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Baker's Dozen

Batting Order: Neil Hannon's Favourite Albums
Laurie Tuffrey , July 4th, 2013 08:11

The Divine Comedy man picks out the gems in his record collection following the release of his second album with The Duckworth Lewis Method this week


Scott Walker - Scott Walker Sings Jaques Brel
He had to get in there. He's definitely my all-time favourite singer, vocalist, simply because there's something about the arrangement of his vocal cords that really strikes an instant... I just recognised it from the moment I heard it and I felt, "this is like my surrogate brother or something!" The moment that I heard it, I could sort of sing a bit like him, I'd developed those vibrato tones and I enjoyed doing it so I just felt an instant kinship. Add to that he wrote some great songs, but more than that he was like the foremost interpreter of Jaques Brel in English. I'd not heard of Jaques Brel before I'd heard Scott Walker's songs - after I listened to Scott, I listened to Brel, and enjoyed that hugely also, but in a very different way.

Scott and also the Walker brothers, they did make a particularly awesome noise back in the sixties, which many other people tried to do but didn't do as well. The first record that I heard by Scott was the wonderful best of that came out in the early nineties, The Best Of Scott Walker And The Walker Brothers I think. It's pretty much the only collection you need if you want to hear what they did. But Scott Walker Sings Jaques Brel is fantastic - it's only ten songs I think. He only did ten songs, so that seems reasonable, but 'Jackie' is hilarious and wonderful.

I stopped sending all my albums to Scott Walker after I read, I think it was in Les Inrockuptibles as well, they managed to get an interview with him, which nobody could at the time and he said "yeah, this wee Irishman keeps sending me his records - I don't know why". And it was simply because I loved him so much I wanted to give my things unto him [laughs]! You know, "I've made this for you Scott!" I suppose I've got a bit older and I don't feel the need anymore. As well as that, I understand where he's coming from these days much better. I enjoy his modern records, his insane modern records, but it's quite obvious that he doesn't care about the old sixties output, so the fact that some guy is really terribly enamoured of them, I'm sure he doesn't give a shit [laughs]! He can buy them in the shops like anybody else!