Baker's Dozen

Artists discuss the 13 records that shaped their lives

3. The ByrdsThe Original Singles 1965-1967 Volume 1

I think this is the first Byrds album I owned. I bought it because it had all the singles on it. When I was a kid I didn’t have a lot of money so I’d probably go and buy a band’s greatest hits album, just to give a taste of the band – I love singles and greatest hits albums.

I love this record because every time I hear it, it’s joyous, it’s transcendental and it makes my spirit soar. Whenever the Beatles and Byrds released 45s, they were all in mono because they were more powerful in terms of mixes. I watched repeats of Ready Steady Go! in the mid-’80s and was entranced by performances of ‘Mr Tambourine Man’, and also when The Beatles covered it too. The Byrds helped us dream away the greyness and bleakness of Glasgow and the repressiveness of Thatcherist Britain.

The Byrds are better than The Beatles for me. I’m more of a Stones guy myself, but The Byrds just portrayed this image of beautiful Californian transcendent sound. That run between ’65 and ’67 in this compilation of A-sides and B-sides is unbeatable. I almost don’t want to use this word, but it’s a perfect record and basically formed the foundation of Primal Scream.

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