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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


Eurythmics - Sweet Dreams
This record was the precursor to my operatic downfall when I was 13. Before opera there was Annie Lennox - she inhabited that realm of drama and beauty and the ephemeral. So I was obsessed with that record and I think also, even though at the time I wasn't necessarily aware of my sexuality, it definitely spoke to this self-discovery that was bound to happen, regarding the tenuous nature of gender. That album cover with her looking like a man was just so life-changing – I imagine a bit like when people saw Bowie's record covers. For me, Annie Lennox in that macho pose made so much sense without me knowing what the hell it meant.