Jeff Bridges names his 10 favourite albums

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The majority of you will be familiar with Jeff Bridges from his role as The Dude in the 1998 film The Big Lebowski. His roles in Burgess Meredith’s The Yin and the Yang of Mr. Go and The Last Picture Show launched his acting career in the early 1970s. Despite this period’s Hollywood obsession with Brando-like intensity, Bridges’ laid-back charm helped him land scene-stealing roles in movies like Tron, The Fabulous Baker Boys, and The Fisher King. You may not be aware of this, but Bridges is also the frontman of the country rock five-piece The Abiders, which includes the musician-actor on keyboards, vocals, and guitar. As the actor cites ten albums that have influenced him throughout the years, we stand with him.

The five-piece ensemble includes the actor-musician on vocals, guitar, and keyboards, as well as Chris Pelonis (guitar, keys, vocals), Tom Lackner (drums), Randy Tico (upright bass), and Bill Flores. The group’s name is an homage to one of the many memorable lines from Bridges’ 1998 mega-cult smash The Big Lebowski.

Here are his 10 favorite albums.

Bob Dylan – Blonde On Blonde

His list starts off with an undeniably great record cited by Bridges to Music Radar. “Bob Dylan’s a lot to take in. Man, I just love Blonde On Blonde. What an amazing album all the way through. Of course, I’m into a lot all of his records, really. I’ve been following Dylan from the beginning, all the folk stuff and then on to the electric stuff, Highway 61 Revisited, and everything else. It’s kind of mind-boggling.”

Moondog  – Moondog

“I remember seeing him when I was a little kid, probably about 11 or 12. He’d be across from the Hilton Hotel, passing out little leaflets, like, ‘Come to my concert.’ Through the years, whenever I’d come to New York, he was there, rain or shine – so now I’m talking when I was between the ages of 12 and 25.”

“One day I went into a record store, and I saw his picture on an album cover. I picked it up and looked at the liner notes, and who do you think wrote them? Leonard Bernstein! I bought the album and listened to it. It’s very avant-garde, modern music – pretty fascinating. He’d built all of his own instruments and did his own thing. I dig so much of his stuff. T Bone put some of his music in The Big Lebowski.”

Loggins And Messina – Full Sail

“Full Sail scored my love affair with my wife back in the ‘70s. We met in 1974 in Montana, when I was shooting a movie called Rancho Deluxe. Shortly after that movie, I went back up to Montana, picked her up and we drove back to LA. We’ve been together ever since. This record was kind of the soundtrack to us falling in love.”

“Oh, and here’s something funny: We ended up buying Kenny Loggins’ house. That kind of puts the cherry on top of the whole thing.”

The Everly Brothers – The Fabulous Style Of The Everly Brothers

“My brother, Beau, is eight years older than me, so a lot of the music that I grew up listening to is stuff that he was into first – Chuck Berry, Buddy Holly, and certainly The Everly Brothers.”

“They put out so many brilliant songs and albums. I remember Songs Our Daddy Taught Us as having a lot of great cuts. The Fabulous Style is, I think, a reprint – I’m not sure what it was called originally, but it’s got some of my favorites. I always loved the guitar sound on the song Claudette.”

Talking Heads – Stop Making Sense

“The Talking Heads were just phenomenal. They affected me in a similar way to The Beatles; they were so fresh and different, and, of course, their songs were like ear candy.”

“The film that Jonathan Demme made of their show blew me away. I saw the band play in Los Angeles on that tour – it was either the Greek Theatre or the Hollywood Bowl; I’m not sure which – and I loved every minute of it. Everybody set the bar really high with this one. It kind of changed the way concert films could be presented.”

The Beatles – Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band

“When I was a teenager, The Beatles were coming out with new songs all the time. At one point, it was like there was a different song every week. And the B-sides were as cool as the A-sides – it was incredible.”

“They put out album after album too, but suddenly the gap between them got longer than usual. We were all expecting something from them, and when they finally put out Sgt. Pepper, it was unlike anything we’d ever heard before – and unlike anything The Beatles had ever done before. A phenomenal record and achievement.”

Jeff Bridges – Be Here Soon (2000) and Jeff Bridges (2011)

“They obviously changed my life, both for different reasons. With the first one, it was a matter of different things coming together in a certain way. I’d moved up to Santa Barbara and met my dear friend Chris Pelonis, who produced the record with Michael McDonald and myself.”

“I wanted to turn this old garage into a recording studio, and so Chris got involved with that – he does sound design. He asked me if I played music, and I said yes, and that’s when he said, ‘Oh, you should meet my buddy Michael McDonald.’ Before you knew it, we were making a record and forming a label, Ramp Records.”

“And making the second record was just an altogether great experience. Working with my friend T Bone and everybody was remarkable.”

The Jimi Hendrix Experience – Are You Experienced

“Everybody wanted to play like Jimi Hendrix after this came out – or tried to. Like Sgt. Pepper, it was one of those records that sort of changed everything. It’s funny that they both came out around the same time.”

“I love the version of Sgt. Pepper that Jimi did in England a couple of days after The Beatles’ record came out. I think The Beatles were there when he came out and played it on stage and he blew everybody’s minds.”

The Byrds – Untitled

“This is a double album – half of it’s live and the other half is in the studio. And picking this one, I certainly don’t mean to slight David Crosby [who had been fired from the band in 1967]. I’m a huge fan of his, and I love his stuff with The Byrds. He’s a dear friend.”

“Something about this combination of the band really got to me. Hearing Clarence White’s guitar picking, man, I just loved it. The Byrds were always an important band to me. Their earlier stuff, when they were covering Dylan, was fantastic, as were the records that came later.”

Bill Evans – Everybody Digs Bill Evans

“My character in The Fabulous Baker Boys idolized Bill Evans. I knew Bill’s music somewhat before making the film – I dug Kind Of Blue, the Miles Davis album that Bill is on. But I got so much more into jazz after the Baker Boys experience.”

“[Film composer] Dave Grusen and the director, Steve Kloves, are such jazz fans, and they turned me on to so many great records, including Everybody Digs Bill Evans. I think it was something of Bill’s coming out as a bandleader. There’s a song on the record called Peace Piece that I can play a sort of bastardized version of. It’s such a beautiful song.”









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