started his career with Tiger Lily in 1973. After recording a soundtrack for a porn movie he founded Ultravox. In 1979, just before they became one of the most successful New Wave bands, Foxx left and set a milestone for electronic music with «Metamatic» – a minimal pop masterpiece with cold synths, lots of flanger effects and experiments. He withdrew in 1985 and only re-emerged in 1997 with the simultaneous release of two albums.
That car will drive through A 79 forever.
Never take a bubble bath. If I ever arranged one for someone else: «A Room Full Of Easels». Freeform float. You return cleansed.
I first heard this when I was hitchhiking in France. It became the sound of Summer. Antena from France do beautiful modern Samba. A much overlooked band.
This is a seminal record of the modern age. Satie laid down a blueprint here and in doing so achieved several things in one elegant gesture. He established the French as the ones in possession of art, taste and intelligence. With this seemingly simple and very elegant gesture he manages to make all that is Wagnerian appear ridiculous and overblown. He establishes the central modern approach to music. Ingredients: minimalism, simplicity (allied to urban sophistication), reserve, playfulness and dignity. Sensuality allied to taste, élan and intelligence.
These pieces also evoke Paris in all its glory at the turn of the century – Picasso, Monet, Degas, Diaghilev, Jarry, Debussy. That marvelous wave of activity that made France the centre of Art for the world. Satie was there. After hearing this, I want to go back to Paris and walk among the ghosts.
Another piece of magic. This one fought its way out of Manchester and into everyone's head at just the right time. Electro JuJu Psychedelia. Body and mind united. «I Feel Love» by Donna Summer is another classic. When I first heard this I thought Kraftwerk had got themselves another singer.
Not something I often do. Anything by Virginia Astley. And I insist on mist, soft focus, strategically located foliage and an athletic body double.
One of the most beautiful records ever made. A meeting of intelligence, reserve, experimentalism and disciplined consistency. Daniel Lanois' mixing and soundwork allows it all to work and to establish tremendous aural depths. A dangerously sensual record.
Uplifting, serene and joyful. A beautiful hallucination. One of the most perfect pop songs ever.
Nice big dirty riff.
First urban poet rocker. Invented Rap, Rock and supplied the spine for the best period of Bob Dylan. Wrote about cars as animal extensions and vehicular visions, a transport to invent America. Kerouac concentrated into two minutes. Pre-Velvets, urban aimlessness. Pop Art at its purest!
I tend to go all quiet.
You will always land safely and the resistance will take you in...
This was the start of Eno's period of courageous self definition. Here he presents a real sense of clarity about what he was setting out to achieve and become. I was there when he was making the record at Conny Plank's studio in Germany. I think it's a lovely record and a form of private transport in itself.
That song gives a man courage like no other. One of the most powerful pieces of hot aural voodoo ever committed to vinyl.
Never sit in the subway. Much prefer to walk.
A Birdsong. I have several recordings of birdsongs that play when I walk into the apartment, and they can also be timed as wake up calls. The very best way to open your eyes, especially in winter.
They were the second rebel band after the Stones. Described themselves as clean ragged‚ because long hair was then connected with dirt and sloth. Actually I was intrigued by dirt and sloth, but always wanted a clean shirt available. They provided a vicarious alternative universe, as I guess rappers and heavy metallists do now.
Alexander Palace London. This was the first manifestation of imagination in music – an early attempt to make a new and temporary immersive universe. The place was a decaying victorian exhibition hall. Dry fountain full of leaves, open doors huge, complex, ornate, neglected architecture. Films, happenings and wild and beautiful psychedelica – altogether a magical event. I also went to the follow up 24 hour Technicolour Dream at Olympia and saw a projection of Un Chien Andalou and Mark Boyles marvelous slide and performance happenings. It all felt like the future and it is only recently that this particular blueprint is beginning to be fully realized. I still feel that it's the kind of event I still want to be at, rather than a conventional concert.
I usually fall over.
It's Bowie doing the Stones. A perfect soufflé of Glam and Rock. He distills all his previous ambitions as a frustrated peripheral 60's Marquee club artist into this one, and that catharsis almost eclipses the object of his pastiche.
I grew up in the 1950s and this was on the radio all the time. For me it sums up the frustrations of being too young to make your own life. And the sheer mind-bending daft dullness of that period.
Always seem to remember songs, rather than wanting to own anything. Someone I know always has it. Only person to surprise me recently was the marvelous Stephin Merrit of Magnetic Fields. I went to a bar in New York where he was DJing. He played some superb Brit Psychedelia. I needed to know some of the records, but he couldn’t remember everything he played that particular night. Left me with an intriguing set of memories to steal from.
Big romance with a beautiful girl and the mysteries of the city – all at the same time. The city lasted.
The verve of this impressed me no end when I was a kid. She was a strange, vivacious creature. Fresh as a daisy, sexual wholefood (strictly non organic). She lived in Technicolourland, where everything was heightened. I wanted to live there too, not in Wild West Land but next door, in a large house with a lawn and palm trees. I'd be a boy wonder, with a robot servant and a flying saucer in the capacious garage, next to the silver open top Cadillac. I'd be radiation-proof and therefore safe from atomic war. My quiff would always be perfect, even in action scenes.
This is the best expression of a glorious, noisy sort of joy. As opposed to the tranquil stillness and wonder evoked by Budd, Garcia, Satie, Eno et al. The Irish mode of funeral is by far the best – where people gather to celebrate a life.
I was in my first year at art school. Doors were open. Avenues of green trees outside. A girl I knew sat down at the piano and played this. Pure, innocent and complete. Fixed forever in that instant.
Another neighbourhood in that Technicolour Universe. Where I first encountered heartbreak as a child. My mother took me to the cinema in Wigan and I was swept away by this movie (with William Holden). Alternative Universe of Panavision Emotional Storm. Couldn't possibly understand it at all, but it left me quietly inconsolable for ever after.
Only record I ever wore out. A million movies. Hallucination central. You didn't get out unchanged.
They wrote this ballad that perfectly evoked urban splendour and romance. Seemed to indicate a glorious new and potentially fruitful direction for them. Inexplicably, they never pursued it. One of the most frustrating dead ends in the history of recording.