Baker's Dozen

Artists discuss the 13 records that shaped their lives

“You Can’t Escape Your Influence” – Mark Lanegan’s Favourite Albums

In one of our best Baker's Dozens yet, Mark Lanegan talks Julian Marszalek through the most played discs in his collection

“I’ve never tried to escape my influences,” growls Mark Lanegan in that lived-in, nicotine-stained baritone voice of his. “Ever since I started making records I’ve always used the opportunity to give out the things that I’ve enjoyed to other people. I remember early on I was always really pleased if I found a way to put something in [of my influences] whereas now it’s a lot more sub-conscious.”

He allows himself the first of many chuckles that punctuate the next hour or so. Contrary to his public image, the former Screaming Trees vocalist proves to be a genial host. Warm and funny, his eyes – which frequently peer over the rims of his black spectacles – sparkle with a light that was rarely in evidence during his more inebriated years though the large tattooed hands and fingers that pour our several cups of coffee still possess the power to unnerve and terrify.

Having spent the last seven years collaborating with a number of artists including former Afghan Whig Greg Dulli under the Gutter Twins banner, Soulsavers, UNKLE and three successful albums with erstwhile Belle and Sebastian chanteuse Isobel Campbell, Lanegan is back with Blues Funeral, his first solo release since Bubblegum. While the elements that made his previous albums so seductive remain firmly in place – the spectral Americana, the ability to create a sense of space and a mood of melancholy delivered in a voice that oozes experience, authority and heartache – Blues Funeral incorporates beats marshalled by sequencers with grand cinematic sweeps and a rock & roll sensibility that reveals an artist refusing to paint himself into a corner.

Mark Lanegan is meeting with The Quietus in a Pimlico hotel on a sunny December morning to discuss his thirteen favourite albums and as the conversation unfolds it becomes apparent how much these records have informed his new work. Unsurprisingly it’s Lanegan’s most far-reaching collection and certainly his most satisfying.

“With this new record, because I use a lot of the elements of my influences that I haven’t on previous record, I’ve made a record that’s something more like I would personally listen to than some of the records that I’ve made before,” he says. Judging by his choices, it’s hard to disagree. Click the picture of Lanegan below to look through his list.

First Record

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