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Baker's Dozen

Want 13: Rufus Wainwright's Favourite Music
Barnaby Smith , March 11th, 2020 13:32

Ahead of the release of his new album Rufus Wainwright guides Barnaby Smith through his favourite music, from Leonard Cohen to Eurythmics and his abiding love of opera


Kate & Anna McGarrigle - Dancer With Bruised Knees
I'm especially partial to this one because it has the song 'First Born', which is actually not about me specifically, it's about all first-born sons. But nonetheless, I identify it as my kind of jewel to wear – I share that position with Jesus and Moses, there are a few of us. And it's funny: we did the Christmas shows recently in London and Sophie Ellis-Bextor sang that song, and as I was doing back-up, I was once again reminded of how lucky I was to receive such attention, care and unabashed love from my mother. Without that song, and that album, I don't think I'd be who I am today as an artist.

The album was produced by Joe Boyd, who worked on a few of your mother's records. Has he been an important figure in your life?

Oh yeah – he was at the Christmas shows. Joe Boyd is a member of our family really, and when my mother was dying from cancer in Montreal he flew over and slept on the couch outside of her bedroom. And I grew up with him giving me tips on different zither players and stuff.