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Baker's Dozen

Reinventions Of The Near Future: James Dean Bradfield's Favourite LPs
Emily Mackay , September 23rd, 2014 08:25

With their Holy Bible shows just announced, the Manic Street Preachers frontman talks Emily Mackay through his all-time favourite albums


Death - ...For The Whole World To See
They were a black punk band from America. I love this record because it's kind of… erudite in its expression but it's fucking brutal. It's razor sharp. It's also gloriously anarchic. It's kind of punk but it's got real rock & roll lineage to it. The titles are brilliant: there's one called 'Politicians In My Eyes', another one called 'Rock-N-Roll Victim', 'Let The World Turn', 'You're A Prisoner'. It's just a real lost classic, and it's got real power. I can't remember if they're from Detroit or not - it would make sense, because so much has come out of Detroit - but it's one of those records I've just picked up and been astounded by it. I was always really good at picking up stuff in the margins of punk history, but I'd never heard anything about this band, and I love the idea that there's still stuff out there that's going to get credit after its time; that people who didn't get credit in their lifetime eventually get it if they're good enough. You can tell this band could have gone on to be utterly amazing; there's an articulacy there, a brutality there, a real rock & roll lineage, but a little off-kilter jazz edge to little bits of the playing. And the cover's absolutely lovely, it's almost like art deco Buck Rogers. It's just one of those records that's a little surprise in life; to stay in love with music, you need to have those little surprises, something that's been locked in a vault and it comes at you and it's such a surprise. And if you're ready to take on those surprises, it just shows you're still in love with the romance of music, that something's going to hit you in the middle of the eyes. And that's what this record did to me two years ago. I found it in Spillers in Cardiff, which was good because I really don't engage in the digital world - not through any kind of arch Ludditeness or anything, I just can't be arsed. So I listen to lots of radio and read lots of press and that's how I get my new records. That's why I love going to Spillers; sometimes there'll just be that bit of advice behind the counter. "Why don't you try this?" I just love that moment.