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Baker's Dozen

Thirteen Convulsions: Geordie Greep's Favourite Albums
Cal Cashin , July 20th, 2022 13:19

Black Midi frontman Geordie Greep takes Cal Cashin through the thirteen albums that have gripped him the most, from the majesty of Bach to the mania of Léo Ferré


Tom Waits – Small Change

Obviously I like the later, more outwardly experimental stuff, Rain Dogs and Swordfishtrombones, but this is his most powerful album I think. It’s the first time he’s doing his trademark vocal style, and his voice is really incongruous with the music in a really beautiful way here. It’s really passionate, and pure, and every song is really brilliant.

This is one album where I do listen to and love the lyrics, they’re genius. ‘Step Right Up’, is a track about advertising, that’s just hilarious, really well done, and infinitely quotable. “It gives you an erection/It wins the elections”, I love that kind of perversion. Sometimes. ‘Tom Traubert’s Blues’, the ‘Waltzing Matilda’ one, has a really beautiful last verse, too: “Goodnight to the street sweepers / the night watchman flame keepers”.

Small Change also has ‘The Piano Has Been Drinking’, which is a very funny song, and the ballads are just great, especially the last track ‘I Can’t Wait To Get Off Work (and See My Baby On Montgomery Avenue)’. It’s such a beautiful album, with great arrangements. It’s completely intimate, minimal, and straight-to-it raw.