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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


Fleetwood Mac - Fleetwood Mac
That took over for me. Suddenly I wasn't that interested in soul music. I was growing my hair long and curly, trying desperately to look like Peter Green. We'd pack into some place somewhere out in the provinces, whether it was the Wooden Bridge in Guildford or the Gin Mill Club in Godalming, these provincial cobble-street towns in the stockbroker belt, and you walk into a little club and it's a whole different world in there. Mostly guys, with long hair, and you're moving your head from left to right in this particular motion; it was the new kind of dancing. Before I was doing the dancing that the bovver boys would do, the soul moves, and now suddenly you just stand there and bob up and down and move your head from side to side, and try to look like Peter Green when he was reaching for some note of obscure nuance.

I actually saw Peter Green and Fleetwood Mac when they'd just added Danny Kirwan to the line-up at the Gin Mill Club, which couldn't have held more than 150 people, down a little alleyway in Godalming, after they'd had a number one hit with 'Albatross'. They were booked to play well in advance and I'd got myself a ticket. They were too big to fit on the tiny stage in the corner, so they put them on the ground and I plonked myself right in front of it all. There they were in all their glory, all those big Orange amps they had with all that echo on; they were transitioning into a more progressive group, but still doing 'My Heart Beat Like a Hammer' and all these kind of things, so you had this world coming out.

But on that first album they were pretty hardcore imitators of Chicago blues, and what I like about that to this day, playing it again on CD, the production is right in your face. Most of it is bone dry, right up front, smash you in the head, apart from the songs where Peter Green does that 'Black Magic Woman' style, where they throw the reverb on the vocal and the reverb on the guitar and put it back in the mix, and it's a whole different feel and it's very mysterious, so you could feel this progression coming from these bands. For some reason, that didn't seem like a bad thing.