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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


Roy Buchanan - Roy Buchanan
He was a kind of blues/country artist from America - obviously Scottish lineage - and I remember, the first time I heard a bit of his music was a long time ago when I was very young. It was a cover of 'Sweet Dreams' by Patsy Cline; it was an instrumental version and I thought it sounded amazing. I'd just bought an acoustic guitar, and I heard it on the radio and remember thinking… I'm gonna preface this by saying we live in an age where I'm sick of seeing so many people saying, "I'm glad the guitar solo is dead, anybody can play like that" No they fucking can't! I see so many idiots in indie bands try to play solos and they can't fucking do it, because they haven't got the bravery to do it. They haven't got the fucking blood and guts to do it. You have to spill your guts if you want people to believe a guitar solo. That's why I always go for people like this; you can tell, if a Roy Buchanan song comes on, in any obscure station on the world, as soon as the solo comes you know it's him. And that's a really special gift to have. Not many people have that; as soon as he plays one note of a solo, you know it's him. It's beautiful. He always starts off a solo in a beautiful manner, almost slightly depressed, and then it just goes apeshit and he really loses it. It's almost like the guitar's having a fit. He goes from beautiful to really disturbed in one solo. I remember I went to see The Departed in the cinema and this song, his version of 'Sweet Dreams', came on in the end, and I was like, "Fuck me I forgot to buy a Roy Buchanan record!" I meant to buy one 20 years ago and I never did. I went out the next day and bought Roy Buchanan's entire back catalogue. The best one is just called Roy Buchanan. There's some beautiful stuff on it. There's one song called 'The Messiah Will Come Again', with a spoken word intro, and you can tell it's him doing it, and it's just beautiful. There's an old Phil Lynott and Gary Moore song called 'Parisienne Walkways', and you can see it was inspired by this song. I challenge somebody to listen to this song and not actually rethink their prejudice against expression on the guitar.