PLAYLIST: The Raincoats

13 Aug 2019

The Raincoats look back at the music which influenced their debut album

Gina and Ana of The Raincoats have put together a playlist for us ahead of their 40th anniversary show celebrating their debut album. Check out tracks from the likes of Patti Smith, Lou Reed and The Slits: 

The Velvet Underground & Nico - ‘I’ll Be Your Mirror’ (Ana)
This is one of my top 3 albums. Everything here is beautiful. “I am tired, I am weary. I could sleep for a thousand years. A thousand dreams that would awake me. Different colours made of tears.”

Patti Smith - ‘Redondo Beach’ (Ana)
I heard ‘Horses’ by Patti Smith at a party in 1976. I was stunned – it opened everything for me.  “Redondo Beach is a beach where women love other women.”

Television - ‘See No Evil’ (Ana)
“I want a nice little boat made of ocean.”

The Slits - ‘FM’ (John Peel Session) (Ana)
I had never appreciated drums until I saw Palmolive play with the Slits with such immense joy, and when she joined The Raincoats in 1978 it was beyond anything I could wish for!
“Frequent Mutilation transmits over the air, serving for the purpose of those who want you to fear.”

Talking Heads - ‘Love Goes To Building On Fire’ (Ana)
I made a short film projecting images of a high rise building onto my walls, of my guitar, a map of the world, my camera, overlooking the railway line and I used this song in the soundtrack.
“It’s not love, It’s not love, which is my face, which is a building, which is on fire.”

Subway Sect - ‘Nobody’s Scared / Don’t Split It’ (Ana)
I bought this single in Rough Trade in 1978, I love the sound of Rob Symmons’ guitar. Epic Soundtracks stayed at my place for a while and used to play it with the treble turned on FULL!

X-Ray Spex - ‘Identity’ (Ana)
I saw a BBC documentary about Poly Styrene on TV early 1979 and there’s a scene with her in a supermarket. I was struck by the thought that her songs were like fairy tales in the supermarket and was inspired to use this to title my own song for The Raincoats.

The Mekons – ‘Where Were You’ (Gina)
I love all the simple evocative lines in this song.  “I was standing in the bar, where were you? I was buying you a drink.  Where were you?  You had yellow hair.” 

ATV – ‘Love Lies Limp’ (Gina)
Sex at this time was fraught.  Many people seemed to be asexual gender blurred and the idea of someone discussing those feelings of sexual ambivalence was so refreshing.  And the way the music worked... the bass referred to reggae, the guitar skanky with a great Sterling Morrison lead guitar part and brilliant London inflected vocals.

Scritti Politti – ‘Skank Bloc Bologna’ (Gina)
This kind of reggae infused diy jazz political mystery sound felt part of my revolutionary social and musical trajectory. It was fab!

Toots and the Maytals – ‘Funky Kingston’ (Gina)
Of course this track was one of the first tracks that helped me learn to play bass. Toots’ voice is so amazing! Bass and vocals…my lifeline!

Lou Reed – ‘Street Hassle’ (Gina)
Listening to this track of 3 sections was when I started to wonder how recordings were made…double tracked vocals, slightly out of synch. Listen to the whole album.

The Slits – ‘Shoplifting’ (Gina)
I love all the songs on the Peel session tapes.  Palmolive’s contribution to the Slits is so vital to me.  I love Cut, but it’s like a second album, reworking all the songs from the first.  What shall I choose? Shoplifting I think.  I know the holes in Palmolive’s old raincoat pockets.

Patti Smith – ‘Free Money’ (Gina)
We had no money back then.  It felt like no one did and it didn’t seem to matter.  Our housing was free, we didn’t eat much, gigs if we paid, were about £1 or £2.00.  Our riches were our creativity! We were all in bands or making films or doing something.  It was odd to me to fantasise about having lots of money but Patti sang about it like it was a curious overwhelming dream of plenty.

Other articles in this category

Please allow cookies: cookies are small text files that are safely stored on your computer. We use cookies to find out how people use this website so that we can make it even better in future. These cookies don’t contain any personal or sensitive information and are only used by Rock Feedback and our trusted partners.