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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


Roxy Music - Roxy Music
Again, now that I was addicted to space age glam rock via those previous two records, the next thing to appear was Roxy Music. I saw the images first in music papers like the NME, with people like Nick Kent writing about them, and then I was just desperate to hear the sounds. I first saw them on a BBC Two arts programme and they were playing 'Re-Make/Re-Model'. This was maybe four months after hearing Bolan and Bowie for the first time and the Roxy Music image was a further extension. I have no great source of reference really, but for me the great thing about that first Roxy album - apart from the actual musical contents - were the sleeve notes. It was a great piece of writing that described where the band had come from: the sort of grimy underground of London, all presented in a way that brilliantly captured their space and time. Ferry himself was unique of course and seemed almost like a projected-into-the-future version of Elvis but with all this mad, Cole Porter-done-with-Eno sounds type thing.

When I think about it, in different ways Bolan, Bowie and Bryan Ferry influenced my style hugely. The mannerisms were the key. Up until then, everyone had always seemed to want to sound like The Beatles or have that bluesy voice or a sugar-coated pop voice but these guys were coming with these weird mannerisms. I still say to this day that I don't think Bryan Ferry really gets the credit he deserves - particularly for his voice. I had never heard a voice like his, just like I'd never heard a voice like Morrissey's. To be unique is really, really hard.