favourite brett albums

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sunshine
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favourite brett albums

Postby sunshine » 05 Oct 2011, 22:09

http://thequietus.com/articles/07117-br ... ite-albums

There's A Song Playing: Brett Anderson's Favourite 13 Albums

Luke Turner , October 5th, 2011 11:03
From The Fall to Kate Bush, Bjork to Eno and Bowie to Midlake, Brett Anderson guides Luke Turner through his favourite 13 albums

Brett Anderson's childhood home, in commuter belt England in the late 70s and early 80s, was, he tells us, a musical battleground. While he and his sister were fans of pop, his taxi driver father was a classical music obsessive. "We weren't allowed to listen to music on my dad's stereo, that was only for classical music," Anderson explains. "We had this crappy little Boots record player upstairs and we'd sit there listening to pop songs while my dad was blasting Liszt really loud. If you stood in the middle of Liszt and the Sex Pistols." Anderson Snr apparently used to find his son's burgeoning musical tastes rather amusing, "He was constantly taking the piss out of The Smiths, doing impressions of Morrissey and singing comedy words to 'There Is A Light That Never Goes Out'," Anderson remembers, adding that "He was always taking the piss out of my bands. I remember proudly taking home this demo we'd made and he was just stood there laughing."

Yet this ideological division between the two stereos seems to have been a good natured one, even if it was intense. "I hated classical music. There was something quite aggressive about my dad's obsession with classical music that made you want to reject it and find fault in it," Anderson says. "I was constantly arguing with him about whether pop music was better than classical music, these quite personal, violent intellectual jousting tournaments of me proving that 'Satisfaction' was better than Beethoven's Ninth. It went on for years, right up until he died. At Christmas you know when you're at your parents again because you become 13 again, you're in short trousers and you fall into the same patterns."

Nevertheless, Brett credits his father with handing on the obsessive appreciation of music that can be heard in the attitude of both Suede and his solo albums, the latest of which, Black Rainbows, has just been released: "I definitely inherited my obsessions. He was a different level, my dad. He used to go Liszt's birthplace every year to get soil and bring it back like it was this holy relic. He's go in this Morris Travelle that was tenth hand from 1962. It was so old that the woodwork used to grow mushrooms in the autumn, and whenever it got to 55 mph it'd rattle, and it had holes in the floor that you could see the motorway through."

Click the image of Brett below to see his run-down of 13 favourite albums of all time.


The Fall - This Nation's Saving Grace
I saw him at Shepherd's Bush last year playing the last album, and only playing new songs. It was absolutely brilliant. I just sat and watched him, he's a genuinely strange person. He doesn't fit into the stereotype of the arts school drop-out, or the working class cliché either. It's a strange place he occupies in between. Just seeing him march around the stage turning the amps down, it just sounded absolutely brilliant. You can tell he's got the ability to know how to make things sound amazing in quite a simple way. I could have chosen any Fall album from that period, Wonderful & Frightening World or Bend Sinister or Kurious Oranj, but I chose 'Saving Grace because it has a really personal meaning to me. I grew up with it, and when I was at Sixth Form College I really started listening to the Smiths and The Fall. I had to find out myself about The Fall. I remember reading about them somewhere and going down to the record shop and buying a Fall record blind. Listening back, it's got some nonsense on it, like all his records. It's not some perfect artefact, there's something very instinctive about it. I love the track 'Paintwork'. As soon as I heard the track I assumed it was autobiographical, it's about the way he messes the music up. I can imagine the musicians saying, "it's Mark, messing up the paintwork" but what they don't get is that that's the beauty of it, that he is messing up the paintwork, and the track in itself is strangely autobiographical because suddenly someone presses a tape recorder sound. He was always a huge, huge influence for me, growing up and then in Suede. You can't actually hear it in Suede, but we were massive fans, Justine and I especially, we were obsessed. When Matt, Justine or I were just mucking around we wrote the song 'Implement Yeah', which was a sort of comedy song about him. The there was the Fall song 'Glam Racket', which the NME or someone said was about us. Who knows what anyone's songs are about, let alone Mark E Smith songs. I think it was a timing thing, it came out in 1993, and people just assumed it was a criticism of Suede. Mark E Smith's too smart to write a criticism of anyone, apart from people he's been in a band with. A great artist utterly defines their own genre, and that's what Mark E Smith's done. He's got a patent on that sound.

