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Baker's Dozen

Shields Against The World: Mat Osman's Baker's Dozen
Luke Turner , May 10th, 2023 08:40

From growing up on The Carpenters to reconnecting with music in his "wilderness years" Suede bassist turned novelist Mat Osman takes Luke Turner through his Baker's Dozen of favourite recordings


Patti Smith – ‘Free Money’

It's just such a rush. It’s rare to hear a singer get taken over by the song but Patti Smith totally does. It's a very simple song about her mother being ill and wanting to have enough money to look after her. It’s really simple, she wants free money, she wants to win the lottery, but she just gets inhabited by the song. She starts off with this beautiful croon, quite slow, and then about halfway through everything starts strobing and she starts free associating over the top. She's absolutely desperate and poor but at the same time there's an exultation at all the things that she's going to do when she gets this money. It's very rare to hear the banks break but this is four minutes of pure emotion. There's no filter, there's not a lot of effects on it or anything like that, it’s straight from the four of them to you. It’s an absolute gift, a drug. It’s what you want to do with music, you want to change the way people feel through making noises. It's such a strange thing to want to do with your life but that record does it better than virtually any for me. I know who they are at that moment when it's playing.