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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


Bjork - Debut
This album came out around the same time as The Future and the Maria Callas records. A few albums here from the early 1990s.

It's the same era, yeah. If anything, it demonstrates my eclectic nature, and also it illustrates an amazing period in music history. This album is still my favourite Bjork record, though I love a lot of things she does and I don't want to limit her to this one. It really illustrated the zeitgeist, especially if you were gay. There was a sophistication [to the gay scene] that wasn't being defined by the dance music scene – though maybe a little bit with the Pet Shop Boys. Bjork really brought the whole dance world, the clubbing world, up to this other more introspective level, and dealt with this strange life that everybody seemed to be living: on one hand it was really great and beautiful and passionate, but also very frightening, drug-induced and AIDS-related. She just became this kind of phantom for what everybody was really feeling.

There was a genuine exoticness to her.

Yeah, and it was always the most fun moment of the evening when her songs came on in clubs. And when I say gay, it wasn't like it was pandering to the gay community, it was more universal – it was great.