Baker's Dozen

Artists discuss the 13 records that shaped their lives

6. Laura Nyro & LabelleGonna Take A Miracle

My brother found this at some record fair in the early 90s and said I might like it because of the Gamble and Huff production credit. I’d never heard of Laura Nyro but obviously I knew of Labelle and Gamble and Huff. I love Motown, girl-groups, the whole doo-wop thing. So, from the opening track ‘I Met Him On A Sunday’ I totally fell in love with the record. It’s spiritual and has a sort of magic to it. I already knew Labelle but after that I jumped into Laura’s world and really discovered her as an artist and, obviously it’s nothing like this record at all. It’s such a simple record, no tricks, just a great band playing great rhythm tracks and these amazing, moving, stunning vocal arrangements. It’s celestial. I think about this record a lot, that stoop life, being on the street in a group of people. It very much informed [his book prior to Diary Of A Film] This Brutal House. She wasn’t a very commercial artist. If she’d banged out a couple of hits, she probably would’ve been viewed in a very different light, but I like the fact that she was so uncompromising.

Selected in other Baker’s Dozens: Sarah Cracknell
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