The Record That Changed My Life

In celebration of our new Record Store Day-celebrating issue, which features the likes of Arctic Monkeys, Pete Doherty, The Horrors and Jack White celebrating the glory of the 7″, we asked a couple more indie stars what the record which changed their life was.


Simon Ridley, DZ Deathrays


First album I ever had was ‘Smash’ by The Offspring. I got it from my cousin when I was 8 years old just after I had bought an old crappy Walkman from a garage sale and didn’t own any cassettes of my own. First listen through the album blew my mind, I honestly didn’t understand a lot of the concepts in the lyrics but it didn’t matter. It was loud and like nothing I had heard before and the first time I heard the line “god damn dogshit motherfucker” in ‘Bad Habit’ my head almost exploded and I nearly Nickelbacked (aka shit) my pants. From then on I’ve been hooked on trying to find a band that will give me that feeling again.

Ricky Wilson, Kaiser Chiefs

I never had a CD player until I was 10, so I just had my mum and dad’s big record player. I’d only buy records that were cheap, 7″ singles that were like 50p. Now, 1985 was a big year in lots of people’s lives because that’s when Back To The Future came out. There’s a bit at the end when Marty McFly plays ‘Johnny B. Goode’ and that was it for me – I wanted to be in a band and play guitar and slide around on my knees like him. Unfortunately I wasn’t very good at learning to play instruments, but the knee sliding I could do. Seeing him play that changed my life and then I went and found the Chuck Berry original in my parent’s record collection and played it all the time. I just liked fast rock’n’roll and anything where people counted up to four in the beginning.

Emma Richardson, Band Of Skulls


I bought ‘Blood Money’ by Tom Waits from an independent record store in Southampton called Essential Music which sadly no longer exists. It was a great store. You could always get good recommendations on new music from the staff and they always had great deals on classic records. I’d been introduced to some of Waits’ earlier albums which opened up a whole new world. ‘Blood Money’ scared the shit out of me. I couldn’t stop listening to it. He has a way with lyrics. He transports you. Its unafraid, tender, vicious and witty and the instruments, structures and production always open my eyes to something new.

Ruban, Unknown Mortal Orchestra


A girl gave me this record by Sisters With Voices called ‘Right Here’ when I was younger. They’re an R’n’B girl group from the 90s and their voices are incredible. It’s got a Michael Jackson loop taken from ‘Human Nature’ and it’s just got a really amazing melody; the singing and harmonies are so incredible. It’s one of those things where the first time I heard it it blew my mind. I was about 12 so I didn’t know anything about music but it hit me straight away and it’s something I really liked then and still do now.

Billy Bragg


I would say ‘White Man In Hammersmith Palais’ by The Clash. I bought it in a record shop in Peterborough when I was squatting at this old farmhouse with my bandmates. We got it back and put it on this old-style record player where you could put the record on repeat and just sat out in the garden with a few beers, listening to it over and over for an hour, then went and worked out how to play it. The reason it was so powerful to me was that it marked a change from the thrash sound the band had developed and suggested that punk would be a journey. ‘White Man…’ is a great summation of the seeds of our multicultural society, of white kids going to black reggae gigs. The Clash were the masters of that idea and that track seemed to be the soundtrack to the fight against the National Front and a celebration of the blurring of cultural lines.


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