Baker's Dozen

Artists discuss the 13 records that shaped their lives

2. The FamilyThe Family

I love Prince but have chosen something by one of his protégé bands, The Family. I think this a really amazing album. I love that Prince gave himself different names for the writing credits. I chose this, as opposed to a Prince album, because at the time it was an album that made me feel as though I’d tapped into something really, really secret and special. You know when you are younger and you like the fact that no one else will know about an album? I felt like that about The Family – no one else knew about it, but I did.

Actually, I had that album too. We are probably the only two people in the North West of England to own that record. I remember that era as being a particularly prodigious time for Prince in terms of song output.

Yes. I imagine he has still got thousands of songs that he has never released. For him, writing a song must be like letting out a fart – ‘pfft’ there’s another song. I’ve met him twice and he was really lovely. I met him first when we were in Rio doing the ‘Rock In Rio’ festival and the last time I met him was in Manchester Airport.

I’m picturing you both queuing up to pay in Duty Free.

It was in a lounge, we weren’t queuing up in Duty Free to buy our 200 Benson and Hedges! He’s a nice guy – once you start talking to him he seems pretty down-to-earth.

Obviously, The Family album contains ‘Nothing Compares 2 U’, but there are so many songs on that album that have their own unique personalities. I think it’s a really cheeky album and Prince adopting a different persona was such a clever thing to do at that time – before anyone else. Since then, people like Beyoncé have done it with her Sasha Fierce character. Prince, as with so much at that time, was a leader in that concept.

Which version of ‘Nothing Compares 2 U’ do you prefer?

I prefer The Family’s version. I love Sinead’s version but the original version is incredible. Sadly, I don’t know where my copy of the album is anymore.

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