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Baker's Dozen

Perfect Calibrations: Simon Raymonde's Favourite Albums
Colm McAuliffe , February 6th, 2014 09:02

Following the release of his new album with Snowbird, the former Cocteau Twins man and Bella Union boss gives us his rundown of his all-time (on this given day) favourite records


Scott Walker – Scott 4
I could have picked any one of those first four solo albums but the reason I picked this is that it's solely his songs. 'Boy Child', 'The World's Strongest Man'… it's such an important album for me. It came out in 1969 and must have sounded like the weirdest record ever. Camus was on the sleeve, there are references to Bergman, when I was getting into Tarkovsky and reading Camus in my early twenties, hearing this for the first time, it was like, "Oh my god!" And Wally Stott's string arrangements are mind-blowing. It's a record that stands up today. I listen to it every day in my mind, he's one of the most important British-based artists there has ever been. He must be in his seventies now and to be still making music that bears no resemblance to anything else anyone else is doing, to care about it that much, is incredible.

My dad [Ivor Raymonde] did a lot of the string arrangements for the Walker Brothers. He died quite young, when I was 27, and I knew who he was but I certainly didn't appreciate his talents although I certainly didn't appreciate Scott Walker either until later. It would have been Julian Cope's compilation and then maybe the re-discovery of those four albums [which ignited my interest]. I have started collecting a lot my dad's stuff over the last few years and it reminds me of all the cool things he did. I love the arrangements he did for the Walker Brothers: 'The Sun Ain't Gonna Shine (Anymore)' and 'Make It Easy On Yourself' are two of the classics. I would love to have heard what he would have done with Scott's solo stuff although you can't beat Reg Guest and Wally Stott. That record really is too good.