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Baker's Dozen

Screaming The Street Down: Niven Govinden's Favourite LPs
Paul Flynn , March 24th, 2021 08:28

It's all bangers as writer Niven Govinden speaks to Paul Flynn about favourite records from Pet Shop Boys, Aretha, Solange, Madonna, Daft Punk and much more in this week's Baker's Dozen. Photo by Dan Lepard


Aretha Franklin – Spirit In The Dark
I love Aretha to death but am particularly obsessed with the series of records she put out on Atlantic. I have a special affection for Spirit In The Dark, her most bluesy album, because it reminds me of the first time I went to New York, in 1995. One of the things I wanted to do with that trip was to buy every Aretha Franklin Atlantic Records album on vinyl. In my late teens I’d go to raves and was hearing a lot of house music, but I went to R&B nights, too, Gilles Peterson at Dingwalls and you’d hear Aretha’s Think there. That was my introduction. By 18, 19, I’d learned about Jerry Wexler and Arif Mardin turning her into a superstar at Atlantic. I got into I Never Loved A Man and Soul 69, then a little bit older I started piecing her story all together. That trip to New York was the last piece of the Aretha puzzle slotting into place. I spent most of my 20s in record shops, but those albums were really hard to find over here. If I wasn’t spending all my money on Vivienne Westwood clothes at the time, it’d be spent on books and records. The only one I couldn’t find in New York was Spirit In The Dark. I was walking down The Bowery on the last afternoon and came across a little junk shop with one box of records outside. It was full of tat, filthy and disgusting, but in this box was a copy of Spirit In The Dark for a dollar. I literally screamed the street down. It really is a beautiful record.