Baker's Dozen

Artists discuss the 13 records that shaped their lives

A Spoon Baker’s Dozen: The Texan Connections Of Julian Cope

As Spoon hit the UK their vocalist and founder Britt Daniel guides Charles Ubaghs through his 13 favourite albums, from Public Enemy to Miles Davis, the raw emotion of Cat Power and strange idol Julian Cope

Spoon frontman Britt Daniel is one of those musicians that, to anglophile Americans, can come across like some Platonic ideal of what a smart British songwriter, in the vein of Ray Davis or Elvis Costello, should be. He’s tall and lanky and there’s an intellectualism to him that can seem at odds with the American male standard of oversized golf wear and fist bumps. And yet, when you speak to Daniel and explore the work he’s produced with his band Spoon for almost 24 years, it’s clear that what you have in front of you is something distinctly American. Not the America that’s chaotically been trying to Make America Great over the past few months, but the America that, at its best, is filled with a fierce and occasionally defiant thirst for knowledge and experience. It’s a combination that in the best of American art produces something that feels new and raw and real in a way that no other country can replicate. 

For anyone familiar with their work, Daniels and Spoon are of course a band in thrall to pop. It’s a pop music that has a trademark for being incredibly tight and consistent but it always has a sense of scruffy experimentation running underneath it that you can never quite get at. It’s that tension between the two forms that’s allowed Spoon to whether the alt-rock scenes of the 90s, before finding new found popularity in the 00s rise of American indie and Pitchfork. It’s an approach to pop rooted in a wealth of musical history and a belief in the power of rhythm, raw emotion and the visceral and intellectual allure of melody. 

We spoke with Britt Daniel over the phone and discovered just how much of an impact Julian Cope could have on a Texan teen in the late 80s and early 90s. 

Spoon play the Forum, London this Friday, 30th July. Click the image of Britt below to begin reading the selections

First Record

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