Baker's Dozen

Artists discuss the 13 records that shaped their lives

Number 13 Baby: Frank Black’s Favourite Albums Revealed

Mic Wright takes down the details of Frank Black's Baker's Dozen, talking to him about old poetry and skewed authenticity

Frank Black is in his car. Over the next two-and-a-half hours, he will do pitch perfect impressions of Bruce Springsteen, Mick Jones and Robyn Hitchcock among others. Black’s in a good mood. A really good mood. And thankfully for us, a really talkative mood too: “It’s not the first time I’ve been asked to select records I like but, you know, I’ve been so busy lately trying to write songs that when my manager asked me to pick 13 albums, I was like: ‘Oh man!’”

Black’s been writing songs for his next project after the second Grand Duchy album, Let The People Speak, which he’s promoting today: “I have to decide to write a song and it takes me a while to get going. I’m writing a lot of songs right now. My family finds it a little difficult to communicate with me at these points. The next recording session is going to very important. I haven’t made demos like this in years! I’m trying to wow people right now. I’m trying right now to make a good record. I’m overdue.”

It soon becomes clear that however much of a pain in the arse the Quietus’ request might have seemed at first, Black definitely got into the task. He starts off by riffing on his relationship to his record collection – or rather, his lack of one: “When I first started with the Pixies in the late-80s, I was a college student. I didn’t have a lot of records. When you’re 19 years old, your record collection isn’t your biggest priority in the world. I just didn’t care about it. I did when I was 14 but at 19? No.”

“Do you know how many times I’ve bought Lust For Life? I’ve probably bought that 20 times. I’m just not a very organised person, but I’m a musician and I don’t mind buying other people’s records. Sure I fondled the records and read the liner notes when I was a teenager hanging out in my headphones but now, for me, it’s really just about the music, not these objects.” And on that note…

Click on the picture below for Frank Black’s 13 favourite albums

First Record

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