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Baker's Dozen

Nearly Perfect But Not Quite: Lloyd Cole's Favourite Albums
Lisa Jenkins , June 21st, 2013 07:07

The former Commotions man rifles through his record collection to pick his top 13 records


T. Rex - The Slider
I was given T. Rex’s Electric Warrior on my eleventh birthday. The first single I bought was The Chi-Lites’ ‘Have You Seen Her?’. The second single I bought was ‘Telegram Sam’. One of the most amazing memories of my childhood is when Tony Blackburn played ‘Metal Guru’ and said, “Wow, that’s amazing. I’m going to play it again right now!” And he played it again! Have you ever heard anyone do that on the radio? I remember thinking: “I know this guy’s corny but I love him. What a thing to do!”

By the time The Slider came out, I already knew I loved T. Rex. Bowie and T. Rex’s music meant the most to me as a young adolescent. I was 11, but I had a girlfriend and I knew that there was stuff going on in music that was to do with sex. Even though they were dressed up like girls, it was clearly sexual music.

At school, I used to wear velvet pants called loons. I don’t think I ever had ones that were really wide, but in Derbyshire - “sheep country” - I’d get called a “poof” by the boys. But the girls liked me.

When The Slider came out, it was probably the first album that I was just old enough, and into music enough, to just do nothing but listen to over and over again and completely take it in. I sometimes forget the words to my own songs but I think I know the words to all the songs on The Slider off by heart.

For the sound of a rock & roll band, T. Rex playing ‘Telegram Sam’ is as good as anything I’ve ever heard. It’s as good as Led Zeppelin playing ‘Kashmir’. It’s as good as The Clash playing ‘Complete Control’. Every time I hear it I go: “Oh God, I could never do that!”

The combination of T. Rex 1971 to 1972 with Tony Visconti producing is just perfect for me.