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Baker's Dozen

Chance-Taking: Stephen McRobbie Of The Pastels' Favourite Albums
John Freeman , June 3rd, 2013 08:53

With The Pastels releasing their first album in 16 years last week, original member Stephen McRobbie reveals the 13 albums that “defined his taste” and inspired his band

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Brigitte Fontaine - Est…
I really love the oddness of 1960s French pop music. I like these almost strange voices mixed up against a quite rigid but bold orchestration using jobbing musicians and I love that the records have a really good sound. I could almost pick any record by François Hardy but I decided on the Brigitte Fontaine record, which is really interesting as she is much more of an artist herself. She has had a long and fascinating career.

The arrangements on this record are by Jean-Claude Vannier, who is more known nowadays for his work for Serge Gainsbourg. There is a song on this album which, for me, is one of the great pop songs. It’s called ‘Une Fois Mais Pas Deux’ and has got such a perfect arrangement and is something to always aspire towards. I really love the mixture of her doing quite wild avant-garde stuff and then writing a pop moment. I like contrast a lot of the time.

The cover looks kind of hippyish but it isn’t at all. If it were a British record it would be terrible. The record is on this weird label, Saravah, and was available for so long – they must have kept pressing it forever. It’s a record you can come back to over and over, a little like The Faust Tapes.


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