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Baker's Dozen

Peculiar Relationships: Neil Gaiman’s Favourite Albums
Emily Mackay , November 21st, 2013 08:30

Following this week's release of his live collaborative album with Amanda Palmer, the fantasy and science fiction author picks out the records that have most inspired and informed his writing


Elvis Costello And The Attractions - Imperial Bedroom
Again, almost random in that I could have picked and made an argument for any one of probably a dozen Elvis Costello albums. I picked this one because I love it lyrically, and I remember sitting there trying to decipher the lyrics. I would have been 16, 17, maybe even 18. Definitely an Elvis Costello fan. I'd bought and loved the first three albums. Had done my best to cope with country and western album which these days I love. But at the time, I was like “I don't get this. I'm an 18-year-old recovering punk, and you've just made a country and western album. And 'Good Year For The Roses' is on the radio all the time, and it's getting played on Radio 2, what the fuck do you think you're doing?” And then came 'Imperial Bedroom'. “History repeats, the old conceits...”, it began, and the songs all had stories. And they all seemed to be these tiny little stories of real things, 'You Little Fool', and 'Town Cryer', and they were smart. And I loved the sound. It's hard for me to articulate why I loved the sound of that album so much, but I really did. I loved the noises. It just felt like coming home. And I slipped into that album, and that was the point that I knew, whatever you do I will follow you. Even if you alienate me for an album or two, I will keep coming back because one day you'll do something like this again. And that has proved true.