Music Article

Michel Gondry lists 12 must-have CDs

1 BJORK Debut 1993 (ELEKTRA) ''When I got her solo album, she was asking me to do a video. I remember I had a different idea for each song; it was so diverse and colorful and full of inspiration.''

2 MISSY ELLIOTT This Is Not a Test! 2003 (Elektra) ''There's a song on it when she talks about her feelings ['I'm Not Perfect'], telling other women that she feels the same way as them. A lot of singers try to do that, but she's so honest, warm, and genuine that it comes across really great.''

3 PEACHES Fatherf -- -er 2003 (XL/Beggars Group) ''I don't like swearing, but her music is minimalist, avant-garde -- really joyful.''

4 THE WILLOWZ The Willowz 2004 (Dionysus) ''It's their first record. There's something really childlike in their music...very punk.''

5 MARIE-NOELLE GONDRY I Play With My Piano circa early '90s (self-released) ''My mother's music has inspired me from when I was a kid. I use it in my documentary and my short film [on the Work of Director Michel Gondry DVD].''

6 WILLIE NELSON Stardust 1978 (Columbia/Legacy) ''When I was kid, I played a lot of Booker T. & the MG's. Each time I would listen to the B3 [organ] on Stardust, I was like, 'Oh, it's nearly as good as Booker T.' I realized later that it was produced by Booker T. Jones.''

7 XTC Black Sea 1980 (Caroline) ''They looked like nerds on this album cover, but their music was so powerful.''

8 THE WHITE STRIPES Elephant 2003 (Third Man/V2) ''I'm not crazy of rock music in general. But with Meg at the drums -- she's completely deconstructive -- it's more like an art project.''

9 TALKING HEADS Remain in Light 1980 (Sire) ''They play the normal instrument like a machine. But they came into the studio with no prewritten songs, so it's very spontaneous at the same time.''

10 RAY CHARLES Wish You Were Here Tonight 1983 (Columbia) ''At first I was disappointed because it's country music, but then it became one of my favorite ever.''

11 BECK Sea Change 2002 (Geffen) ''We had breakups at the same time, and I did this video for Radiohead ['Knives Out'] talking about my breakup and he did this album.''

12 IAN DURY Sex & Drugs & Rock & Roll: The Best of Ian Dury and the Blockheads 1992 (Rhino) ''I hate the title. Well, sex, okay. Drugs, no, and rock & roll, no. I like Dury's voice -- he was never in tune.''

The latest film from the French director, acclaimed for his music videos, is Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind.

Originally posted Apr 16, 2004 Published in issue #760 Apr 16, 2004 Order article reprints

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