Baker's Dozen

Artists discuss the 13 records that shaped their lives

6. Jeff WayneWar Of The Worlds

For me this is a very important album. I know it is everything that punk went against but I can’t help it. I grew up on prog. My dad was a prog rocker and into jazz. I would pretend I was into the Stooges, which I wasn’t. I’d pretend I was into the Sex Pistols, which I wasn’t either. But I did like Lou Reed. I can understand the desire to situate yourself in a slightly cooler musical environment than you are actually in.

But at the time I didn’t really distinguish between musical genres. So Lou Reed and Jeff Wayne were equals in my mind. Now it is very cool to get into the punk thing, or to think about the poetry or stripped down nature of Lou Reed, against the inordinate curlicues of the prog rock genre – which I do think is stupid as well. But I love it.

And I know a lot it sounds over the top, but musically it was quite amazing. ‘Forever’ is a brilliant track, ‘Thunder Child’ is great – the production is really interesting, the synths are incredible.

There is a nostalgic thing. It is the time in my life when I was uncritical and I was interested in going on a musical journey into science fiction with Jeff Wayne. So for me it is like watching a sci-fi film, or Christopher Lee in Dracula.

The way I was listening to that album, it felt like a real journey into the story. You get caught up in the narrative. I’ve always wanted to make a concept album. I could only do it now as a parody, but I do like the reach of those LPs and the slight hubris of those projects especially in the 70s. I find them funny, but I can’t deny the power of some of Jeff Wayne’s music.

Selected in other Baker’s Dozens: British Sea Power, Mark Morriss
PreviousNext Record

The Quietus Digest

Sign up for our free Friday email newsletter.

Support The Quietus

Our journalism is funded by our readers. Become a subscriber today to help champion our writing, plus enjoy bonus essays, podcasts, playlists and music downloads.

Support & Subscribe Today