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Baker's Dozen

Beautiful Artefacts: Jon Spencer's Favourite Albums
Julian Marszalek , September 25th, 2012 11:41

The Blues Explosion frontman whittles down his favourite albums to a mean 13


Monks - Black Monk Time
This is kind of a German record, so you could say that four have made the list! The Monks were GIs stationed in Germany during the 60s and they started the band. When they were done with their service they stayed in Hamburg.

They were a totally crazy band and everything was driven by the rhythm. They had someone who built them their amplifiers and their fuzz pedals but whoever produced their albums was a great ally. That was a totally sympathetic guy that helped them make that record. I can imagine them going into the studio to record and at that time and people thinking, "What the fuck is this?!" That record is so hard and it has such a sharp edge and really it sounds so great. It was such a great convergence and alignment of a whole bunch of different things. It was such an original sound and from my understanding it came from playing in those German beat clubs. You know, playing four shows every day, every week. On the one side you get The Beatles and on the other you get The Monks!

And a crazy line-up, you know? An organ, fuzz guitar, a banjo and it was a political record. These guys were writing anti-war songs. This is the kind of thing I aspire to: to leave behind such a totally insane and beautiful artefact. And they also had a look. They had monk haircuts and wore the robes. This was something almost totally new, wholly unique and completely punk. Just an amazing record.