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Baker's Dozen

Versions 13.0: Shirley Manson's Favourite Albums
Elizabeth Aubrey , June 6th, 2018 10:19

In a satisfyingly forthright Baker's Dozen, Garbage singer Shirley Manson argues for boycotting un-gender-balanced festivals, explores Scottish sonic pride, discovering the finger-banging potential of listening to The Clash and says a life without misery is incomplete. All that plus enthusiastic recollections of music from Nick Cave, Patti Smith, The Stone Roses and more


Bob Marley & The Wailers - Exodus
A boy who was at school with me had been expelled for all kinds of misdeeds and mis-endeavours and whatnot – he had gone to what we called back then a remand school. He had finally served his time in remands and he had come home to a flat not far from my house – we were teenagers at the time – and he held a party to celebrate his freedom.  

He had a flatmate there who was older than the rest of the kids and he put on Bob Marley and the Wailers' Exodus. I was literally like: 'What the fuck is this?' I'd never heard reggae before. Every single song was brilliant – so hooky, so interesting lyrically. My mum bought me the record because I came home I was like: 'Mum, I just heard this amazing record' [laughs]. She got me that record – I can remember it distinctly arriving for my birthday, that beautiful gold sleeve with the red font.  

I just relate this with an amazing connection to freedom and discovery and to my beautiful mum loving me, loving on me, wanting me to be happy. Just an extraordinary potpourri of experience and a whole window opening to a different kind of music than I'd ever been exposed to before. 

It's one of these records I'll put on every Christmas, every party, every birthday as it just puts me in a great mood. He was such an extraordinary, incredible soul and it made for a beautiful, feel-good moment in my life. 

It also opened my mind up to other genres of music too. Up until that point I'd only ever heard pop music, soul music and rock music and here was a whole other genre from a whole different culture, a whole different way of thinking, a whole different way of living. I was just so taken by that and so curious about it. I've always tried to keep my mind open and try and be sure to explore other cultures – musical cultures – and experiences.  

I'm so grateful to have discovered that record because I feel like that was the gateway to exploring other kinds of music and remaining open to other expressions of music.