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Baker's Dozen

As Simple As Fun: Beth Ditto's Baker's Dozen
Louise Brown , June 14th, 2017 07:20

As she releases new solo album Fake Sugar, Beth Ditto swears & enthuses about 13 favourite records to Louise Brown, taking in the filth of Lil' Kim to David Bowie and the queer punk of Buzzcocks via Missy Elliott and Lauryn Hill


Melanie – Photograph
Nobody knows about Melanie in America really, and you know, I only just realised that she was such a big influence on me. The way she sings, absolutely. People would be like, 'What are your influences?', and they would compare me to Janis, but that's because they don't know Melanie. 'Lay Down'? It gives me chills. I got to cover that with Mark Ronson and his band, it was one of the best moments of my fucking life. 'Animal Crackers'? She's so hilarious. I have this haircut because I wanted to look like her on the cover of Gather Me. And I think one of the most beautiful songs in the fucking world, especially as someone who plays music, is 'Look What They've Done To My Song Ma'. That's one of my favourites. I love her so much. But of all her album I couldn't take Photograph off. See, I could have chosen 13 Melanie records! I just had to pick one, so I picked Photograph. 'Cyclone' is such a big song for me. I found it at a yard sale, or maybe a Good Will, but I got it second-hand and it was already really worn out and that's where I started getting really deep and I would look for her everywhere. A lot of times she was on compilations or Greatest Hits compilations, and it would be so weird, because apart from 'Brand New Key', you didn't hear her on the radio, and you'd think, where was this a hit? I would look for her everywhere. And the thing is, you had to work so hard to get a jam back then. Now you can just Google it up, but that's what started me onto Melanie, my mom singing 'Brand New Key' to me and then finding the record and going from there. Every time, if I looked hard, I would find one of her records.