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Baker's Dozen

The Ideal Copies: Graham Lewis Of Wire's Favourite Albums
Luke Turner , April 15th, 2015 13:44

As Wire continue their five-night London residency as part of the tQ co-curated DRILL:LEXINGTON festival, their bassist and lyricist gives Luke Turner a tour of his top 13 records


Al Green - Greatest Hits
I heard a tremendous amount of first-class soul music... my father was in the Royal Air Force and I lived on a base. It just so happened that it coincided with the period of pirate radio stations, so a transistor radio was a virtually unmediated way of hearing absolutely incredibly music. I heard Hendrix, Electric Prunes, all the best soul music. You didn't know what these people looked like, who they were, anything. There was this guy Nicky who I used to play football with, his father was from Jamaica, and when he was moving on he gave the youth club his soul collection. The guy who ran the youth club, he was championing what I thought was starting to be second-rate output from The Beatles, because after 'Strawberry Fields' or 'Magical Mystery Tour' they came out with this Sgt Pepper's thing which I had issues with. Meanwhile, we had every good soul record. You also had Johnnie Walker, I think, on [Radio] Caroline. This also represents that period in the 70s when I was listening to Al Green, Sly, Stevie Wonder; the most interesting and radical music that was going. It's pathetic to go 'black soul music, oh right, Al Green's Greatest Hits', because the productions, the voice and everything is incredible. Let's just say one of the greatest singers, that's for sure, and he has to represent all of that.