Baker's Dozen

Artists discuss the 13 records that shaped their lives

7. The Beach BoysWild Honey

The Beach Boys, though their vocal arrangements are phenomenal and that’s what catches the ear from the very early stuff onwards, was about Brian Wilson and how he was this incredible producer. I think he was in a little bit of a race with The Beatles to make the most innovative sounding music that he could. The other album I was going to pick was Pet Sounds but everybody picks that one because it was their Sgt. Pepper’s… in a way, you know, it had the tracks that we all know on there. But this album, I love so much because it’s very dry sounding for them and also Carl Wilson does a lot of the singing on it and he’s my favourite Beach Boys voice. Unfortunately we lost him a while ago, but I met him and got to play with those guys and it was great. He was a real nice guy. There’s a track ‘Darlin’’ on Wild Honey where he just tears it up. He’s also amazing on the Stevie Wonder tune, ‘I Was Made To Love Her’. I just love the way they use out-of-tune upright piano to double the bass lines and again it’s the sound and the production on this record. This is another album that I would have on repeat, repeat, repeat. I listened to it the other day when I was making up this list for you and I was just going to listen to one track. Of course then I ended up listening to the whole album. It’s just one of those ones that speaks to me. Music really sets a time, takes you back to the first time you listened to it, where you were in your life and that was a good time for me. I remember listening to it in a house in St. John’s Wood in London right round the corner from Abbey Road. It was a great time for me and this album reminds me of that.

Selected in other Baker’s Dozens: Tony Visconti
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