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Baker's Dozen

Is This Music? Norman Blake's Favourite Albums
Julian Marszalek , July 28th, 2021 13:06

From the overlooked influence of Throbbing Gristle to an enduring love of The Velvet Underground, via Broadcast, The Rolling Stones and more, Teenage Fanclub's Norman Blake picks the thirteen records that shaped him


The Rolling Stones – Exile On Main St.

I listen to this all the time. I think it’s such an incredible album. I was talking earlier about being the sum of your influences, and when we started the band we were listening to a lot of Sonic Youth and ‘Clear Spot’ and Big Star, and we were also listening to Exile On Main Street a lot. It’s the looseness that we really liked.

And there are so many songs and so many ideas. The way we played guitars was heavily influenced by Mick Taylor and Keith Richards’ playing on this. There’s no way we were near as proficient as them as players but tonally – and the shapes and the chords and Keith’s got his open G tuning, which I didn’t learn until much later – we loved the sound of it and the looseness; it’s really slack but it’s really groovy. They’re really on form in terms of the playing.

It’s funny – I’ve heard a load of bootlegs from around this period which are quite sloppy and you hear Charlie Watts drums go all over the place but they always seem to pull it together and rescue him. But there’s so much music on this album and it opened me up to so many different artists like Slim Harpo who did the original version of ‘Shake Your Hips’. It’s a brilliant record.