Baker's Dozen

Artists discuss the 13 records that shaped their lives

3. PrincePurple Rain

I was 13 when this came out and even at that very early age I was aware this cat was unique. Jonathan Ross used to do this five-minute spot on Top Of The Pops about the US charts and one week it was about Prince around the time ‘When Doves Cry’ started to break. As soon as I heard it I was just completely bewitched and went straight down to Woolworths and bought the 7". I got the album as soon as it came out. It really challenged my step dad at the time ’cause he was a bit of an unsophisticated man. Not of the world, shall we say. And it made him think I was gay or something… and for me that was just perfect, almost like a shield of armour.  As a record it was so rude and even though I didn’t understand half the terminology – I didn’t know what grinding was! – it just felt sensual, forbidden and like nothing I’d ever heard before. There’s not a bad song on that record.

After the success of Purple Rain he really embraced psychedelia for the next album Around The World In A Day but I wasn’t aware at the time how freaky it was for an artist to do that, to just follow their muse. Prince has always had utter belief in himself and, my god, when you see him put on a show there’s no question why he has that belief. I saw him for the first time at Hop Farm in 2011 and it was almost like a religious experience. As a musician though I felt such conflicting emotions ’cause on the one hand it’s so inspiring but on the other what is the point of carrying on when this guy is in the world? This is all you need everybody!

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