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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 Magnetic Fields - 69 Love Songs
I discovered The Magnetic Fields through Hello CD Of The Month Club which was run by some of They Might Be Giants. And I talked about Stephin Merritt in interviews when people would say, “What are you listening to?” I didn't know if anybody else in the world knew about him. And I did a signing one day, and a very nice man named Chris Ewen said, “Please sign my stuff. By the way, I'm one-third of the Future Bible Heroes, and I'm doing stuff with Stephin.” And he's making 69 Love Songs. So I was looking out for it. And as I drove off to Florida to write American Gods, I found it in a record shop and bought all three volumes and played them over and over. And then started buying them for people as presents. Which was very expensive, buying three different CDs. And finally, I think in the winter of 1999 I contacted Chris Ewen, who put me in touch with Claudia Gonson, and I said, “Can I just buy these from the band directly, because I want to give them out as Christmas presents and this is killing me?” And she said, “Sure.” So I bought 20 of the actual box sets, and I gave them to Terry Pratchett, and I gave them to Scott McLeod and all of these people, who also became Magnetic Fields devotees. That album has to be given to you by somebody that you love.