Baker's Dozen

Artists discuss the 13 records that shaped their lives

8. Terence Trent D’ArbyNeither Fish Nor Flesh

This is the perfect indulgence album because it’s got the two great things that a folly needs at its core: ambitions of greatness and self-defeating indulgence. It starts in that "this a brilliant album" way with a little spoken word intro coming out of white noise – how many pretentious albums start like? You get beyond that though and it’s a fucking brilliant record and a treat all the way down to the end. When this album came out reviewers either didn’t get past the first ten minutes or they didn’t forgive him for them. But it’s all on there: soul, some seriously funky songs and even a proto-White Stripes song with just guitar and drums. It’s so ahead of its time that record, it really is, but the world wasn’t ready for it. It’s got that Stevie Wonder thing where he’s in control, he plays most of the instruments on it and then there’s that voice on top. He was cocky and he was confident and I always loved that about him, it was like he didn’t care if he failed. And he did fail with this record ’cause it tanked and he got destroyed by the press. What people failed realise though was that this guy wasn’t some chancer indulging himself, he had a real vision and that’s important.

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