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Baker's Dozen

Champion Versions: Steve Mason's Favourite Albums
Joe Clay , March 2nd, 2016 11:04

With his new solo album, Meet The Humans, just released, the prolific musician and former Beta Band man gives Joe Clay a tour of his record collection, meandering through electro, hip-hop, punk and more


Ennio Morricone – Once Upon A Time In The West soundtrack
I was a car mechanic after I left school, but after doing that for about three-and-a-half years I decided that wasn't me. So I went off to college to do a radio broadcasting course. At that point in time I was still discovering things like art and poetry and proper film. I was quite a late developer. The sort of culture that I'd grown up in, to talk about a painting or to talk about music or film in any kind of serious way, was frowned on. So I had to go and find the people who were into those things and I met this guy there who was a year younger than me. He was much cooler than me and really into film. I didn't know anything about it... He really knew his stuff and he introduced me to Sergio Leone. He had Once Upon A Time In The West on video and we watched it and I was really blown away by the soundtrack. That guitar sound... it really reminded me of a surf guitar sound or a psych guitar. That twangy, distorted guitar. 'Man With A Harmonica' is such a weird, spooky song. When it's hovering between those two notes... it blew me away. The film, too – taking that amount of time to tell a story. It was done properly, slowly, so you invested a lot of time in the characters. And each character seemed to have their own theme. I loved it. The main theme is so beautiful and so affecting. There were a lot of amazing soundtracks at that time, but that is a stunning piece of work. The production is so raw. You almost feel like you were in the room when it was recorded.

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