Baker's Dozen

Artists discuss the 13 records that shaped their lives

There’s A Song Playing: Brett Anderson’s Favourite 13 Albums

From The Fall to Kate Bush, Bjork to Eno and Bowie to Midlake, Brett Anderson guides Luke Turner through his favourite 13 albums

Brett Anderson’s childhood home, in commuter belt England in the late 70s and early 80s, was, he tells us, a musical battleground. While he and his sister were fans of pop, his taxi driver father was a classical music obsessive. "We weren’t allowed to listen to music on my dad’s stereo, that was only for classical music," Anderson explains. "We had this crappy little Boots record player upstairs and we’d sit there listening to pop songs while my dad was blasting Liszt really loud. If you stood in the middle of Liszt and the Sex Pistols." Anderson Snr apparently used to find his son’s burgeoning musical tastes rather amusing. "He was constantly taking the piss out of The Smiths, doing impressions of Morrissey and singing comedy words to ‘There Is A Light That Never Goes Out’," Anderson remembers, adding: "He was always taking the piss out of my bands. I remember proudly taking home this demo we’d made and he was just stood there laughing."

Yet this ideological division between the two stereos seems to have been a good natured one, even if it was intense. "I hated classical music. There was something quite aggressive about my dad’s obsession with classical music that made you want to reject it and find fault in it," Anderson says. "I was constantly arguing with him about whether pop music was better than classical music, these quite personal, violent intellectual jousting tournaments of me proving that ‘Satisfaction’ was better than Beethoven’s Ninth. It went on for years, right up until he died. At Christmas you know when you’re at your parents again because you become 13 again, you’re in short trousers and you fall into the same patterns."

Nevertheless, Brett credits his father with handing on an obsessive appreciation of music that can be heard in the attitude of both Suede and Brett’s solo albums, the latest of which, Black Rainbows, has just been released. "I definitely inherited my obsessions. He was a different level, my dad. He used to go Liszt’s birthplace every year to get soil and bring it back like it was this holy relic. He would go in this Morris Traveller that was tenth hand from 1962. It was so old that the woodwork used to grow mushrooms in the autumn, and whenever it got to 55 mph it’d rattle, and it had holes in the floor that you could see the motorway through."

Click the image of Brett below to see his run-down of 13 favourite albums of all time.

First Record

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