Baker's Dozen

Artists discuss the 13 records that shaped their lives

6. The ByrdsUntitled

This has no connection with my life whatsoever. This is a double live album from 1970 by The Byrds. I doubt that even people who like The Byrds will count it as their favourite Byrds album, but I just think it’s utterly fantastic. I went to where they had the cover shot taken, which is in an observatory in LA, to have my photo taken like that.

I got it 20 years ago on vinyl, when The Byrds were thought of as being two and a half minute Dylan covers. This is from the late period Byrds which people don’t really talk about much. Crosby had left, and it’s got a 17 minute version of ‘8 Mile High’ on it, which is just amazing. And all these country songs and bluegrass songs but with these incredible sounds going on over the top. So this should be in there as one of my favourite records of all time. It doesn’t connect me with a time or a place or a person, and it doesn’t have any obvious reaction to anything I’ve ever done. But The Byrds are one of those bands that you take for granted, but if you actually listen to them, they’re much more interesting than you realise.

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