The Quietus - A new rock music and pop culture website

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


The Beatles - The Beatles (White Album)
I hated The Beatles, I wasn't interested in them. My mother saw The Beatles and she would talk about them and it seemed like another world away, nothing that could ever speak to me in any way. Then when I was 16 or 17 a friend of mine I was at school with, David, his parents went away on holiday in the summer and left him alone, which is something I will never do with my children. He's like, "Come round to my house and we'll get pissed and see what happens", so I went around to his house and his dad had one of these brilliant old record players that had this little brush on it so as the record played it would also clean it. So, we're sitting there getting pissed and he tried to play me a Frank Zappa record and I didn't like it, I thought I can't be fucked with this. He's trying to play me his dad's records and to me the idea of listening to your parents' music was fucking awful - nobody did that. He was like, "Do you want to listen to the Beatles?" and I was like, "Fuck off!" I was not remotely interested in The Beatles. He said, "Trust me, this is a genuinely brilliant record", so I was like "alright" and he takes out his dad's White Album and he takes out his dad's brandy and I was sitting on this chair but I eventually ended up on the floor, drinking his dad's brandy listening to the White Album and - again, it's this idea of the album as a transportative experience - I didn't know The Beatles sounded like that, I didn't know The Beatles ever made a sound other than that pop Mersey sound that I knew them for. This is such an intense and claustrophobic record, the band were on the edge at this point, nobody was talking to each other, Ringo had left and that's why McCartney plays drums on some of the songs. I think that's what makes it such a great album, that it's all these individual voices but at the same time they grew up together making this music so they sound kind of similar. It's a pretty dark album, there's a lot of raw emotion in it but there's also a lot of stupidity in it too. You can't pinpoint what was going on, as an adult you look into it more and begin to understand it, but hearing it for the first time you can't second guess the record, you can't understand where it's coming from or what's going to happen next. Famously, it became an inspiration for mass murderers and fucking lunatics because it's so confounding; you try to find a meaning in it, but there isn't really any meaning in it at all, it's absolute fucking chaos and there cannot be any better description of life that that. Let's listen to George [plays 'While My Guitar Gently Weeps' on YouTube]. That isn't the right version, that can fuck right off, get yourself to utter fuck. That's the problem with the internet.