Baker's Dozen

Artists discuss the 13 records that shaped their lives

7. MagazineThe Correct Use Of Soap

Magazine were also one of my favourite bands and that they came from the same city as me was a marvel. It didn’t make any difference to what I thought of their music, but it was definitely a bonus.

As a teenager I was very critical at the state of guitar playing and the usual cliché-ridden approach that was either blues rock or prog rock. It didn’t mean anything to my generation. In John McGeoch, Magazine had a guitar player who was modern and relevant and interesting, while Howard Devoto was, and still is, one of my favourite ever lyricists.

There is a thought that the first couple of records for many bands are the ones that are considered seminal. As is the case with Wire, I think that when bands break away from their first seminal albums – in Magazine’s case that was Real Life and Secondhand Daylight – and they take somewhat of a left turn, it is really interesting. On The Correct Use Of Soap, Magazine did something original and almost ahead of themselves. There is a lot of space on The Correct Use Of Soap and I think it is better than the first two records. The space means that John McGeoch can really stretch out. Songs like ‘Philadelphia’ and ‘Because You’re Frightened’ are based on guitar-playing that is utterly unique. It is one of those records that you can say that if it came out now, it would still not only be fresh but ahead of the race.

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