Baker's Dozen

Artists discuss the 13 records that shaped their lives

5. PrincePurple Rain

I love this album and my vinyl is absolutely knackered from DJing. This came out in 1984 and my brother was absolutely obsessed with Prince and had a massive collection of Prince stuff. Prince released a huge amount of records during the 80s and 90s and I couldn’t keep up with his output.

Of all of his work, Purple Rain is the album for me. Around the time, I would buy most music on tape and would only by the odd album on vinyl as it was more expensive. My friend had a bit more pocket money than me, so she used to buy more records. She bought Purple Rain and Paul Young’s No Parlez at the same time. We played Purple Rain to death. We sat in her room and would just put it on again and again and again.

It is such a great pop record. I think ‘Take Me With U’ is one of the best songs ever. I once did a cover of ‘The Beautiful Ones’ when I was in a band called Misty Dixon, which was probably the stupidest choice I could have made. It is really hard! I couldn’t work out the chords and the whole thing was really difficult. I did manage it in the end, with the help of some trickery.

The great thing about the age of digital music is listening to things on good headphones. When I downloaded Purple Rain recently I suddenly noticed the amazing production. It was like being able to be really indulgent about the record. There are so many little things I could now hear on good headphones and it made me realise just how clever he was. He was such a genius. He must have only been about 24 or 25 when he made Purple Rain.

There was also the thing about Purple Rain that it was all a little bit sexy. I remember wondering what ‘Darling Nikki’ was about. He always had a glint in his eye. I didn’t see the film until much later, as it was deemed a bit rude for me at the time. It’s not a very good film, it has to be said.

The only time I saw him live was about 15 years ago at Manchester Apollo. It was during that phase where he wouldn’t play any old songs. So, he just played his new album and it was good as he had some amazing session musicians. He did this weird thing where he got members of the audience on stage to dance. He was totally taking the piss out of everybody. It was making people squirm but it was also quite funny. Then, at the end, he did some of the old stuff and I was in tears.

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