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Baker's Dozen

There's A Song Playing: Brett Anderson's Favourite 13 Albums
Luke Turner , October 5th, 2011 11:03

From The Fall to Kate Bush, Bjork to Eno and Bowie to Midlake, Brett Anderson guides Luke Turner through his favourite 13 albums


The Fall - This Nation's Saving Grace
I saw him [The Fall's Mark E. Smith] at Shepherd's Bush last year playing the last album, and only playing new songs. It was absolutely brilliant. I just sat and watched him, he's a genuinely strange person. He doesn't fit into the stereotype of the arts school drop-out, or the working class cliché either. It's a strange place he occupies in between. Just seeing him march around the stage turning the amps down, it sounded absolutely brilliant. You can tell he's got the ability to know how to make things sound amazing in quite a simple way. I could have chosen any Fall album from that period, Wonderful & Frightening World or Bend Sinister or I Am Kurious Oranj, but I chose ...Saving Grace because it has a really personal meaning to me. I grew up with it, and when I was at Sixth Form College I really started listening to the Smiths and The Fall.

I had to find out myself about The Fall. I remember reading about them somewhere and going down to the record shop and buying a Fall record blind. Listening back, it's got some nonsense on it, like all his records. It's not some perfect artefact, there's something very instinctive about it. I love the track 'Paintwork'. As soon as I heard the track I assumed it was autobiographical, it's about the way he messes the music up. I can imagine the musicians saying, 'It's Mark, messing up the paintwork', but what they don't get is that that's the beauty of it, that he is messing up the paintwork, and the track in itself is strangely autobiographical because suddenly someone presses a tape recorder in the middle.

He was always a huge, huge influence for me, growing up and then in Suede. You can't actually hear it in Suede, but we were massive fans, Justine and I especially, we were obsessed. When Matt, Justine or I were just mucking around we wrote the song 'Implement Yeah!', which was a sort of comedy song about him. Then there was the Fall song 'Glam-Racket', which the NME or someone said was about us. Who knows what anyone's songs are about, let alone Mark E. Smith songs? I think it was a timing thing: it came out in 1993, and people just assumed it was a criticism of Suede. Mark E. Smith's too smart to write a criticism of anyone, apart from people he's been in a band with. A great artist utterly defines their own genre, and that's what Mark E. Smith's done. He's got a patent on that sound.