Pop Riffs: The First and Last Records Rought by Musician Julia Fordham

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The Independent Culture
First Record: Pink Floyd's "Dark Side of the Moon"

I BOUGHT this because the boy I liked at the time was a big Floyd fan and I thought it would be a connection. "Dark Side of the Moon" wasn't without its charm, although I did think that it was boys' music at the time. I remember being impressed by the women wailing on "Breathe". I was really blown away, thinking: "wow, this is real singing". Somewhere between their lyrical content Joni Mitchell's sound seeped into my consciousness and had some effect.

At the same time I bought an album by the Osmonds. This was 100 per cent peer-group pressure because all the girls had a crush on Donny and I needed to find out why. The irony is we didn't even have a record player at the time and I don't recall playing the Osmond record.

Between the ages of 12 and 14 I made a definite leap to follow my own tastes. Musically from then on I didn't fit in, I liked stuff from another era - Paul Simon, Joan Armatrading and Joni Mitchell. I didn't belong with the girlies, I bravely stepped out on my own journey.

Last Record: Zephyr Voices Choral Band's "A Choir of Angels; Mission Music"

I live in California and most people think of Baywatch, but from San Francisco onwards there are these absolutely beautiful, original mission buildings set up by Christians. The reason why I bought this album was because the proceeds literally go towards funding these museums. I really wanted to do something to support keeping their story and history alive.

The record is beautifully executed. It is sung by an LA-based choral group, and the ironic thing is that the music was written by the resident padre. It is classical choral. I put it on during Sunday mornings when I feel the need to be inspired spiritually. And it is beautifully sung. I think it is important that we keep these stories alive. Of course we now realise just how much the native American Indian taught us rather than what we tried to impress upon them. Although it was a noble dream on behalf of the Spanish Christians, ultimately it was completely destructive to the native American Indians. It wiped out a culture that was rich in so many ways.

Julia Fordham releases "Happy Ever After 98" on 9 September.