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Baker's Dozen

A F**king Joy: Aidan Moffat's Favourite Albums
Daniel Dylan Wray , April 2nd, 2015 14:15

With Aidan Moffat's excellent new record with Bill Wells just out, we sent Daniel Dylan Wray up to Glasgow to meet the former Arab Strap man/Quietus sex columnist to discuss his top formative albums. And, with the help of beers, a record player and one powerful deployment of the phrase "get to utter fuck", here's what he picked


Saturday Night Fever soundtrack
This was the first record I remember coveting and being absolutely obsessed by. It was not mine, it was my mum's. We had one of these brilliant 70s living rooms that had this wooden bar and next to the wooden bar was this amazing record player that became mine when I was a teenager. It looked like a fucking massive table with this radio in it and you lifted up this bit for the records and it was amazing. I used to play the Saturday Night Fever soundtrack on it constantly. This now [currently playing Yvonne Elliman's 'If I Can't Have You'] I listen to this now and it makes me feel fucking wonderful; disco records, the disco sound is amazing to me. There's a romance and a decadence in disco music that really appeals to me. It's about the city as well, it's very much a part of the city life. It started in New York and it represents this idea - not necessarily always in a good way - of decadence, this idea of possibility. Then again, some of the songs on this are pretty miserable, lyrically, this ['I Can't Have You'] is quite sad.

Was the soundtrack completely removed from the film for you?

Oh yeah definitely. I wasn't allowed to watch them film until I was twelve. My mum forgot that it had the c-word in it, I can't remember when it is but someone in it calls someone a cunt. My mum always said with Arab Strap, and I remember this very clearly, "I don't mind all the drugs, I don't mind all the sex. I just wish you wouldn't use the c-word". Although I was allowed to watch any horror film as a kid, bizarrely, in fact I wrote a sequel to Halloween at the age of eight because I fucking loved it, I thought it was the best thing ever.

Any favourite songs from the album?

The Bee Gees songs are great, I really love them but my favourite ones are the few classic pieces that have been discofied, like 'Night On Disco Mountain' and 'A Fifth Of Beethoven', which is Beethoven's 5th discofied. These sounded amazing to me when I was younger because they sounded so familiar but so different as well, it seemed like such a modern thing to do - bare in mind it was 1979. Although my absolute fucking favourite, although I do love Yvonne Elliman, is David Shire's 'Manhattan Skyline'. This [starts playing it] - god, fuck! I used to listen to this all the time as a kid, I just can't describe it, it makes me feel the same way. If I hear this in a fucking disco, watch out! I will definitely try and shag you, no fucking doubt about it. It's all build up, there's a certain bit in this that I lose my fucking shit to and it's always strings with me, the grandeur of strings. [The songs hits its peak] Fucking hell! That's what I mean about the disco sound, sheer lushness, the strings, the horns, complete fucking decadence. It's amazing. My disco love has never waned.