, because you couldn't bear to be in the same room. I'm sure that was going on with The White Album, and it just shows because you see their personalities much more extremely in that record. You see what Lennon and Paul McCartney each wanted to do with their songs, and you see George Harrison emerging as a really underrated and brilliant songwriter, too.

Am I able to look back on that period with Depeche Mode now, in a different way? Well, of course time is always a great healer, and you do look back with, but at the time, it was a living hell. During the making of that album, I really made a decision to leave the group; even though I didn't leave until two or three years later, I remember thinking 'I'm never going to make another record under these circumstances again, because it's so much not fun'. And music should be fun – there should be some sort of enjoyment there.