Baker's Dozen

Artists discuss the 13 records that shaped their lives

11. Leonard CohenThe Best Of Leonard Cohen

I stand by ‘Suzanne’ as having the best lyric and melody of all time – it’s unbelievable, the guy’s a genius. All of the songs on the album are standout tracks. Bowie got me looking out the window and imagining the world of Ziggy Stardust, but what Cohen does is he turns me into him. I’d seen Bird On The Wire in a little cinema when I was 14, and went out and bought all his albums. It’s kind of like I’m with Suzanne or whoever. I don’t really like story-telling songs, but his lyrics are so simple and poetic; religious and laconic. It’s genius the way he writes lyrics, spinning things on their head, and by the fourth line you have to read it again and again. He flips it round – it’s what I do a lot.

I always thought of him as the King of Hearts – Lou would be the King of Spades, the Velvets would be the Clubs, Bowie would be the Queen of Diamonds and Leonard would be the Hearts.

Selected in other Baker’s Dozens: Susanna, Mick Harvey, Emilíana Torrini
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