This week sees Jake Bugg release his first album in four years, as the 27-years-old shares his new record, Saturday Night, Sunday Morning. Bugg is back with a fire in his belly, a point to prove, and the body of work is his most eclectic to date.
On the album, he proves that he’s no longer the teenager armed with an acoustic guitar as he sprinkles his trademark sound with radio-friendly hits that 2017’s Hearts That Strain lacked. Naturally, when an album is a collection of songs built up from such an extensive period, Saturday Night, Sunday Morning is a diverse final product.
The folk origins will always be ingrained in Bugg, and they flicker in and out during the album. However, more noticeably is his ambitious sound and desire to prove that he is a contemporary artist who isn’t just chasing yesterday.
Once you discover the nine albums he chose for his Doctor’s Orders feature, you’ll have a greater understanding of Bugg’s musical DNA and the comprehensive sound of Saturday Night, Sunday Morning.
Continuing with our Mental Health Awareness campaign, Far Out Magazine has teamed up with the suicide prevention charity CALM to help connect you with your favourite artists and hear how music has helped them during their darker times and day-to-day lives.
The organisation, with the full working title of ‘Campaign Against Living Miserably’, offer a free, confidential and anonymous helpline for those most in need of mental health support. Now lockdown measures have eased, that doesn’t mean that impact of the last eighteen months has ended, and CALM still needs as much help as possible to carry on with its excellent work.
We at Far Out believe in music’s ability to heal. It could be the moment that the needle drops on your favourite song and provides respite from a chaotic world, or, conversely, it might be the fanatic conversation you have with friends about which guitarist was the greatest. Music, it’s safe to say, has always allowed us to connect with one another and ourselves.
In support of CALM, we’re asking a selection of our favourite people to share nine records that they would prescribe for anyone they met and the stories behind their importance. Doctor’s Orders sees some of our favourite musicians, actors, authors, comedians and more offer up the most important records, which they deem essential for living well.
Jake Bugg’s nine favourite albums
Terry Reid – Seed Of Memory (1976)
Terry Reid is one of the most undercelebrated vocalists in British rock history. Although he’s had a decorated career and even turned down the chance to be the singer in Led Zepellin, he’s a name that doesn’t pop up frequently in lists of this nature. However, Bugg holds a special place in his heart for Reid’s fourth album, Seeds Of Memory.
“It’s just an absolutely great sounding record,” Bugg enthusiastically says. “His voice is amazing, not a lot of people know about him, but he was a great singer-songwriter in the 1960s and from that Led Zeppelin circle, and that kind of world. Just an absolutely amazing songwriter with a great voice, and the drum sound is brilliant as well.
“Me, my crew, and friends have him on all the time. Everybody who I’ve introduced it to just absolutely love it. I even showed it to the Camelphat boys, and they loved it,” he reveals.
Tammy Wynette – The World Of Tammy Wynette (1970)
Bugg’s second choice sees him show off his country roots. Despite his new album Saturday Night, Sunday Morning moving away from that sonic, Bugg is clearly inspired by the authenticity of the genre. His decision to choose Tammy Wynette’s 1970 offering, The World Of Tammy Wynette, proves that part of him is still alive and kicking.
“It’s just brilliant instrumentation,” Bugg says in total awe. “She’s probably got one of the best voices that I’ve ever heard, I absolutely love it. I know they have a lot of writers and things like that, but she just sings every song with such emotion and conviction. It’s breathtaking.
“The tracks I really like are the two opening ones, ‘Honey, I Miss You’ and ‘It’s My Way, they are great tracks. There’s also a really nice cover of ‘Yesterday’,” the singer keenly adds.
ABBA – The Visitors (1981)
In a left-field turn of events, Bugg opts to pick The Visitors by ABBA as his next album, the final group the Scandanavian pop pioneers released before their split. “I think it was the first-ever album to be released on CD,” Bugg proudly recalls about the record before admitting he’d heard the pub-quiz trivia on an episode of Who Wants To Be A Millionaire.
“What I love about this album, yes it’s Abba, and they’ve got all the great, big production, but there are so many dark songs on it. I love it because of that. Obviously, we associate Abba with uplifting choruses, but I just love how dark this record is.
“It’s not like disposable or throwaway. It’s moving, and it stays with you. I think that’s why as children, we just had it get played to death,” Bugg reflects.
Black Sabbath – Vol. 4 (1972)
Black Sabbath’s fourth album saw them take up production duties, and the making of the record was riddled from the off-set due to the escalation of their drug issues. However, somehow against the odds, they produced a masterpiece which Bugg thinks is their magnum opus.
“I love that record. It’s just one of those records whenever I’m feeling a bit shit or a bit down, I’ll stick that one, and it just brings you right up. It’s just absolute fun,” Bugg openly reveals. “I’d have kind of liked to have been an observer of the reaction of people when they first came on to the scene, and I’m sure a lot of people didn’t like it,” the singer wryly notes.
