The Quietus - A new rock music and pop culture website

Baker's Dozen

Driving Home: Anika’s Favourite Music
Stephanie Phillips , July 21st, 2021 08:53

In this week’s Baker’s Dozen, Anika guides Stephanie Phillips through the records that made her, from the power of Grace Jones, Courtney Love and PJ Harvey, to the soothing effects of Goldie and Guru


Billie Holiday – The Golden Years

I heard this one when I was living in Bristol just after recording the first album. I was living in a tiny little room and I had my Vestax Handytrax, which is like a portable vinyl player, and about five records. I got it at this vintage shop in Bristol, but it was just one of those that I would listen to all the time. I still have it now, it's totally battered.

It was such a cool one to listen to because it's got different moods in it. I didn't really know so much about her at the time when I bought it. This one had all obscure stuff on it and recordings where there was more emotion and it wasn't so cleaned up as the other ones are when they're used for TV. Then I read the Julia Blackburn book about her and it was just crazy. The story is just insane.

It was really tragic because it just shows how much the industry exploited her. She led a very difficult life and was quite a lively person somehow. She's got such a story to tell and her music and her life is reflected in her music. I don't think she would be able to sing the way she does if she didn't have that life, it goes hand in hand. It was funny there's also a Maya Angelou book, she writes about how when she was a kid Billie Holiday came round to their house, and apparently was just swearing and drinking, and Maya Angelou's mum had to put her into a room and be like, ‘wait there’. It just sounds like a crazy story.