Whether as a key element of Sonic Youth, or as part of his latest outfit Chelsea Light Moving, there’s no arguing against the influence of singer/songwriter/guitarist Thurston Moore. But ever wondered what music influences him?
The iconic New York musician has given the answer to that question himself, with the 55-year-old indie pioneer offering a list of his favourite songs of all-time.
The catalyst for the intriguing list is UK music magazine The Fly, which named Moore as the recipient of their inaugural ‘Living Legend’ award, as Consequence Of Sound reports.
Ahead of Moore being honoured at The Fly Awards 2014 ceremony in London next month, the guitarist sent a catalogue of 38 of his all-time favourite songs to the British mag.
As with similarly revealing playlists from Daft Punk, Beck, and Grimes – gathered together, the playlist offers some fascinating insights into the mind of one of indie rock’s most significant figures.
There’s plenty of selections drawing from Moore’s love of punk, including LA’s Germs, feisty fem-aggravators The Slits, as well as fellow associates The Raincoats, and a plug for John Lydon in Public Image Ltd’s quasi-eponymous anthem ‘Public Image’. Gathered together, the playlist offers some fascinating insights into the mind of one of indie rock’s most significant figures.
There’s also traces of Moore’s own spiky guitar feedback, in selections of hardcore acts (Minor Threat, Black Flag), and his moody atmospherics, in cuts from British post-punk favourites (The Damned, Siouxsie Sioux).
Moore also has plenty of love for glam-era icons (T. Rex, Lou Reed, David Bowie), a fondness for the classics (Jimi Hendrix, Billie Holiday, Beach Boys) and some of Sonic Youth’s late 80s/early 90s guitar rock contemporaries (Nirvana, Mudhoney, Dinosaur Jr).
Whether through a sense of self-imposed modesty or submission rules, there’s none of Moore’s own music in his top 38 songs, though in an accompanying interview with The Fly he’s asked about the best record he’s ever made, to which he replies:
“With Sonic Youth early on it would be the Confusion Is Sex LP and later the The Eternal LP, which is the last one we recorded. Solo, possibly Demolished Thoughts. With noise improv freaks probably the Last Notes LP with Joe McPhee and Bill Nace.”
Though Moore’s formative band has been on ‘indefinite hiatus’ (Sonic Youth guitarist Lee Ranaldo speaking of the group in the past tense during a recent Tone Deaf interview) since 2011, when Moore and bass-playing wife Kim Gordon separated, the musician has been keeping up with new projects.
The guitarist has continued to tour solo and last year released the self-titled debut album with his new band, Chelsea Light Moving. There’s also his involvement with black metal supergroup Twilight, who last week announced the release of their debut album… along with their imminent break-up, as Pitchfork reports.
Thurston Moore’s Favourite Songs Of All-Time
Source: The Fly
Tapper Zukie – “Man Ah Warrior”
Patti Smith – “Godspeed”
Teenage Jesus & the Jerks – “Orphans”
Mars – “3E”
Public Image LTD – “Public Image”
The Slits – “Love Und Romance”
The Raincoats – “In Love”
Captain Beefheart – “Electricity”
Alice Cooper – “Is It My Body?”
T. Rex – “Children of the Revolution”
Archie Shepp – “Blasé”
Billie Holiday – “Gloomy Sunday”
Nirvana – “Dive”
Mudhoney – “In ‘N Out of Grace”
Dinosaur Jr. – “Little Fury Things”
Jackson C. Frank – “Blues Run the Game”
Bush Tetras – “Too Many Creeps”
The Germs – “Caught in My Eye”
Boredoms – “Born to Anal”
Lou Reed – “Satellite of Love”
Beach Boys – “Hang On to Your Ego”
David Bowie – “Five Years”
Sparks – “Equator”
Siouxsie & the Banshees – “Hong Kong Garden”
The Damned – “New Rose”
The Mentally Ill – “Gacy’s Place”
Minor Threat – “Out of Step”
Black Flag – “I’ve Got To Run”
The Untouchables – “Nic Fit”
Iron Cross – “Fight Em All”
The Faith – “It’s Time”
Void – “My Rules”
Negative Approach – “Nothing”
Youth Brigade – “It’s About Time We Had a Change”
State of Alert – “Gonna Haveta Fight”
Anne Briggs – “Go Your Way”
The Fugs – “Crystal Liaison”
Jimi Hendrix – “Freedom”