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Baker's Dozen

Harmonic Worlds: Colin Newman's 13 Favourite Albums
Ben Graham , July 17th, 2018 10:09

The Immersion, Wire and Githead founder member chooses a list that goes from minimalism to maximalism, via Steve Reich, LFO and Todd Rundgren, and tells Ben Graham how Britpop was rubbish but The Beatles have never sounded better


Spirit - Clear
They were in my opinion one of the best West Coast bands from the 70s. I got this album around 1970; I can't remember what year it came out, 68 or 69, something like that. It's got one or two unbelievable tracks on it: 'Ice' and the title track. Both are amazing instrumental pieces which are really like nothing I'd ever heard before. They're jazzy but they have a flavour, a rhythm of something else. Some of the songs are okay and some of the songs are a bit silly. I had a little square Dansette and a tiny room when I was a kid and the room was twice the size of the bed, and I used to lie on my bed with the speaker next to my ear. And I remember it being very hot and listening to that album and feeling like the music had captured the heat in a way that no other music that I'd heard actually did. So I always associate it with heat. And I always figure that if somebody knows about Spirit then they probably know quite a lot about music. And the guy who produced it is the guy who later went on to produce Carole King, and he was interviewed for the NME. At the time Carole King was regarded as being super unhip, and the journalist said oh, you produced the Spirit album; they were fantastic. And the guy said oh, I didn't really understand the music, which I thought was stupidly disingenuous, because actually he brought a really interesting touch to it.

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