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Digital Subscriptions > Long Live Vinyl > Nov 2019 > MY LIFE IN VINYL Geoff Barrow


A creative purist intent on shunning commercial influence, Geoff Barrow is best known for being a member of Portishead, but his output is remarkably varied. He tells Christopher Barrett about the 10 albums he has worked on that have had the biggest impact on his career


Drummer, composer, producer and record label boss Geoff Barrow has forged a resolutely independent creative pathsince the success of Portishead’s debut album thrust him head-first into the limelight in 1994. He grew up in the small coastal town of, funnily enough, Portishead, in a family devoid of musical interest. Barrow’s first attempts at making music came as a 12-year-old, when he would drum along to the likes of Hawkwind’s lysergic classic Silver Machine. His first job, as tea-boy-turned-tape-op at Coach House Studios in Bristol, saw him assist Massive Attack and co-write a track for Neneh Cherry. His love of hip hop and soundtracks would converge to great effect when he teamed up withBethGibbons and Adrian Utley to form Portishead.

Having suffered from depression following the music industry baptism of fire that followed the release of Dummy, Barrow has spent much of his time since making free-form music withhis band BEAK>, working withnew or obscure artists and running Invada Records, one of the biggest vinyl soundtrack labels in Europe.

Along the way, he has become an award-winning film score composer, working on major Hollywood movies such as Alex Garland’s Ex Machina and Annihilation, and has also stood behind the production desk for acts including The Coral, The Horrors and Arcade Fire.

Here, Barrow takes time out to talk to Long Live Vinyl about his 10 landmark albums from a career that has seen him go from sampling vinyl to recording, producing and selling it.

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About Long Live Vinyl

Tonight, we're gonna party like it's 1999… Issue 32 of Long Live Vinyl brings you an exclusive first look inside the huge new 15LP Prince boxset as members of the Purple genius' band and his closest friends tell the story of the original 1999 album. We also hear from Estate Manager Michael Howe why this is only the beginning for Prince collectors. Pick up your copy to find out which releases are coming next from the Paisley Park vault. Elsewhere, in our packed interviews section, we sit down with Elbow, Big Thief, Adam Green and Jason Isbell to chat about their new albums, as well as delving into the history of the legendary Palm Tree label, Island Records, as they celebrate their 60th birthday. Fab Four fans should check out our Essential Beatles solo albums collector's guide. Plus we visit the Premier League referee who's running his own record shop, as well as taking an in-depth look at The XX's Mercury Prize-winning album xx. If all that's not enough, you'll find the widest range of new album, reissue and hi-fi reviews anywhere on the newsstand. Long Live Vinyl is THE magazine for vinyl lovers. Pick up your copy today!