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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


Various - Blues & Soul
This is a Marble Arch compilation, and one of the reasons that I bought it, along with other Marble Arch records, was because they were cheap. I remember buying this one in Aldershot, the nearest big town and literally the home of the British army, and outside the record store was this spinning rack of Marble Arch records. I didn't know who these artists were. I didn't know who Little Milton was. Billy Young. Someone called Mitty Collier, who does this tremendous, urgent, mind blowingly powerful song called 'My Party'. This album wasn't the hard soul of Otis, a lot of it was quite soft and sweet. There was a beautiful song by Little Milton called 'Man Loves Two', about loving two women - a terribly adult theme, but you could understand it even at that age, because sometimes you fancied two girls. And there's a song called 'You Left The Water Running', with Billy Young singing it. The mind-blowing thing on this record as well is the performance by someone called Kip Anderson, of a song called 'Without A Woman'. I don't have the credits in front of me for who wrote this song or whatever, but you would think, why wasn't this guy up there with Otis Redding? His performance is staggering. It rivals Otis Redding at his most powerful and emotional. And someone named Sonny Warner, who sings a song called 'Been So Long', and again it's quite romantic with strings; it's soul but it's almost Nat King Cole or something like that. And it just kills me every time. I've still got that record; I taped it on cassette as well, and it's just the greatest compilation I've ever owned.