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Baker's Dozen

Bombarded With Asteroids: Richard Hawley's Favourite Albums
Sharon O'Connell , February 17th, 2016 10:51

Before he heads off on a tour of the UK tomorrow, the Sheffield singer-songwriter and quiffsman takes Sharon O'Connell through the rock & roll, blues and rockabilly albums that shaped his early listening


13th Floor Elevators – Easter Everywhere
The Elevators hit me like a steam train when I first heard them, around 1985. Their first album was introduced to me by a guy called Dave Gregory, who was the older brother of Rob, who was the drummer in my school band, Treebound Story. At the time, I was listening to The Byrds, The Seeds and getting into Relic-era Floyd and Dave just said I should check this band called the 13th Floor Elevators out. He had this cassette of the first album. Then I went to Barry at Record Collector, who'd got ten shrink-wrapped copies of this album, hoarded away. I couldn't afford one, so he ordered me a reissue.

For this band to be as individual and out-there as they were must have taken some serious bravery in Texas, in 1967. And they were suppressed; they got Roky [Erickson, singer-songwriter and guitarist] pretty early on. The songs are based in part in the blues and traditional country, but where they take it… fuck me. 'Slip Inside This House' – which kicks off the album (which Primal Scream covered), saying that the lyrics are brilliant, but it's the lysergic thread that connects one word to the next, the way it meanders and is beautifully twisted. Then there's a love song like 'Dust', which floors me completely. Roky's out playing again and I'm overjoyed for him. His is a sad story, but I leave it for others to document. I've chosen this record because of the sheer, unfettered joy it brings me.