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Baker's Dozen

In Pursuit Of Restless Beauty: Max Richter's 13 Favourite LPs
Ed Power , July 26th, 2017 11:39

With the release of his deep dive Behind The Counter compilation, composer Max Richter talks to Ed Power about the albums that shaped his musical philosophies and encouraged him to escape the humdrum of suburbia


David Bowie – Hunky Dory 
There are probably half a dozen Bowie albums I could have chosen. But this is the first I got to know really well. I would have been maybe 12 or or 13. It struck a chord for all sorts personal reasons. I was growing up in Bedford which was a dump – I haven’t been back in a long time. There was a kind of transgressive, anarchic freedom in the structure of Hunky Dory. You can hear it in the lyrical content, in that polished, stylistic, free-form rambling quality. Here was my national anthem – something I could get behind. 

The songwriting is obviously incredible. It’s also very playful and goes everywhere. There is something attractive about music which plays with convention, breaks it down. Consider a song like 'Kooks'… "…and if the homework brings you down/Then we'll throw it on the fire/And take the car downtown". I heard that and thought, "yeah… that’s my guy."

Hunky Dory is a brilliant piece of work because it is simultaneously very approachable yet allows for a myriad of interpretations. I could obviously have picked Low or Heroes. But I was really quite young when I encountered Hunky Dory. The first record you get to know by an artist is often the one that stays with you. It’s like the front door of a house. You walk in and you explore from there. That is the function Hunky Dory had for me.