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Baker's Dozen

A Feeling Called Love: Jarvis Cocker's Favourite Albums
Luke Turner , October 30th, 2019 12:05

As he releases a compilation of music from his 6 Music Sunday Service programme, Jarvis Cocker guides Luke Turner through 13 favourite albums and tells stories of Sheffield clubbing in the 80s, getting bollocked by the BBC for mentioning Thatcher, and why you should never look for messages in musical presents from an ex


B52s - B52s
'Rock Lobster' was the first song I heard from it, I think from John Peel. I didn't listen to the record for a long time because the club I went to in Sheffield, an alternative indie club called The Limit, always played either 'Rock Lobster' or 'Planet Claire' every single night for three years that I went there. You would hear that, 'Bela Lugosi's Dead' by Bauhaus, 'Shack Up' by A Certain Ratio, 'She Sells Sanctuary' by The Cult, 'This Is The Day' by The The... nowadays the guy could have been a Spotify playlist, he hardly ever deviated and God knows why he turned up and put them on by hand, but he did. That was the only place to go if you were considered a bit of a weirdo.

What was your relationship to the other Sheffield bands of the era? People like Cabaret Voltaire, did you know them?

The Cabs were a bit older so they seemed too cool. It's weird when I think of it now because we went to a pub called the Hallamshire Hotel on West Street, and Cabaret Voltaire went to a pub called The Beehive, which was 40 yards away on the same side of the road, but it seemed really distant and they seemed really sophisticated, which is crazy when you think about it. The first time I spoke to Stephen Mallinder from Cabaret Voltaire was in 2004 when I went to play some records in Perth and he was living out there because he'd married someone who owned a sheep farm, and there he was also playing records in a bar in Perth. We got to hang out for a bit. We'd probably thought they were really serious, wearing long overcoats and would only talk about William Burroughs novels, but he was really friendly.
 So from the club I know every single note of both those songs and you just think 'I've heard them enough I don't need to again'. But then my current girlfriend, when we first got together, she played another track off it which I'd forgotten, which is 'Dance This Mess Around'. Some of the songs veer into novelty, but the female voices are fantastic, especially in that song, she really screams her head off at certain points and it's quite emotional. They're a great band to dance to. With some of these albums I've chosen it's things that I've been listening to while we've been getting the Jarv Is thing together and some are a bit inspirational in a way. I like the sound of the B52s because it's quite simple, I think the guy only had about three strings on his guitar. I like it when people make a lot about not too much material, they find a recognisable sound. It probably was an influence on early Pulp, having that organ sound - we got that Farfisa organ that Candida played - we got that because when Pulp did a John Peel session in 1981, with the money we got paid we bought some equipment and that was part of it.