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Baker's Dozen

Playing For Keeps: Cate Le Bon's Favourite Albums
John Freeman , September 4th, 2014 11:33

With her UK tour just started, singer-songwriter Cate Le Bon tells John Freeman about how an attitude of playfulness runs through her 13 top LPs


David Bowie - Hunky Dory
The next one is a little-known obscure album called Hunky Dory!

I grew up listening to David Bowie's songs in the background. I knew he existed and knew his hits and whatnot. I had the same thing with The Beatles. When I was 17 I saw that my dad had Hunky Dory and I realised that I had never really actually listened properly to David Bowie. I thought of him as a pop star – which he is – but he's obviously a lot more than that.

I remember putting it on and listening to it in the lounge and actually thinking it was almost too much – it was a collection of songs that were all so good that it was too much to digest. It absolutely blew my mind at how mercurial he was on one record. He wasn't writing songs just about love, but about all these crazy, bizarre ideas. It contained really weirdly strange anthems that weren't like anything I'd heard.

I remember really trying to piece together who David Bowie was in his entirety, as opposed to him just being that guy who dresses up like a woman sometimes and was a pop star, and beginning to understand the gravity of how talented he was. I remember listening to the song 'Andy Warhol' over and over and over again and thinking it was the best song I had ever heard in my life and then trying to learn it on guitar. So, it was the moment of realising, "Oh my god, David Bowie!" but there is no real point in me explaining why it is such a good album. It's obvious.