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Baker's Dozen

A Belly Full: Tanya Donelly's Favourite Albums
Emily Mackay , May 2nd, 2018 08:12

As Belly release their first album in over two decades, Tanya Donelly guides Emily Mackay through 13 favourite albums, from Leonard Cohen to The Cocteau Twins, Kate Bush to Iggy Pop, The Bunnymen, Mary Margaret O'Hara and more


The Beatles – Abbey Road
I wanted to make sure that I picked records that I still actively listen to, and Abbey Road still to this day I listen to often. It's my kids' favourite Beatles record, so it's the most played Beatles album in our house, and it's the first album that I remember at all from childhood, the first music that I actively remember listening to. I actually thought it was a kids' album. When my parents played it, I thought they were playing it for me. Probably 'Maxwell's Silver Hammer' is what drove me into that ... but if you listen to it there's sort of a running narrative, especially the second side, where it just felt like, oh, this is a story, it's a fairytale. And I have to figure out what the story is. What's the narrative. What's the beginning, what's the end, what's the point. To this day whenever I listen to it, that's where I go. It feels like a collection of the Grimm brothers' stories that you have to pick apart and figure out – "What am I supposed to be hearing and learning here?" It's all very groggy in my memory, but I remember feeling like it was about – these aren't the words that I used in my three-year-old brain at the time – but about being saved, or saving – redemption. Who's the good guy, who's the bad guy? That always has been an interest of mine. I didn't really focus on the Beatles again until I was maybe 14, and Kristin and I started listening to them pretty much exclusively. That was how we both learned guitar by playing Beatles songs. And then we went straight from learning Beatles songs to writing our own. I definitely went through my, "Revolver's the best album. No, the White Album" phase. I'm past the point of trying to pick a favourite Beatles album, so I just chose the one that sticks to the wall the most for me.