Baker's Dozen

Artists discuss the 13 records that shaped their lives

13. Phil SpectorEchoes Of The Sixties

There was a garage band called Thee Milkshakes and they had a section of their set where the girls would come on and they would do backing vocals. I think they were called the Girl Moaners at first and then they were called Thee Headcoatees. They were very into the girl group thing. To suddenly discover that Phil Spector had this 360 sound, that these hits came out of that stable and that they’re all linked in that way…

I do think this music has an irrepressible joyfulness about it that just makes you want to get up and dance. Me and my mate Kate would make up little dance routines to the songs and it was just really joyous. I wasn’t really necessarily someone who delved back into the past very much. It was unusual for me to go and listen to something that was that old and really rave on about it, but it actually felt really new. It’s got girls singing a lot of it, which I loved it, and there’s quite a lot of quite quirky vocals. When you actually listen to some of those lines, there’s something a little bit mischievous about a lot of them, they’re quite sassy.

What’s interesting about a lot of that music from the 60s is that clearly these people have got amazing voices, but what I like is it’s not professional for the sake of being professional. I mean, I could be wrong here, but I do think a lot of artists from that era, especially black people who grew up within a church environment of singing in a community, I do think it makes you sing and play in a different way. You’re much more conscious of other musicians and you don’t really get that kind of limelight hogging that you get with a lot of people who have learned their craft individually.


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