Baker's Dozen

Artists discuss the 13 records that shaped their lives

12. SylvesterLiving Proof

I love the energy of live albums anyway, but especially when you find one by an artist that was before your time. It’s the closest you’ll ever get to being at that show. It’s such a beautiful measure of that particular moment in disco. Sylvester’s just struck big, had the massive disco hits and it translates into this show that has elements of a soul, gospel or blues review. The moment where she sings ‘Loverman’ is spinetingling. The show is built on the relationship and interplay she has with Two Tons Of Fun. She wouldn’t be the artist she was if she hadn’t been touring with those two women. And you really get the sense of church and disco, the secular and the sacred. She sounded like the future. Can you imagine being a 17 or 18-year-old and having seen that show? You would be looking into another world, a future that probably didn’t look possible. And here we are. The Fabulous Sylvester, the biography, is just an incredible book. There’s that moment where she specifies the makeup artist that will dress her corpse. I get that. It was always about how she was presented to the world.

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