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Baker's Dozen

The Unspoken Magic: Greg Graffin Of Bad Religion's 13 Founding LPs
Ian Winwood , April 5th, 2017 08:38

As US punk rock hero Greg Graffin releases a new solo album he guides Ian Winwood through some classics of old time Americana, alongside albums by Elton John and former collaborator Todd Rungren


Elvis Costello – This Year's Model
Before I met Brett [Gurewitz] and Jay [Bentley, both from Bad Religion], I'd be hanging around with my friends from school and we all had eclectic tastes in music, which is one of the reasons I think that when Brett and I met we went on to become such good friends. But I remember in high school a friend and I attended a musical film festival when we were visiting my dad when we were back in Wisconsin. So we were in Milwaukee and we went to this festival, where I saw some early Elvis Costello footage. I don't know what film it was – this would have been in 1978, I think – and I just thought, That was cool, whatever. But my friend became hooked on Elvis at that point. You have to remember as well that this was only in the seventh grade, so we were still pretty young. So his mom bought him everything that Elvis Costello had released at that point, so of course by process of osmosis I soon started falling in love with Elvis Costello's songwriting. At first I was a little bit put off by his singing style. I mean, obviously Elvis is a great singer, but if you're used to listening to Todd Rundgren and Stevie Wonder then his style is a little more brash than I was used to. But certainly I recognised pretty quickly that beneath that brash exterior lay songs that were not only beautiful but were also fun to play on the piano. Of course, the question of which Elvis Costello album to pick out of all the great music he's made is an impossible one to answer. But if I had to pick one to demonstrate his talents, then This Year's Model would be the one.