The Fall - This Nation's Saving Grace
I saw him at Shepherd's Bush last year playing the last album, and only playing new songs. It was absolutely brilliant. I just sat and watched him, he's a genuinely strange person. He doesn't fit into the stereotype of the arts school drop-out, or the working class cliché either. It's a strange place he occupies in between. Just seeing him march around the stage turning the amps down, it just sounded absolutely brilliant. You can tell he's got the ability to know how to make things sound amazing in quite a simple way. I could have chosen any Fall album from that period, Wonderful & Frightening World or Bend Sinister or Kurious Oranj, but I chose 'Saving Grace because it has a really personal meaning to me. I grew up with it, and when I was at Sixth Form College I really started listening to the Smiths and The Fall. I had to find out myself about The Fall. I remember reading about them somewhere and going down to the record shop and buying a Fall record blind. Listening back, it's got some nonsense on it, like all his records. It's not some perfect artefact, there's something very instinctive about it. I love the track 'Paintwork'. As soon as I heard the track I assumed it was autobiographical, it's about the way he messes the music up. I can imagine the musicians saying, "it's Mark, messing up the paintwork" but what they don't get is that that's the beauty of it, that he is messing up the paintwork, and the track in itself is strangely autobiographical because suddenly someone presses a tape recorder sound. He was always a huge, huge influence for me, growing up and then in Suede. You can't actually hear it in Suede, but we were massive fans, Justine and I especially, we were obsessed. When Matt, Justine or I were just mucking around we wrote the song 'Implement Yeah', which was a sort of comedy song about him. The there was the Fall song 'Glam Racket', which the NME or someone said was about us. Who knows what anyone's songs are about, let alone Mark E Smith songs. I think it was a timing thing, it came out in 1993, and people just assumed it was a criticism of Suede. Mark E Smith's too smart to write a criticism of anyone, apart from people he's been in a band with. A great artist utterly defines their own genre, and that's what Mark E Smith's done. He's got a patent on that sound.

The Sex Pistols - Nevermind The Bollocks
I was only nine years old in 1976 so it wasn't down the front at the 100 Club, I was still watching Dr Who. Like everything in those days it probably filtered through slowly, and it filtered through to Hayward's Heath Market. It was the first record I bought. It was shockingly brilliant, and still is one of those records that if you played it in 200 years time it would still sound like that. I think that they perfectly defined their own genre. They were the ultimate punk band. The other so-called punk bands to me sound like a parody of the Sex Pistols. It's a lot to do with John Lydon, he's a huge hero of mine. I was going to have a PiL record in here but I thought you can't have two records by the same person. I saw PiL play recently, and it's the first time I've ever done this, but I went to John Lydon's dressing room door to thank him for everything, but he was asleep. To have created the Sex Pistols was an amazing thing in itself, and then to go and create a new band that was just as groundbreaking in such a different way was unbelievable. John Lennon didn't do that. Jim Morrison didn't do that.

Bjork - Homogenic
I used to love the Sugarcubes, and then her debut album came out and I thought it was alright, I was going for different things and locked into Suede so wasn't really receptive to it. Then she gradually filtered through to me. Homogenic won out over Vespertine because of a few songs, like 'Joga' It's so beautiful, so atmospheric. There are few people that I actually listen to and am not a little disappointed by, or think I could do that. With her, it's woah. She's one of those people who make music that I actually marvel at, I really do. She's incredibly talented. For me she's one of the few modern artists who are actually up there with the all-time greats. The music industry needs to be saying that all these people are comparable to so and so, but she really is. Something like Biophilia suits her and suits her music. The music is intelligent for a start, but that really suits her sense of vision.

David Bowie - Low
I have a weird relationship with David Bowie . There's a part of me that didn't want to include him out of bloody mindedness, not out of any disrespect to him but because I get sick of talking about David Bowie, what with all those comparisons that said Suede were like a mixture of The Smiths and Bowie, when actually there are all these other ones. But I can't get away from the fact that he is a huge influence on what I do, and you can't get away from the fact that he simply is one of the greatest artists of all time and he made some of the greatest music of the 1970s, and six or seven unbelievably good records. Low is just one of them, I could have chosen Hunky Dory, Space Oddity, Scary Monsters, Young Americans. But I've chosen Low because I love the mystery of it, even though it's not his best song album, there's no 'Quicksand' or anything like that. You can tell that he's shifting, and looking for something else. My favourite track on it is 'Warszawa', with its amazing Wagnerian stirring in the music. Suede's 'Europe Is Our Playground', had a sense that it was a version of that. I love the way Low doesn't explain itself, and that it's a really odd record. I love the chronology of it, the fact that three of my favourite records ever were all made around the same time: Low, Never Mind The Bollocks and Music For Airports.

