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Baker's Dozen

Just Some Modern Rock Songs: Stuart Murdoch's Favourite Albums
Adrian Lobb , September 4th, 2013 07:02

The Glaswegian indie pop pioneers' frontman picks out his top 13 records


Love – Forever Changes
This is precisely the start of the band, which is why it is a fitting way to finish this list. New music – although I love it as much as ever – never meant so much to me after I started making records. Love were one of my last times of being amazed, a last stopping-off point. You will notice that most of these records we have been talking about are from the 1980s. Punk for me was the great miracle of music, changed the way music felt and spoke to you, and gave bands permission to do things differently.

But a few of my friends said that I shouldn’t ignore what came before punk. They made me tapes of The Lovin’ Spoonful, The Left Banke, and all this was very timely because it was just before I met up with Stevie [Jackson, Belle and Sebastian guitarist] and Chris [Geddes, B&S keyboardist]. And this was the music that we bonded over. It seemed to be a blueprint, there was ambition and delicacy and orchestration, and there was a baroqueness, for want of a better word.

I knew this was what I wanted for my music. I borrowed certain things – at the time I was very into simple, middle of the road stuff. Things like ‘Sugar, Sugar’ or an Andrew Gold song called ‘Never Let Her Slip Away’. These MOR classic singles that were, on the face of it, very simple. I was really into that. I didn’t want to go beyond that but then I wanted to talk about the things I wanted to talk about. But it helped that in the background was this classic 60s groups and references, and Isobel [Campbell, ex-B&S singer] and Stevie and Richard [Colburn, B&S drummer] were all digging those things as well, those were the benchmarks.