“What’s amazing about Sabbath, and this album totally reflects the two sides they had, they weren’t just all-out thrashing away. They had these amazing changes and beautiful melodic parts. It amazes me how they remembered the arrangements, to be honest, there are so many different parts, and they were so out of their minds,” he laughs.
Bob Marley & The Wailers – Catch A Fire (1973)
There are few more recognisable figures in the world of music than Bob Marley. Step down Camden Market, and you’ll be greeted by his face emblazoned on T-shirts, lighters, or anything else that a resourceful mind has unofficially printed.
There’s something inimitable about Marley and his strong outlook on the world, which means that his presence can still be felt even 40 years after his death. His 1973 album with The Wailers, Catch A Fire, occupies a place on Bugg’s list and brings back floods of memories that he wouldn’t change for the world.
“This one is probably one of my all-time favourites just because I used to play Xbox a lot when I was a teenager, and I had this record which I played to death,” Bugg confesses.
He continues, “It just has a special place in my heart just because I used to listen to it all the time during these late nights. The lyrics are just brilliant; they say so much and are also a sad reality. My favourite tracks are probably ‘Midnight Ravers’ and ‘Concrete Jungle’.”
Vangelis – Voices (1995)
Greek electronic composer, Vangelis, is an artist you wouldn’t expect Bugg to pick. The atmospheric Voices is an unexpected record that the singer grew up on, which he still holds in the highest regard today.
“I know it’s probably a bit of a strange one,” Bugg admits. “But for me, I liked a lot of these songs which I heard growing up, and I never liked music with singing or words when I was younger. But I loved instrumental music, and I love this record.
Bugg passionately adds: “I’m a big Vangelis fan. He’s probably my favourite artist, to be honest, and somebody that has written so much great music. I love this album because this was like 30 years into his career in the ’90s, and it’s one of his best records. It’s a very calming, relaxing album. If you ever just want to chill and relax, this is perfect.
“You kind of get lost with your thoughts, and it certainly makes you think. I think it’s actually good for the mind as well, and just brilliant music.”
Jefferson Airplane – Surrealistic Pillow (1967)
Jefferson Airplane is an act that Bugg alluded to as an inspiration for his new album Saturday Night, Sunday Morning in his Far Out Meets. Here he names their 1967 album, Surrealistic Pillow, as his favourite record by the group.
“One of my favourite singers of all time, her voice is incredible,” Bugg says about Grace Slick. “Again, kind of like Black Sabbath, how on earth did they remember those structures in those arrangements and all the parts? I just have no idea because, you know obviously, I think they liked a late night,” he chuckles.
“When I’ve been working with people on this record on the production side, Jefferson Airplane is the one thing I like to reference a lot. Songs like ‘Rabbit Hole’ and ‘Lonely Hours’ where they have those psychedelic guitar parts, they’ve definitely been an influence on this album for sure,” Bugg states.
Bill Withers – Still Bill (1972)
The loss of Bill Withers in 2020 is one that every music lover is still reeling from, but thankfully his records are a reminder of his ethereal talent and smooth as hell voice. He’s an artist whom Bugg has nothing but superlatives to say about, and 1972’s Still Bill is his penultimate selection.
“‘Lonely Town, Lonely Street’, ‘Use Me’,” Bugg simply lists his favourite tracks before expanding on his decision. “I absolutely love Bill Withers. He’s probably one of the best songwriters of all time.
“I actually had the privilege of playing with James Gadson as well. I was working with a friend, and also, Mike D from The Beastie Boys, we were just doing some writing together,” Bugg blissfully reminisces about working with the legendary drummer who played on Still Bill.
“They asked me who my favourite drummer of all time was, and I said, James Gadson. We were in the studio the next day, and he just turned up. They knew him and invited him. It absolutely blew my mind, and he just played with us for the day. He was great,” Bugg recalls gleefully.
Metallica – Kill ‘Em All (1983)
The full scale of Bugg’s diverse music taste is on show in his list of records, and his choice to include Metallica’s Kill ‘Em All is unexpected, but every album he has chosen proves why you shouldn’t judge a book by its cover. The metal icons 1983 debut helped spawn a whole new genre, and it’s a playlist closer which brings proceedings to an end in deft fashion.
“Well, I’ve been listening to this quite a lot again recently,” Bugg explains about his decision. “What I love about it is how they are so young. I I watched a video of them playing ‘Seek and Destroy’ at The Metro and James (Hetfield) looks so young it’s mental.
“There’s a lot of anger in the album, obviously, but it’s got a lot of earnestness about it as well. A lot of the lyrics like ‘Seek and Destroy’, just sounds like a bunch of young kids wanting to go beat this guy up who always used to beat them up. It’s just funny the kind of stories that play in my head when I’m listening to it.”