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Baker's Dozen

Ultimate Sad Boys: Fred Macpherson's Baker's Dozen
Patrick Clarke , January 19th, 2022 09:42

Spector's Fred Macpherson takes Patrick Clarke on a rollercoaster Baker's Dozen, taking in the similarities between Frank Sinatra and Drake, a love-hate relationship with Nick Cave, his friendship with David Tibet and more


Andrew Lloyd Webber And Tim Rice - Jesus Christ Superstar

When I was growing up in the mid-to-late 90s from the stuff that was showing on TV music-wise, there was nothing that had drawn me in. There was a VHS, but recording something off the TV meant using a video plus code, and my dad would record four episodes of Eastenders or Brookside so we would just watch whatever films were on. It was through films like Oliver, or Bedknobs And Broomsticks, or Mary Poppins, that I really came to discover songs as entities, and I think Jesus Christ Superstar was the first one that I really got into enough to want to buy it on CD.

Andrew Lloyd Webber is now seen as a bit of a hack, but looking back there was a raw talent. He and Tim Rice manage to tell the stories of Jesus through Judas and Mary Magdalene in a way that still holds up as a legitimately good rock album. The film is great, quite conceptual in itself, the way it’s staged as if it’s a musical being put on in historic Israel, and the lyrics tell the story in quite an unrepetitive and interesting way. I still watch it and get shivers down my spine, it’s so preposterous. The vocal performances are pushed to the edge of people’s singing abilities and it’s recorded in quite a raw way. If it was made now everything would be cut up, layered, tuned, put in time. I saw Marc Almond posted recently about that his singing teacher telling him that if you can sing that you can sing anything. Suffice to say I don’t think he managed it and neither did I…

My father and brother were atheists, but my mum was a Christian and we both got into the evangelical church when I was a bit older. I went to a church primary school where there was the obligatory Australian guy with an acoustic guitar to show that ‘Hey, Jesus is cool.’ I remember asking them what they thought of Jesus Christ Superstar in the youth group and them being quite critical of it. The church is often a very bad advert for Christianity. Jesus Christ Superstar is quite a good one!