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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


The Velvet Underground - Loaded
I was a Bowie fan, and I think I discovered Lou via Transformer because Bowie had produced it, and also heard the song 'Walk On The Wild Side' and loved it. And I had friends, they lent me Live At Max's…, which I loved, and Loaded, and my relationship with Loaded has been very peculiar, because the deeper I got into The Velvet Underground, the more I discovered that Loaded was this thing that Lou had disowned, and it was sweet, and it was Doug Yule's voice, and there was a very long time, when I went, well, y'know, the first three Velvet Undergrounds, each of them pretty much creates a genre... and Loaded was just like, the pop one. So I dismissed it. And then... I bought the 'Fully Loaded' edition, and loved the remixes, but also realised how much I loved the originals, and started going well, actually, an album that has 'Rock &' Roll' and 'Sweet Jane' on it is not bad at all. But a lot of the other songs, 'Who Loves The Sun', 'Oh! Sweet Nuthin’', they're great songs. And it congealed for me in my head a little while ago when I was sitting round a campfire and somebody was playing 'Who Loves The Sun', and I started just quietly singing along, and Amanda said, “What are you singing? What is that?” And I said, “It's from Loaded.” And she said, “I have no idea what that is.” And I said, “But you like Lou Reed and The Velvet Underground.” And she said, “Yeah, but I never heard of that album.” So I went onto iTunes and bought it for her, and then started listening to it myself, and just going, “This actually is as great an album as I thought it was when I was 13."