The Quietus - A new rock music and pop culture website

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


David Bowie - Hunky Dory
It was really difficult to choose a David Bowie album. I didn’t want to put more than one on. For me, it was a choice between this, Low, “Heroes” and …Ziggy Stardust… – all equally magnificent records. This record I like because it was before he became a superstar. There’s a lightness and lack of self-awareness on this record, which I think disappears slightly on the later records. Songs like 'Kooks' have this real sense of fresh openness, which maybe he lost on later records, which I really love. There’s also some pretty odd moments on there as well, like 'Andy Warhol'. I don’t mean so much the ‘sample and hold’ start on the ARP synth – which is really cool – but melodically it’s really odd. It’s more like an Eastern scale than a regular rock & roll scale. It will go from that to something that sounds more like a music hall moment. The songwriting is incredible. I think it’s probably him at his best. Also, when I was going through my choices, I went for records I enjoy from start to finish, even though there’s a couple of songs that I don’t think are spectacular songs on this album, as a whole it’s a really great record. I remember distinctly buying it from the Oxfam shop around the corner from school when I was a kid, and I think it was the first Bowie album I ever owned.

My mum had the compilation Changes Bowie which I’ve always loved, so when I saw this I was "ooh, I like David Bowie, I should try this". I put it on and thought, "God, there’s a lot more going on here than just catchy pop songs".