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Baker's Dozen

Off The Airwaves, On The Stereo: Mark Radcliffe's Favourite LPs
Jude Rogers , September 18th, 2019 08:26

Radio DJ hero and now musician Mark Radcliffe tells Jude Rogers tales of being seduced by David Bowie and the gift of a cheese pie from Kate Bush in this week's Baker's Dozen, also featuring the likes of Bob Marley, Joy Division and Stevie Wonder


Joy Division – Unknown Pleasures
If Joy Division hadn't made this album, you'd imagined you'd have heard it inside your head in Britain at that time anyway. It is architectural, Unknown Pleasures. It reminds me of that time when all these concrete, brutalist, Design For Living places started appearing, these buildings which really felt like the future. When you were in Hulme, it was like you were in Blade Runner, but not in a good way – always forbidding and dystopian, and full of hidden places. Joy Division's music and Martin Hannett's production really encapsulated that. 

I still find this an amazing record. There's a directness to it, a starkness in the staccato approach of it. And all these little whirrs, clicks and crunches – there's lots of extraneous ambient noise. It sounds like it was recorded in a deserted semi-demolished office block at night. It's both enervating and off-putting at the same time.

What's forgotten, though, is that nobody outside this small world of music fans had really heard the record when it as released. For its fortieth anniversary, its cover image was projected onto the wall of Manchester Town Hall. How amazing is that? For the creativity that came out of those ordinary young men to become such a symbol of our city.