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Listed: Richard Swift

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Every Friday, Dusted Magazine publishes a series of music-related lists compiled by our favorite artists. This week: Richard Swift.

Listed: Richard Swift

As more and more of its singing-songwriting prodigies emerge, a modern 'Los Angeles pop' sound is becoming increasingly pronounced and defined. Folks like John Brion, the Eels, and many others have been honing a similar brand of well-produced, rotund pop for years. While Richard Swift would certainly fit nicely alongside this (relatively) clean cut crew, the prodigious Swift is perhaps a bit rougher around the edges, and certainly resides closer to LA's lunatic fringe than he does its hit-making epicenter. To further illustrate this point, the illustrious Midwestern-based Secretly Canadian Records will be releasing a double-disc compilation of Swift’s first two records – The Novelist (2003) and Walking Without Effort (2005) – sometime this fall. In the meantime you can catch a healthy stream of music at his newly launched website, http://richardswift.us.

  • Sly & The Family Stone - There's A Riot Goin' On (1971)
    My favorite record of all time. Sly's party was coming to a close, and he let everyone know it on this album. He also happened to play most of the instruments (with some help from Billy Preston & Bobby Womack). My friend Greg played this for me when I was 16, and when it was finished, I asked him to play it again. He said "No."

  • Thunderclap Newman - Hollywood Dream (1970)
    If Harry Nilsson started a band with Big Star, and then Pete Townshend stepped in to produce? I don't know what I'm talking about. But actually, Pete Townshend did produce this record.

  • The Upsetters - Double Seven (1974)
    "OK, OK...Let's take it from here..." I play this one ad nauseam. My favorite Lee Scratch Perry recording, and one of the first reggae records to feature synthesizers.

  • CAN - Tago Mago (1971)
    People are still trying to catch up to these lads (unsuccessfully, I might add). Put this album on and remind yourself that it's 34 years old. Then throw away all your U2 records. Please.

  • The Kinks - The Village Green Preservation Society (1968)
    A completely overlooked band in my opinion. This one is up there with all the great Beatles records. It was a concept album recorded before/during/after Sgt. Pepper's, but the Kinks still sound like a rock band, rather than an over-produced pop act. No offense, Yoko.

  • Margo Guryan - Take A Picture (1968)
    Her only LP. The story is that Margo (a schooled jazz pianist at the time) heard "God Only Knows" and said "I'd like to try this newfangled pop music." My friend Chris turned me onto her when Take a Picture was re-pressed in 2000, but at the time I foolishly pretended to be into her already.

  • McDonald & Giles - McDonald & Giles (1970)
    I've never listened to King Crimson, but I like this record. Honestly, I love the drum sounds. Isn't that enough sometimes?

  • Shuggie Otis - Inspiration Information (1974)
    An underrated music prodigy. I think Shuggie played everything on this album. A truly self-contained recording artist who somehow "fell through the cracks." Much like Steely Dan building a career off of recording slick, soul-less, versions of Stevie Wonder songs, Hall & Oates owe their comfortable lifestyles to Shuggie's "Aht Uh Mi Hed."

  • White Noise - An Electric Storm (1969)
    Music made by former employees of the UN and the BBC. Listen on headphones. P.S. if you like this, check out The United States of America (1969) & Silver Apples (1969).

  • Paul McCartney - McCartney (1970)
    Recorded at home, straight to his Studer four-track with one mic – the perfect homebody record. I wish Tape Op would interview McCartney about it.

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