The Quietus - A new rock music and pop culture website

Baker's Dozen

Three Chords Good: Graham Parker's Favourite Albums
Ben Graham , October 8th, 2015 09:36

As Graham Parker & The Rumour prepare to play their final ever shows later this month, the prolific singer-songwriter talks Ben Graham through the 13 albums that have had the biggest impact on him as a musician


The Velvet Underground and Nico - The Velvet Underground & Nico
That was made in 1966 but I didn't get into it until after Bowie. I had to pick up Transformer because I heard 'Walk On The Wild Side' and thought, okay, this is not just some ham act that Bowie happens to like, this guy is really good. And then in the record store there was The Velvet Underground & Nico and I thought, okay, I'm buying into this. I don't know what's on it, I don't know much about it; it was just unknown to me and anybody I knew. And Bowie bought this to light for me. What strange songs: 'Sunday Morning' and then 'I'm Waiting For The Man' and then 'Femme Fatale'. If I'd have heard them in 1966 I would have thought they were a naff pop band; I wouldn't have understood it. But there's this irreverence and this great irony to it, and they're this underground band mixed up with Warhol and this crazy scene. The strange thing is I went to see those Andy Warhol movies. I went with a couple of friends who went to art school who were older than me, and we'd go and see these movies, like Flesh. But we still didn't pick up on The Velvet Underground at all. Maybe they knew their name, but I didn't. They were writing pop songs that were on the other side of the mirror, or at the bottom of the rabbit hole. They were reflecting that Brill Building ideal, but it's like pop music by heroin addicts.