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Baker's Dozen

Reel To Reel Cacophony: Jim Kerr Of Simple Minds' Favourite Albums
Mark Eglinton , November 4th, 2014 13:44

With their sixteenth LP Big Music just out, the Glaswegian new wave veterans' frontman gives Mark Eglinton a Baker's Dozen of his top 13 formative influences


David Bowie - The Rise And Fall Of Ziggy Stardust And The Spiders From Mars
While Electric Warrior was the first album I owned, Ziggy Stardust was the first record I actually bought from a shop. I had a Saturday job as a butcher's boy, which - as someone who's been a vegetarian for thirty-odd years - is really saying something. I'd saved up my own money and bought that and a ticket to see him do a matinee show at the Green's Playhouse in Glasgow. I think I spent my first ever wages on both.

People talk about the first time they saw Bowie on TV in terms of it being like the moon landing: things would never be the same again. That was absolutely true for me. However, if Bowie was Jesus, Marc Bolan was John the Baptist. He came first and gave you a sense of what was coming next perhaps and indeed, Bowie was coming with sounds… language that had never been heard. Back then I didn't even know what the word kabuki meant. Nowadays if you see or hear something, you can go online and the gene pool is all laid out for you to see. I'll never forget hearing the apocalyptic sounds of 'Five Years' and thinking that, whatever happened, the apocalypse was going to be a really sexy thing. The spacey feel to it all was so alluring. Kubrick's 2001: A Space Odyssey was out and had made that whole cosmic angle very appealing - as was the almost Clockwork Orange type of edge it had too. The result was that the androgynous guys could get into Bowie but the skinheads at school liked it too. That's the atmosphere I remember.