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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


Tori Amos - Little Earthquakes
The first version of Little Earthquakes I heard was handed to me at San Diego Comic Con by a man named Rantz Hoseley, who said, “Here's a cassette tape by a friend of mine, she sings about you on one of the songs, go and see her.” And it wasn't actually Little Earthquakes. It was 50 per cent Little Earthquakes and 50 per cent things that wound up on B-sides, like 'Flying Dutchman' and 'Sugar', and a lot of songs that could have been on Little Earthquakes and were at one point or another recorded for it. So Little Earthquakes for me, in my head, is probably actually that tape. Because that was the thing that I played over and over and over. You have to understand, I used to get given a lot of music. I still do. I do a signing or I do an event, and these days people give me CDs, and in the old days they would give me cassettes. And I would put on the cassettes and I would play them and very rapidly, most of them would never be played again. [Adopts gloomy Scandinavian baritone] “Oh Morpheus, come down from the sky and bring your sister Death... Ohhh, Morpheus...” And then I'd put this thing on, and it's Little Earthquakes, and y'know, suddenly... I just went, “This is fantastic, this person's great.” There was a phone number, and I called up, and she answered, and I said, “I think you're great.” We used to chat on the phone once a week. So for me, it was much more about this wonderful, elfin, red-haired, brilliant person that I'd met. And it was this peculiar bonding experience with somebody that became my sister and has stayed one of my best friends year in, year out.