Brian Eno - Music For Airports
It was made right in the middle of the punk thing when everyone was trying to get more aggressive, and Brian Eno went away and not necessarily invented ambient music, but certainly popularised it. If I had to just listen to one song for the rest of my life it would be '1/1'. It's not just a mellow thing, I've listened to it in the morning and it's beautiful, I've listened to it last thing at night. I've listened to it as a stimulant and a calming thing, it does something very physical, very chemical to me. I'm always fascinated by how he made that track. Did he sit there and play it live for 17 minutes? Smoked some dope? I've always meant to ask him, I'm always bumping into him and I always forget. I see him having coffee in a café near me and we always have a nice little chat. He's a lovely chap. I never let onto him how much of a fan I am because that would be weird and a bit distasteful. If I ran up to him saying 'how did you do that track?!' he'd probably start backing off slowly.

Kate Bush – The Hounds Of Love
I first encountered Kate Bush through 'Wuthering Heights', I remember my sister rushed out and bought that single in 1978 so I was very aware of her. The Sex Pistols and Kate Bush were my formative music, not The Smiths and David Bowie, that came later. For me The Hounds Of Love is the biggest influence on Dog Man Star. I love the way it's a record of two halves, and the second half is a concept record about fear of drowning. It's an amazing record to listen to really late at night, unsettling and really jarring. I always wanted to make a record that was a concept album, not in an ELP sense, but in a sense had a musical coherence and wasn't just ten songs stuck together, but has this sense of journey, that took you to a world, and that's what the impact Hounds Of Love had on Dog Man Star.

Scott Walker - Scott 3
I got to Scott Walker quite like. I got to him because I read a lot of comparisons between Dog Man Star or 'The Big Time', the b-side to 'Animal Nitrate', and him. I knew the Walker Brothers of course, but I didn't know his solo stuff. What I like about Scott Walker is that it's millimetres away from easy listening, but not easy listening. There's the occasional little detail or bar that he puts in there that makes it not easy listening. Scott III for me is an amazing record. The first few songs on that, especially songs like 'Big Louise', are such powerful pieces of music. He's one of the greatest singers ever. It's amazing to see how powerful a voice can be. I don't mean in a macho sense, but how if the voice is doing something fascinating how minimal the music can be. I love the way he's still making strange records, like Drift and Tilt. You've got to admire him for marginalising himself, and still doing interesting stuff at his age, because it's quite rare isn't it? You wonder where he's going to go next.

The Smiths - The Queen Is Dead
It's like David Bowie, there was a bit of me that didn't want to include The Smiths because of comparisons, but I couldn't not. The Smiths were a very important band to me when I was 15, 16. It was perfect timing. In the 80s when The Smiths were still around I was the right age for what he was singing to be relevant, I was going through adolescence so the resonance was event stronger. So yes, Queen Is Dead. Did I choose it because it's my favourite Smiths album or because it's recognised as being the best? There's probably a bit of that in there. But apart from Meat Is Murder or the last one I could have chosen… so that only leaves one more haha. So let's choose the Queen Is Dead. It's funny actually, looking back on it there are so many great Smiths songs, but there's so much on singles and b-sides that weren't on the albums, which was definitely an influence on how we did things with Suede. I remember when this first came out it was such an exciting thing. I remember hearing 'Bigmouth Strikes Again' on the radio and thinking 'wow'. It was a real fan moment. I remember queuing up at Rounder Records in Burgess Hill, and then playing it, and going through the lyrics. 'Cemetery Gates' was the song that I loved the most at the time, back in 1986, I thought the wordplay was amazing. Obviously Morrissey is known as a great lyricist but I think he's probably the greatest lyricist. I don't think Dylan comes in the same league, with his songs about the 'Jack of Spades' and things like that. Some of his lyrics are great, but they're not as powerful as Morrissey's. He had a brilliantly balanced dance between the wit and darkness. It was never too comical, well, apart from 'Frankly Mr Shankly', you know what I mean - it was this amazing tightrope walk of being slightly ridiculous but incredibly engaging and incredibly serious. And Jonny Marr's guitar playing is amazing. He's one of the greatest ever. Incredible melodies and the craftsmanship of his guitar playing without it ever sounding boring. It never got into Steve Vai territory. It was always tasteful without ever being dull. In the context of the time when musically everything was so cheap-sounding, The Smiths were making for want of a better word, really organic sounding music, but still very exciting and strangely quite groundbreaking. They were a really inspiring band for so many people, and for a couple of years they were the greatest, they really were.

