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Baker's Dozen

Sharp Dressed Fan: Billy Gibbons Of ZZ Top's Favourite Albums
Kiran Acharya , September 14th, 2016 08:38

As ZZ Top take their live greatest hits album on tour, their lead singer and guitarist Billy Gibbons talks Kiran Acharya through his top 13 LPs, setting aside some of his more well-worn classics in favour of recent favourites


Michael Kiwanuka – Love & Hate
He's new to me, a Londoner, and relatively recent. Again I fall back on the challenge of digging through so many day-to-day musical releases in that grandiose search for something satisfying. This came as a pleasant surprise, without any backstory whatsoever. I first came as a visitor to London in the ‘70s and it was a period of discovery. London was probably the liveliest place to experience something new. Here it's probably the lyrical content and a consistency that strikes me most. Some people can even find messaging musical offerings that have no singer whatsoever: it's messaging. I think that's a good word.

I was just wrapping up an appearance where I bumped into the great guitarist Steve Cropper from Booker T. & The M.G.'s and of course they were the backing band for so many of the great artists on the Stax label. I said, "Gee, Steve, the Stax records had a remarkable sound. Release by release they had a consistency you could identify. How did you dream up the idea?" And he said, "Well… we didn't. I agree that the Stax records have a recognisable character. But the studio in Memphis was in one of the most dangerous neighbourhoods. To avoid having the gear stolen after a probable break-in, we nailed everything to the floor!"