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Baker's Dozen

Rubber Rings: Johnny Marr's Favourite Albums
John Freeman , June 16th, 2015 10:33

As he embarks on a world tour, Johnny Marr talks to John Freeman about how his 13 favourite albums have provided career-spanning inspiration for everything from The Smiths to his latest solo record, Playland


Iggy Pop - The Idiot
As I already had Raw Power and knew what The Stooges were about, it was big news that Iggy Pop was putting out his first solo record under his own name. The generation before me who were forming bands - people like Siouxsie and Lydon - had all been Iggy freaks from hearing about him via David Bowie's patronage. As was the case in the 70s, David Bowie was the provider of all the cultural information that moulded the decade. You found out about Burroughs through Bowie, you found out about Kraftwerk through Bowie and it was the same with Iggy Pop.

There were rumours in the music press that David Bowie had been working on this record and when it came out it was a big deal. And it was amazing. Nothing sounded like it before and I don't think anything has quite managed to sound like it since.

There is so much written about the Berlin period that there is no point in me going on about it, but I think of all the records of that time, this is the one that is most Berlin-like to me. I now know Berlin and have spent time there before it changed, and The Idiot does convey the atmosphere of being on the Berlin streets at 3.30 in the morning having been to various insalubrious establishments and looking for more action. Songs like 'Baby', 'Nightclubbing' and 'Dum Dum Boys' really capture that drunken, woozy, underground European atmosphere. It's a perfect record.