: Franklin James Fisher of Algiers: five essential albums

Algiers: (lr) Ryan Mahan. Lee Teche. Matt Tong and Franklin Fisher (photo by Christian Högstedt/courtesy the artist)


2.10.22 04:00

As FUV pays tribute to music pioneers over the next month, we’ve also reached out to a new generation of emerging artists and innovators to discuss the “Five Essential Albums” that have guided them creatively and personally.

Transatlantic gothic funk and punk rockers Alger captured the heightened anxiety and fury of a generation trying to make sense of big issues like colonialism, racism and a world spiraling out of control. Over their three-album, multiple-EP career, the Atlanta and London-born band have defied easy categorization, delving freely into jazz, gospel, melodious soul, brutalist punk, and even techno as components of their unique DNA.

This heady mix was very evident when the band did an unforgettable FUV Live 2020 session to support their latest release, electrifying and raucous There is no year.

Lead vocalist, multi-instrumentalist and lyricist Franklin James FisherThe poetic lyricism of Algiers is at the heart of the frank and sought-after songs of Algiers, but as he explained to the Guardian a few years ago, his approach is not always direct. “The political situation is complex, he explains, so the ways of talking about it must be complex because otherwise it’s anachronistic, and it doesn’t suit me.”

And since Fisher and Alger like to blur the lines of genre (and expectation), we loved that he took our request for “Five Essential Albums” and added his own twist.

Franklin James Fisher of Algiers: five essential albums:

I decided to make five live albums that had an indelible effect on me:

Donny Hathaway, Live!
This record was the first time I heard a seamless blend of voices between the band and the crowd. Back to University Ryan [Mahan] used to throw these big parties at his house and every time that record played (especially “Little Ghetto Boy”), our whole group of friends went wild. That feel is really built into how we conceptualize background vocals in Algiers.

Ahmed Jamal, At Pershing: but not for me
In high school, we used to drive around the suburbs listening to records because there was nothing else for the kids to do. After a while you start to know the people making all the incidental noise at the bar in the background as well as the notes of the song being played. It really gave me an idea of ​​how the energy of a room can be captured and translated onto a recording.

Jeff Buckley, Living in Sin-é
Buckley resonates so strongly with me because he was just a (super-talented) guy who loved music. Listening to this record, one gets the impression that he did the same thing every day in his apartment with the same level of commitment, passion and playfulness. Some people can’t turn it off; it’s just who they are. The wonder and excitement here is palpable and hypnotic in the way it draws you in.

Nina simone, Nina Simone’s Grand Show live in Paris
Nina Simone is probably my favorite live artist of all time. I’ve always been much more drawn to his live recordings which sound so much more visceral and exposed than his more embellished studio albums. Live, she will take you everywhere and you will follow her at all times. I also think it’s one of the most underrated bands in music (Buck Clark on drums, Henry Young on guitar, Gene Taylor on bass, and Sam Waymond on organ and BV). Similar to {Bob} Dylan, Nina would change the way a song played depending on her mood for the day, with little or no notice. The band never seems to miss a beat and the musicianship is impeccable.

Fela Ransome-Kuti, Africa ’70, Ginger Baker, Live!
The first song on this record [“Let’s Start”] is one of the coolest things I’ve ever heard.

Franklin James Fisher of Algiers
February 2022


Comments are closed.