Baker's Dozen

Artists discuss the 13 records that shaped their lives

5. Leonard CohenThe Best Of Leonard Cohen

This is drawn from, I think, his first four albums. I was looking at the extended list for this feature and there was a Dylan album there, Astral Weeks was there, a Neil Young album, but I couldn’t throw them all off; I had to keep someone from that gang there and if I think which one my favourite is then it probably is Lenny.

I think my older brother had The Songs Of Leonard Cohen – I was very familiar with that when I was young and consequently I ended up with this copy of Best Of… somewhere down the line. It’s a great collection, it really is. From a songwriting perspective it’s so strong and I actually think that he’s the best songwriter when it comes down to it. He’s written some amazing stuff over the years and this is a great showcase of all his early material and a very, very enjoyable album. I don’t find him depressing at all but then again, given the music that I make, you probably won’t be surprised to hear me say that!

Musical influences can be from all sorts of places and the effect that Leonard Cohen has had on me has been more lyrical. The quality of his lyrics have been a huge influence on me and that’s a very large part of what I work on when I make music. The lyrics are very important to me; I’m not one of those musicians in the band who go, "Oh, I don’t what he’s singing about." For me, these are pivotal things and he’s the dude, really.

Selected in other Baker’s Dozens: Susanna, Emilíana Torrini, Echo & The Bunnymen
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