Baker's Dozen

Artists discuss the 13 records that shaped their lives

The Flaming Lips’ Wayne Coyne Chooses His 13 Favourite Albums

Wayne Coyne tells Stewart Smith about his 13 favourite albums, including The Beatles, Led Zeppelin, Yo La Tengo, Miles Davis... and the Wizard Of Oz soundtrack

For all their wide-eyed psychedelic splendour, there’s a part of the Flaming Lips that will forever be a mid-western teenage miscreant. Growing up in 1970s Oklahoma, Wayne Coyne and his brothers passed the time with violent American football games, calling themselves The Fearless Freaks. The intoxicant of choice was pot, the soundtrack classic rock: The Who, Led Zeppelin, Pink Floyd. The influence of these bands is all over Flaming Lips’ music, from Steven Drozd’s huge, Bonham-esque drum sound, to the Floyd referencing pulse beat of ‘The Observer’ from The Soft Bulletin. Now 50, Coyne still loves those records, and makes no apologies for including them in his Baker’s Dozen. "Some of this music is so popular, it’s kind of redundant for me to say it’s great," he tells The Quietus, "but it is great, it’s wonderful music that our lives wouldn’t be as good without".

Coyne’s more unusual choices give a good indication of where the Flaming Lips are at right now, as they reach for what he calls "psychic energy", the transcendent power which comes from surrendering themselves to the music. His enthusiasm for heavy, drugged-out jams (Boris, Tobacco) and inventive production techniques (Miles Davis, LCD Soundsystem), therefore, makes perfect sense in the light of 2009’s Embryonic and this year’s Gummy Song Skull EP.

Other choices reflect the band’s more vulnerable, emotionally raw side, while also suggesting where the inspiration for their fantastic, Disney-on-acid live show comes from. He also explains how listening to Stravinksy is like going to his favourite restaurant, and why he loves it when the weirdos get to party. Hit the Flaming Lips image below to begin the Baker’s Dozen, and remember that the band play their classic The Soft Bulletin on July 1st at Alexandra Palace, for more information and tickets go here.

First Record

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