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Baker's Dozen

Death Before Silence: Ed Harcourt's Favourite Albums
Wyndham Wallace , March 4th, 2013 06:44

Singer, songwriter, pianist and all-round bon viveur Ed Harcourt talks to Wyndham Wallace about his favourite records


Prince - Purple Rain
I chose it because of the song ‘Purple Rain’. It is just, for me, one of the best songs in the world, and I never get bored of listening to it. It’s so ridiculously overblown, but so glorious, and it’s definitely one of those songs that I would put on at the end of the night if I was DJing in a bar. 4am, you put ‘Purple Rain’ on and everyone’s holding each other and staggering and clutching each other and crying.

I saw him do it at the O2 and it was just after my 30th birthday, and I basically hadn’t been to bed for three days. I went to see him, and I was just literally bawling my eyes out, I was so tired and so drunk and in such a mess. It was really annoying: he kept teasing the audience – ‘cos he can do it, he’s allowed to – he kept playing, like, “Check this out! I wrote this song! This is amazing! I wrote ‘Nothing Compares To U’!” and playing twenty seconds of it and then doing another one, or doing ‘Manic Monday’. “Look how amazing I am! It’s a celebration, bitch!” And all I wanted to hear was ‘Purple Rain’ in the state that I was in.

It’s such a bad film. It’s so ridiculously bad. The acting is the worst acting you’ve ever seen. You know, I probably listen to Sign O’ The Times more than Purple Rain. Why did I choose Purple Rain? I guess it was the one I listened to first. I guess I’m being more nostalgic than I should.