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Baker's Dozen

Music Is My Saviour: Melanie C's Favourite Albums
Emma Garland , September 30th, 2020 09:07

Melanie C guides Emma Garland through 13 favourite records in Bakers' Dozen stories from being blessed by Keith from the Prodigy to stage invading a Blur gig, with love for Madonna, Oasis, Fiona Apple and much more along the way


Neneh Cherry – Raw Like Sushi
I’ve always been a bit of a frustrated rapper. When Geri [Halliwell] left the Spice Girls and I had to do that rappy talky bit in 'Wannabe' I realised it was not my destiny to ever rap in public. I know I can’t pull it off! But when Raw Like Sushi came out I went through a phase where I thought I was Neneh Cherry. I had the dungarees, I had the big Reebok high tops, I had the dollar sign [necklace] – I even remember cutting up t-shirts to make the boxing wraps she wears on the front of the album. I don’t think anyone was really dressing like that where I came from, but I didn’t care. Raw Like Sushi is such a journey. ‘Buffalo Stance’ is so intriguing and powerful, it took me into this world that I wasn’t in. Then she takes you into this different, ethereal place with ‘Man Child’. There’s so much movement on this album. I used to have a bright yellow Sony Sports Walkman. It was industrial. You could chuck it off a high-rise building and it would still survive. That’s what this album reminds me of. That, and getting the bus to dance class.

So many of my own favourite albums are ones I heard in my teens and early 20s. Do you feel like these albums made such a lasting impression on you because you came to them at such a formative time?

Absolutely. There’s been times as an adult, especially being a mum, where the time for music and sitting and listening to a new album is just non-existent. There’s so much to discover in your teens and 20s – music! Going out for the first time! Going to gigs with your mates for the first time! One friend that springs to mind now – we still see each other when we can, but she lives west somewhere – was such a massive fan of The Doors. She was obsessed with Jim Morrison, went to Paris to see his grave, and I remember when someone’s parents were out and we’d all go round to the house and drink cider and listen to The Doors.