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Baker's Dozen

A Tower Of Songs: Sylvie Simmons' Favourite Music
Manu Ekanayake , August 13th, 2020 09:48

Like a gamekeeper turned poacher, rock journalist Sylvie Simmons has a new album of her own music out. Here she guides Manu Ekanayake through 13 lifelong inspirations, from Leonard Cohen to Johnny Cash, Miles Davis and Black Sabbath


Various Artists – The Rock Machine Turns You On
Now one I remember this because it was the price of a single. At that time, I used to buy singles because that's what I could afford from my little odd jobs. So I bought this because it was a whole album. And because I'd recognised the name Bob Dylan, my big brother had some of his stuff. This was almost like the tablets of Moses, as it introduced me to all of these great American bands I didn’t even know existed and they were brilliant, everybody kept coming along in this succession of brilliance. So suddenly there was a whole bunch of American music that I immediately wanted to seek out. I mean I came across Leonard Cohen on that Rock Machine album; on side one. Dylan started off with ‘I'll Be Your Baby Tonight’ and then there’s 'Sisters Of Mercy'. It was almost like I'd been picked up off the bed. I mean it kind of pinned me against the wall. It was something about it – there was a sense of intimacy and authority. Strange mix, right? But nonetheless it sounded like this guy knew something and he had come to me, personally, to tell me about it.