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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


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.