Baker's Dozen

Artists discuss the 13 records that shaped their lives

7. Lou ReedTransformer

I think it’s just one of the best albums. I heard that he wasn’t a nice person in real life. It doesn’t make sense! That thing that horrific people can be brilliant artists is something that you don’t want to hear. So anyway, this album I discovered quite late. I was already 36 and I was recording with Nigel Godrich on the Air album [Talkie Walkie] and I knew the songs from Transformer but I didn’t know they were all from the same album. It was one of those things where you have a revelation just of the genius of one record. Also being a short album, every song is a treasure – a diamond! It’s so, I dunno, it’s the one of the most beautiful albums.

I’m not very good talking musically. With Sebastian at the start I had to have images to discuss what I wanted. It was a way to give the right adjectives to describe the mood I wanted. I wish I could be more technical. I’d love to be more technical. It’s like with films – I still don’t know how to read a script, I just respond in a very spontaneous way. With music it’s the same thing – I don’t know why a song strikes me. I don’t know why I respond or don’t respond well to something. It’s just instinct. I wish I could be more specific about Transformer because I’m sure there’s more to say.

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