Back in 2001, Sophie Ellis-Bextor told the world that the groove was far more important than murder. While Murder On The Dancefloor made her name, she’s since gone on to release six studio albums, the latest of which is Familia, co-written and produced with Ed Harcourt, the follow-up to Wanderlust.
Says Sophie of her 11-track new work: “My new album Familia is the bolshier, more extrovert little sister to Wanderlust. It sees the Wanderlust girl move away from Eastern Europe to the warmer, sunnier climate of Latin America where she’s swapped vodka for tequila.”
Ahead of the release of her new album, and her bar bill, Sophie mined her record collection for the albums that have influenced her most to present us with her This Music Made Me…
I have worked with Ed on two albums now and he is without doubt one of the most talented people I know.
This album was my favourite album from the year it came out and even though his new album Furnaces is a work of art, Lustre is my personal Number 1 Ed album as its filled with so much beauty and heart.
I love the way music can be a little time machine and for me this album takes me right back to being 13 and hanging out with my girlfriends from school who are still my best friends now.
I was a massive Madonna fan when I was little.
I found her totally mesmerising and I still think she set the benchmark for being a strong female solo artist. She never looks like she’s doing anything for anyone other than herself and I love that.
This album shows you what a brilliant songwriter she is, too. I think the single Like A Prayer is one of the best pop records ever written.
When I was small I used to make my sindy dolls act out A-ha concerts.
A-ha wrote some fantastic songs and also some really quite strange lyrics. This album has a song called Touchy which includes the words “I sneeze to look around, but there’s no escape”. Weird yet memorable.
Plus Morten Harket has the most incredible voice. What a range!
I could have chosen a few albums from the Britpop era but this is one of the best and has stood the test of time.
This was the moment that I felt my generation had found its soundtrack.
I loved living in London and going to gigs, so hungry to hear any new music. It was addictive.
Michael Jackson – Off The Wall
Wow, Michael Jackson had so much talent.
This record is filled with energy and vitality and so much joy. Plus it’s what I chose to listen to when I had my first child.
I would love my babies to take a little of that disco spirit on board.
Fleetwood Mac – Tango In The Night
My dad always played me music he liked. It was a big influence on me.
He played everything from XTC to The Beatles to Pink Floyd to The B52’s. This album I can remember him putting on a lot and it is still one of my favourites.
I’ve often used a kind of Fleetwood Mac approach to backing vocals. I love the way they are so percussive and urgent.
The War On Drugs – Lost In The Dream
We listen to this record at home so it has happy associations of being with my husband richard and all the kids.
It’s an album that feels like the best kind of road trip.
It’s all wide screen… melodic and atmospheric.
I could listen to her voice all day.
I used to try and sing along to natural woman when I was about 10. I say try because I was never a patch on Aretha. Her voice is so powerful and magical.
My favourite female vocalists are quite diverse but Aretha was one of the first proper belting singers that excited me and as with all the best music, she has the same effect on me now as she did then.
Sophie Ellis-Bextor’s new album Familia is out now through EBGBs. She plays London’s Bush Hall on 8 September 2016. Tour dates and further information can be found here.