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Tim Burgess ‘Vinyl Adventures from Istanbul to San Francisco’ review
Henry Lewis delves into the record collection of the Charlatans man, lovingly compiled following a journey across the globe.
Last updated: 1st Aug 2016. Originally published: 29th Jul 2016
"Tim Burgess is a crusader and vinyl's epic voyager. He knows why pop art's a culture and a cure. Learn and listen. He knows good things."
Sound advice from none other than Johnny Marr, a man who knows a thing or two about music himself. He's not wrong either. In Burgess' second memoir, the brilliantly named 'Tim Book Two', the singer embarks on a quest to hunt down the vinyl recommended to him by a host of famous faces, sometimes purchasing records he already owned purely for the purposes of his quest.
It's not all musician pals however, The Charlatans man openly reached out to people who he admires to ask for their choices so the tastes of Ian Rankin, Howard Marks and, somewhat surprisingly, James Corden all feature on the compilation.
Released on Burgess' own label, O Genesis, the album works extremely well given the amount of varying styles that have been thrown together to create it. While it's not exactly the same as the enviable spread of vinyl that Burgess has travelled the globe to collect, it certainly isn't a bad mix of tracks to have on one disk.
There's plenty of groovy, blues guitar tracks such as Howard Marks' pick 'Rebel Rouser' by Duane Eddy and 'Snatch It Back and Hold It' by Junior Wells Chicago Blues Band, chosen by Iggy Pop no less. There's also a nod to Burgess' Madchester roots with Tony Wilson's choice and opening track, 'Otis' by The Durutti Column and Joy Division's 'She's Lost Control' (listen above), recommended by author Ian Rankin.
As well as the songs themselves, it is genuinely interesting to see which famous faces have picked what song, and that truly adds to the joy of this album.
Naturally there's a pick from current collaborator Peter Gordon who plumped for Allen Ginsberg's 'Goin' to San Diego', but there's also a choice from punk poet John Cooper Clarke and the Vaccines' Freddie Cowan, who you definitely wouldn't expect to appear on an album together.
There are some more surprising inclusions however; Tchaikovsky's 'Symphony #6 in B Minor' is definitely a left field closing number, particularly when you bear in mind it's on the same album as James Corden's pick 'You Can Call Me Al' by Paul Simon.
The classical piece fulfils its role perfectly though, acting like the closing credits of a movie where the lead actor has embarked on a strange but wonderful adventure, discovering the sights and sounds of new worlds. When you consider that this is exactly what has happened then it's worth considering that this array of songs is not as random as it first appears.
Burgess has done a great thing here; through his own love of vinyl and his own quest for music, he has made something everyone can enjoy.