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Baker's Dozen

Composites For A Generation: James Fry's Baker's Dozen
John Quin , September 14th, 2022 08:10

From the hits of Hot Chocolate and the trashy joys of Sigue Sigue Sputnik to the 'death jazz' of Miles Davis and the angst of Portishead, James Fry takes us through his life in thirteen albums


LCD Soundsystem – LCD Soundsystem

They’re not really a band, are they? They’re a record shop! And I mean that as a compliment. I love a band – Earl Brutus were like this, I have to say – who have clear influences. You know where they are coming from. It was clear we liked Kraftwerk and Queen and the Sex Pistols and The Fall!

LCD Soundsystem, I think they’re genius. I think they’ve probably got the greatest drummer in the world. And I really rate James Murphy. I like where he’s coming from, it feels like a similar place to me. He covers it all, The Fire Engines, you name it, all for our benefit. I mean we started with a compilation, Hot Chocolate, and we’ve almost ended with one. I like his shamelessness; he just helps himself. There’s that story, when Murphy first met Bowie, and he’s confessing to stealing a few of his ideas, and Bowie goes “you can’t steal from a thief”.

They’re the ultimate 21st century band in a way. They’re good for older people where the music list just gets longer, people like us, people our age. But they’re also perfect for youth in the sense that you don’t have to take it all, just bits of it. And they are very, very modern in that respect. There’s a term in that Nik Cohn book… ‘composite for a generation.’ He’s talking about Eddie Cochran I think. He says he’s got everything: quiff, motorbike, leathers, good looks, troublemaker at school. Composite for a generation. That’s a great way to describe LCD. That’s a great title for a Greatest Hits album.

You know ‘I’m Not in Love’ by 10cc? Well, LCD Soundsystem came on stage to the track when they played Alexandra Palace. Then a week later I got on a bus in Kilburn going to Cricklewood and I saw Graham Gouldman from 10cc. I said – “Graham! You know I’ve just seen LCD Soundsystem who name checked you and came on to one of your tracks.” And Graham looked at me like I was a psycho and asked, “What’s an LCD Soundsystem?”