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Baker's Dozen

Feelgood Hits! Wilko Johnson's Favourite Albums
Zoë Howe , August 8th, 2018 10:10

Wilko Johnson speaks to Zoe Howe about surviving cancer and his 13 favourite records, from Bo Diddley and the blues to the Doors, Beatles and Rolling Stones


Neil Young - Everybody Knows This Is Nowhere
I first heard this record when I was a hippy in India. I was still in Goa at that point and there was this Dutch freak there and he'd recently been back in Amsterdam for some reason or other, and he'd brought with him a cassette-player, these were quite new things at the time, and one of the things he had was Everybody Knows This Is Nowhere, and oh man, whenever I hear it, I'm there, just sitting there watching the sun go down. This album is an absolute masterpiece, the songs are so good. Now, Neil Young, he's got that great voice, he's also a great guitar-player, his playing is as distinctive as his voice. There are tracks on this album like 'Down By The River' and 'Cowgirl In The Sand' where there are long stretches of improvisation between the two guitars, they're like trading off each other, and it's great, oh man... and also, this record, you can tell it was all done live in the studio, it's not all overdubs and stuff like that. It sounds so fresh still, fresh as paint. Every song on it is superb. When I was first listening to it in India, every song on it seemed to be talking to me – all of them. And it kicks off with 'Cinnamon Girl', which is such a great song. When the guitar solo comes in, it's all on one note, which is a thing I really appreciate.

Now I've got to think of another one. It's hard, isn't it? Oh, come on, you pranny! Ah, of course....