Thomas Mars reveals the music that changed his life

Phoenix’s Thomas Mars reveals the highlights of his excellent record collection. Oh, and Sigue Sigue Sputnik… Originally published in Uncut’s August 2010 issue (Take 159). Words: Sharon O’Connell


Sigue Sigue Sputnik
Flaunt It
Thomas Mars: I have a very vague memory of this, but that’s what I love about it. It was given to me when I was 10 by my older brother; he went to study for a year in Seattle and this was one of the gifts he brought back. It’s almost like a toy – the cover is fluorescent with a Japanese robot on it, and the music is almost like a toy, too. I loved it a lot. It felt like something that was really mine.

Iggy Pop & James Williamson
Kill City
This was a first for me because everything on it is something I thought I wouldn’t I like. There was a saxophone, heavy synthesisers and every chord is really full. From what I understand, in the week Iggy would go for treatment for his depression and at the weekend, he would write the record. There’s nothing subtle here – it’s heavy and dark and hard to listen to.

Alain Souchon
Jamais Content
I feel like this was the only record my parents had, which is pretty sad! I guess Alain Souchon was a family friend, because they weren’t into music at all, so this was probably a gift. It’s very French, kid-friendly pop. It comes from an era when people could spend a lot of time in the studio, experimenting with technology. It has a quality such that you don’t know whether it’s a real drummer or a machine.

  1. 1. Introduction
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