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Baker's Dozen

Dawn To Dusk: Richard Dawson's Favourite Albums
Jennifer Lucy Allan , October 14th, 2019 08:45

Tales of the oddest record shop on Tyneside and much more as Richard Dawson guides Jennifer Lucy Allan through an unsurprisingly diverse selection of records in this week's Baker's Dozen

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Eliane Radigue - Songs of Milarepa
If I had a desert island disc, this would be it. It's one of the cornerstones of music for me. I got it when I was 20 or 21, working in this really old-fashioned record shop called Windows in Newcastle – an Upstairs Downstairs kind of record shop – where everyone wore shirts and ties. It was a hilarious place, all dark wood, and we took all of the CDs out of the box and filed them behind the counter by catalogue number. It was a hub for all of the oddballs of Newcastle. I guess that's most record shops but it was so extreme at Windows.

This Eliane Radigue CD had really mad cover art with these strange shapes and looked home-made – it was pretty obvious that whoever ran the label had designed the cover. It was a double CD, and it was in the sales for about £22.99, which at that time was a lot of money when you're on minimum wage. But I used to listen to everything in the shop, and I put that one on, and the first seven or eight minutes are just a drone. I'd never heard anything like it, and the whole shop is stopping and ridiculing it – people were getting really angry about it, saying 'switch this off!'. Then the Tibetan monk starts to speak, and his voice was just so loud, so overpowering. Robert Ashley's delivery – he's giggling at points, and snorting, it's so perfect. And I just had to have it, but I didn't really know why. 

When I took it home that night I lay down on the bed and listened to that single piece on the second disc all the way through. I just lay there. When it was over I had this feeling that I was completely altered, and that things wouldn't be the same again, and they weren't, from a listening point of view. It just changed everything. There's nothing else like it. 


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