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Baker's Dozen

The Golden Section: John Foxx's Favourite Albums
John Foxx , October 3rd, 2013 04:16

The electronics pioneer pens his own Baker's Dozen and gives us a slightly different twist on the 13 favourites formula


The Kinks - The Kinks
‘You Really Got Me’ and ‘All Day And All Of The Night’ were massive slabs of pure, rogue pop music - the kind that blends an invisible but deep intelligence with raw, raucous fun. No-one has ever surpassed these tracks for pure, wild excitement. These guys were the slimmest, longest-haired, maddest band of the 1960s, with the perfect name and the best skinny velvet jackets for the era.

Shel Talmy, the producer, was an American refugee who came to London, found himself in Soho and made use of all available raw materials - from recording studios to new rock bands, especially The Kinks, The Who and The Easybeats (plus a certain Jimmy Page in the background), to produce some of the best pop music ever recorded.

Strangely, this most wonderful, powerful pop later got distilled into something now known as heavy metal - another example of our inexplicable British tendency to originate a vibrant form then, through some innate tastelessness or lethargy, allow it to decline into stodge - just as we allowed psychedelia to become prog and punk to become oi!, so these marvellous, world-beating slabs of pure beauty-through-volume somehow mis-inspired another generation to produce something about as good as Starship Troopers 2. Burroughs would groan in his grave. But he’d sure as hell be up and dancing to The Kinks.

P.S. Also around this time, that genius Ray Davies wrote and recorded another sort of song - ‘See My Friend’. I remember listening to this on radio and realising it was something new. It was based on a drone and on Indian music modes. It was the first of its kind. The first proper psychedelic track. The Beatles were listening, too…