Baker's Dozen

Artists discuss the 13 records that shaped their lives


Neil Young – Le Noise

With Neil Young, it’s all down to his songs. At least half of his songs really turn me on. Even the ones that don’t as much are still really damn good. It’s about getting onto the right wavelength. On this record, when I first heard it, I thought: ‘Ah, this is the big Neil Young, Dead Man soundtrack thing’. I love that sound but initially I was only tuned in to the shallower aspects of it. But after a while I started to really get the poignancy and the emotional voice that cuts through and thought: ‘Oh! I really love these songs.”

I really respect what he’s trying to say. They’re beautiful songs. Sometimes Neil Young has a real ability to say something – to give a song an emotional stroke, to say ‘I love you’ or ‘I’m sorry’ or ‘I don’t understand’, to express a human frailty. These older guys – Leonard Cohen, Tom Waits, Neil Young – when they make a good record as an older guy, they say shit. They might rhyme ‘moon with spoon in june’ but they do it with such heaviness, charm and humour. They drop these one liners that are like ‘Woah! That can only come from a guy who has been around the block 50 times.’

Selected in other Baker’s Dozens: Lord Spikeheart, Tom Ravenscroft
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