Baker's Dozen

Artists discuss the 13 records that shaped their lives

Nearly Perfect But Not Quite: Lloyd Cole’s Favourite Albums

The former Commotions man rifles through his record collection to pick his top 13 records

The years have been kind to Lloyd Cole. Meeting him on a spring afternoon in an Aldwych pub in London, it strikes me that if it wasn’t for the silver fox grey hair, you would be forgiven for thinking we were back in 1984 when The Commotions’ debut Rattlesnakes was released.

For anyone that remembers the much-missed institution of Top Of The Pops in the 80s, Lloyd Cole And The Commotions were one of those bands that stuck in the memory. The years have passed, Lloyd Cole went solo in 1989 and has continued to make music to critical acclaim.

Quietly spoken, self-deprecating and still amazed that my female friends of a certain age were rather excited that I was interviewing him, Cole knows his musical nuts and bolts. A fan first and foremost, his musical knowledge and love is clear from the start. His queries around how to use Dropbox and iTunes I’m convinced are just to start polite conversation: “Maybe I should start naming my tracks, instead of having them by date, what do you think? Is there anyway I can stop it uploading everything… every single time”. After having an embarrassing long ten second fan girl moment, I manage to mumble a reply. I hope it’s the right one.

His influences are mainly 70s and range from punk to glam to prog rock. We bond over the genius of Prince and his love for The Walkmen [as an aside: if by chance The Walkmen find themselves reading this, please get in touch: Mr Cole would like to work with you. Very soon]. Pulling in technical knowledge combined with passion, it is an hour-long master class in music. When I ask him what connects these 13 albums his response is: “Nothing really, except that there is virtually no ‘noodling’ in any of them.”

Lloyd Cole’s new album Standards is out on June 24 via Tapete. Click on his picture below to begin scrolling his noodle-free choices

First 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