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Baker's Dozen

Nothing But Heart: Alan Sparhawk of Low's Favourite Albums
Dale Berning Sawa , March 29th, 2012 07:13

Low and Retribution Gospel Choir play in the UK next week. In advance of a full interview on the Quietus next week, frontman Alan Sparhawk spoke to Dale Berning about his thirteen favourite albums


Joy Division - Closer
Velvet Underground - White Light/White Heat

I was listening to The Cure for a year before this friend of mine introduced me to Joy Division and Velvet Underground on the same night. I went over to his house and he was playing me all his records, and that was probably the most – I mean, it’s sort of the cliche “I went over this guy’s house, he had this great record collection, he played me all this stuff and it totally blew my mind.” But that’s exactly what happened to me.

And I remember walking away going “Ok, well, I’m going to go buy an Andy Warhol record and a Joy Division record.” I bought Still which I particulary loved because half of it’s live, and they do a cover of 'Sister Ray', which was a weird connection for me – these two amazing bands, the one covering the other. Ian Curtis was probably my favourite of that era. I loved the Cure and all these other things, but Ian Curtis was the most powerful lyricist for me. It’s stuff that I still really cherish. Because we lived in the country we didn’t really get to go to shows until we were in college, and even then nobody would come to play in Duluth, so I always had this obsession with live music, what a band was like live. I had a VHS of Joy Division live at some show – it was just a one-shot camera way back in the balcony but I remember being obsessed with it, with the way he moved. By this time I was playing in bands and writing songs and stuff and you start picturing what it would be like to do that or be that.