Interpol - Turn On The Bright Lights
I love Interpol. They're my favourite modern band I suppose. Are they considered contemporary? It was a decade ago, but I think of them as a new band, they're not part of the 90s anyway. NYC manages to be simultaneously dirge-like and uplifting, and I don't know how he manages to balance those two things. I love the lyrics in it, "I tried on seven faces before I knew which one to wear". For me the art of great songwriting is when you're fascinated by the words but you don't know too much about what it's about. It's about giving but not too much, as a listener you should have to join the dots. It's a perfect record for where it came from too, it's got that feel that's very urban and alienated. I really like listening to it on the underground, the drone of the tube trains and the slightly sort of neurotic sense that you get when you're on the tube is perfect for Interpol. It's funny you should say they're like a 'New York Suede' because when they did come out people did make that comparison.

Joy Division - Unknown Pleasures
It's another record that I grew up with. Whenever I listen to it I'm transported back into my bedroom when I was 16. Again, I love its mystery and how it doesn't let you know what it's about. It was hard to choose between this and Closer, and though there are some tracks on Closer that I really love, this did it for me, tracks like 'She's Lost Control' and 'New Dawn Fades'. I think it's a groundbreaking record, and I suppose like The Smiths became more relevant after they split up than when they were around. They inspired so much modern music and sound incredibly relevant now. If you heard Joy Division now in 2011 and had never heard them before, you'd not think it was dated. The production is great. There are lots of mistakes on there, it's really nicely underproduced. Even though there's this bleak, icy electronic feel to the music, it's not programmed or anything, it's very human.

The Velvet Underground & Nico – The Velvet Underground & Nico
I know I know, it's the most classic album one on the list. But it is an amazing record. You can look at it is so many ways, just as a piece of music, or culturally and what it was responsible for. I really was the most influential record of all time, I'd say that and Never Mind The Bollocks invented modern leftfield music. Incredible songs, that's one thing, Lou Reid as songwriter, and his voice is one of those you're just glued to. It's not as perfect as Scott Walker, it's more about phrasing. I love Nico. I mean, how influential was Nico? I think she invented goth. Obviously when she did stuff on her own she really went out there, but with the Velvet Undergound I love the juxtaposition between the songs' melodies and the fact that she couldn't really sing. She had her own style. Amazing record. 'Venus In Furs', 'All Tomorrow's Parties': I love the drones.

Talk Talk – Spirit Of Eden
It's a funny one this record because I think of it almost as an instrumental record. I don't listen to the lyrics, I don't know what they are. I listen to Mark Hollis' voice and it sounds like a trumpet, words as sounds. I don't know what any of the songs are called. I listen to this almost like I listen to Music For Airports, it's a mood piece. It's interesting where it was in their career path, they started off as this pop band and then ended up as a very obscure avant-garde group with Laughing Stock. Spirit Of Eden was the interesting bridge between the two. Slow Attack, the album I did with lots of woodwind, was massively inspired by Spirit Of Eden. The sense of drama in it, that it was very mellow in places but again never easy listening. It's pagan folk, folk music isn't about men in silly jumpers with fingers in their ears and all this clichéd nonsense, there's something really earthy and pagan and Wicker Man-ish about it.

Midlake – The Trials of Van Occupanther
I had to choose it because it means so much to me in my life. It was when I met my wife we were listening to it, so it's a really personal record for me, and a really romantic record. It's got a folk element but it's never silly, on songs like 'Young Bride' it's really fascinating and beautiful. I went to see them at the Royal Festival Hall a couple of years ago and was absolutely blown away. I didn't know what to expect, but the singer had a real presence, a real energy, he was living it. It's the soundtrack to a very recent part of my life, and a very important moment to me personally and has a huge emotional resonance for me.

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Re: favourite brett albums

Postby mark » 21 Oct 2011, 16:17

Ah yes i've seen this - nice! :D


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