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Baker's Dozen

Right Thoughts, Right Words, Right Albums: Alex Kapranos' Baker's Dozen
Ian Wade , August 19th, 2013 09:04

The Franz Ferdinand frontman distils his record collection into a top 13 favourite albums


The Smiths - Hatful Of Hollow
I remember the first time I came across The Smiths I hated them. I turned on Top Of The Pops, I think I was about 11 at the time and I just caught the end of 'William, It Was Really Nothing', and just remember some bloke with his shirt off and had MARRY ME written on his chest and thought “Marry? Who wants to get married?”, completely missing the point. Shortly afterwards my friend brought me the first Smiths record and we went to see them and, well, yeah, totally changed the way I listened to music. Even though I love that first Smiths record, I chose this one because I prefer the performances on this record. The first record sounds a bit ‘produced’ in a bad way, but the performances on here sound more urgent. Musically, nothing had really sounded like this before. The way that the melody lines don’t follow conventional pop melody lines, even though I think in Morrissey’s head they probably were. The lyrics manage to be simultaneously veiled and painfully open at the same time. It took me a few listens to realise it was like someone read their diary at you, with this mixture of openness and honesty and poetic allusion. Also, Johnny’s music – the section at the end of 'Please Please Please Let Me Get What I Want' with the mandolin is just as beautiful and complex and emotionally rewarding with the same type of melancholy you’d find on the Dvořák record. It’s a beautiful piece of composition.