Baker's Dozen

Artists discuss the 13 records that shaped their lives

3. David BowieHunky Dory

It was my first Bowie album, and around the time I was learning how to write songs it opened up a really big doorway for me, beyond the singer-songwriters I was listening to at the time, like Carole King or Elton John, whose self-titled album and Tumbleweed Connection were really big albums for me when I was learning piano. Bowie just had another angle to him beyond the pure music of those people, and had a foot in some deeply mysterious things to me, which I found quite fascinating, a kind of sassiness and inner city urban thing, a counter-culture thing that was running through that album, and more so with Ziggy Stardust….

I just thought those songs were extraordinary and the lyrics were really strange and hard to fathom, particularly songs like ‘Quicksand’. I loved the turn of phrase and thought the use of piano on that record, which was Rick Wakeman, was absolutely brilliant. It’s still a touchstone for a good-sounding pop record. The use of strings and the bold ambition – I was completely taken with it.

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