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Baker's Dozen

Beloved Transmissions: Mary Anne Hobbs' Favourite Albums
Daniel Dylan Wray , May 22nd, 2017 08:14

Ahead of her curation at the Manchester International Festival, Mary Anne Hobbs guides Daniel Dylan Wray on an inspiring trip through 13 records that shaped her life


David Bowie - Blackstar
It's really emotional for me to talk about this record because I don't think anyone has ever made an art statement out of their own death before. I played the album in its entirety on the weekend breakfast show without permission but you have to do the right thing in moments that require it. I feel like it's a record that the human race will be listening to five thousand years from now, if we make it that far. It's a record that people will circle back to for the rest of time. It's an artist bowing out at his absolute creative peak, I think. I understand why Skepta won the Mercury Music Prize and that Jarvis said this is what Bowie would have wanted but still in my heart of hearts I believe that Blackstar is such an important final statement from David Bowie to the world and it's the type of thing that as we see the decimation of popular culture all around us and everything we hold dear crushed under the heels of capitalism, it's something that we need in our lives to look back to. It's something that the human race needs to refer back to as long as we inhabit this planet. It was such a shock for the record to be released on the Friday and then for the news to come on Monday that he'd gone. I can't think of any other artist who has ever lived, who works in any discipline, that has left us in the same way and with the same statement and I feel, to a degree, that it will be one of the most important records ever made and that any human being will ever make. It's a record that is bigger than all of us. It's difficult to know his true intentions with the record but I think he would be happy with the interpretation that even with his last breath he was delivering one of his most radical pieces of work. That is an abiding message for all of us.