23 May 1992
Submitted by: Inge Klinkers
BRETT ANDERSON of SUEDE talks about the records that changed his life
1. THE SMITHS: "Reel Around The Fountain" (from "The Smiths")
"It’s brilliantly dark and sexual. It's about being sexually inept and it coincided with my own adolescence. I never identified with Morrissey as a romantic loser, I've never been a loser in love. But the sense of being an outsider was just right for me. The Smiths confronted all these taboos in a way that was so subversive, lots of people could actually identify with them. Which is what Suede are doing now."
2. DAVID BOWIE: "The Bewlay Brothers" (from "Hunky Dory")
"Even more than Morrissey, I was obsessed with Bowie. People mention him alongside Marc Bolan and Bryan Ferry, but to me they were inferior versions. This track was about his mad brother Terry - they made a pact when they were young to call themselves The Bewlay Brothers. He died a couple of years ago in an asylum. I think it fuelled Bowie's darker side, the fact that he had this brother who was a nutcase who pissed himself in an asylum while he jetted around the world having sex and being adored."
3. THE FALL: "Big New Prinz" (from "I Am Kurious Oranj")
"I love the way this is so relentlessly hypnotic. It’s so much more punk than Sham 69, the rawness and the repetition. And that's something we've taken on, the driving bass lines that get you in the guts. And lines like, 'He is nuts' are great. We just supported The Fall live, actually. He [Mark E Smith) looked like a NatWest bank clerk. But he's definitely a genius."
4. THE BEATLES: "A Day In The Life" (from "Sgt Pepper's lonely Hearts Club Band")
"It's just beautiful and brilliantly epic. My dad used to play me it - The Beatles were the onLy pop group he liked, cos he's a massive, obsessive classical music fan. He travels every year to Liszt's birthplace and kisses the soil. Liszt, Nelson and Churchill are his three heroes. He lives in a council house and, when it's one of their birthdays, he puts a flag out. Luckily, Nelson's birthday coincides with mine. I think he arranged my conception for that reason. He's quintessentially English. He wears a purple velvet smoking-jacket all day long and listens to Mahler. Do I aspire to that? I think there's a side to me that is doomed to wear a string vest, yes. But I'm trying to avoid it."
5. KATE BUSH: "The Man With The Child In His Eyes" (from "The Kick Inside")
"It’s a beautiful song about Kate masturbating over some fantasy figure, which couples swoon along to in cocktail bars. Pretty subversive, really. I never found her sexy myself, and I never masturbated over her, either. I've always found female pop stars a bit of a turn-off, actually. Especially Wendy James."
6. IGGY POP: "Lust For Life" (from "Lust For Life")
"He is punk. But he's more than that. Punk was one-dimensional, whereas Iggy works on lots of different levels. I like that village idiot aspect to him - he got the idea for the "Idiot" LP from Dostoyevsky, the idea of idiocy and genius being intertwined. He's pure animal, but he's also ferociously intelligent."
7. ROBERT WYATT: "Shipbuilding" (from "Nothing Can Stop Us Now")
"It's so incredibly fragile, it could almost be passed off as a joke. But it's a thousand times more beautiful than if it had been performed 'perfectly'. He's one of those tragic characters like Ian Dury, or Morrissey with his hearing-aid/cripple star stance. Wyatt fell out of a window when he was in Soft Machine, and then later, when he went solo, he appeared on 'Top Of The Pops' with his band all in wheelchairs. And no one could handle it, cos that's virtually the last taboo."
8. THE SUGARCUBES: "Birthday" (from "Life's Too Good")
"It's sort of fumbling and itchy and childlike and bizarre. Great art should take you to a different place, and afterwards you should see the world around you in a different way. That's what this does. I saw Bjork in a cafe once - she's one of the most brilliant-looking people I've ever seen. A lot of songs are good because they're sung by people with brilliant faces. It's like when Morrissey came to see us - he just shone. It was like the moon had come out."
9. PINK FLOYD: "Bike" (from "Piper At The Gates Of Dawn")
“I know Syd Barrett's a massive student hero - and this is a really anthemic student song - but he was a fascinating person. He was a nutcase, and today he's hiding in Cambridge and looks like a geography teacher. What a bizarre life - to be a massive psychedelic pop star, and then to completely lose your mind. But on-the-edge people are the only ones that count. There's always got to be an element of imminent collapse. Have I got that? Definitely. I feel very fragile, as though it could happen at any time."
10. PATTI SMITH: "Birdland" (from "Horses")
"The most natural, untutored singer ever. You can't leave the room when this is on. But it's not clever, it's really human. This wasn't the sort of thing I listened to when I was a teenager, though. And, no, I didn't lose my virginity to it. I probably lost it to some crap like Tears For Fears."
11. THE JAM: "Going Underground”
"Another really subversive song. It went straight in at Number One and people sang it in pubs, yet it's incredibly socially and politically aware. Plus, it’s got a great tune. It's a real howl, a scream of protest without being a protest song. And at the same time, loads of 14-year-old boys listened to it in their bedrooms. Yeah, that's kind of Suede's ambition - to work on all those levels."
12. ELVIS PRESLEY: "In The Ghetto" (from "From Elvis In Memphis")
"I don't like this one for any camp, kitsch or tacky reasons. Despite the ridiculousness of it- one of the richest, most right-wing men earth singing a trite lyrics about poverty in ghettos – it’s utterly convincing. And I see it going hand in hand with 'Reel Around The Fountain' — it’s got a similar doomed quality."
NEXT WEEK: Mike Edwards from Jesus Jones