Uncut – 1999


What about those unreleased albums then, Paddy?

I’m as frustrated as you that I’ve not made more records. I feel like a fraudulent Orson Welles figure: the triumphs I never had; my hypothetical career. I need a rich patron, someone like Bill Gates.

You must have more in the vaults than Prince or Dylan! Or Brian Wilson…

We all get hung up on the idea of that lost Eden, almost like a Greek myth, of that gorgeous period in 1967 when Wilson produced these fragments of genius [ie on Smile] that were never organised into any shape and so remain forever out of reach. I feel it in my own life! I never thought I’d be kept away at night thinking about all the stuff I hadn’t recorded. I’m haunted by all these unrealised visions.

Why not satisfy the record company and lovers of idiosyncratic Paddy by doing a (Bowie’s) Low: one side pop songs, the other experimental?

Funny you should mention Low – it was my model for 20th Century Magic. But I thought it was too much of a compromise. The next album is a radical shift: Enfant Terrible – two tracks, largely instrumental. It’s way out there.