The Quietus - A new rock music and pop culture website

Baker's Dozen

Call The Police! - Terry Bickers' Favourite Albums
Julian Marszalek , September 6th, 2017 15:25

One of 80s indie's defining guitarists talks us through his 13 albums – and risks the ire of purists everywhere by insisting that sometimes compilations are best


U2 - Boy
I would say that, probably as a guitarist, they have had the most direct influence on me. They were the band that I probably saw live more than any of the other groups mentioned on this list. I bought this album when it first came out and I listened to it on headphones and I thought it was amazing, and I've been a fan ever since. The album has a really strong atmosphere, like the Bunnymen but different; this has a more positive feel to it. I also feel that this album also has an unusual sort of production and although it's different in mood, you could really compare Boy to Unknown Pleasures in terms of the individuality of Steve Lillywhite's sound production. It doesn't sound like anything else.

Looking back, I definitely listened to this album before I purchased any guitar effects. I borrowed my stepdad's echo unit because he was kind of involved in the music industry and I was completely taken by it. I didn't quite know how U2 got that sound but then I put two and two together. Echo has always been a feature of what I do on the guitar and I hope that I haven't been too derivative of The Edge, but it's something that I've always played around with. As a novice guitarist, when I played without echo it all sounded a bit ropey but when I played with it, it all seemed to blend nicely.

As a musician, you have your tools and over time, you learn how to get the best out of them. On the face of it, you're just turning on a box but to make a great part then you've got to know how to use those tools well. It's about knowing how to get the best out of your equipment and The Edge is such a master of that.