Kip Winger: 10 records that changed my life

Kip Winger
(Image credit: Kip Winger)

Winger frontman and Grammy-nominated composer Kip Winger will be back in The UK next week, bringing his seventh annual solo acoustic show to The Black Heart in London's salubrious Camden precinct on Saturday November 27.

It's Winger's only UK show of the year, and he'll be accompanied by Santa Fe singer/songwriter Robby Rothschild, who released his debut, Winger-produced EP earlier this year.

The evening promises to take the audience on a journey through Winger's career, with band hits and solo favourites accompanied by stories, anecdotes and surprises.

"Sometimes an audience member will get up and duet with me on Miles Away and nail it so well it could be on a record," Winger told us in 2015. "And in London there’s a guy who calls himself Samir Winger who sings my songs in an incredible high-pitched voice."

Tickets are on sale now.

Below, Kip Winger picks 10 records that changed his life


Mike Oldfield - Tubular Bells

"I listened to Mike Oldfield's Tubular Bells non-stop for years and still do. The inspiration flowing from this music is astounding, which is the highest goal of a composer. At 16 I’d drive my car to a park and listen to this over and over, especially side two. It's the soundtrack to my youth, although I still listen to it all a few times a year. This record is genius." 

Black Sabbath - Sabbath Bloody Sabbath

"Sabbath Bloody Sabbath is an amazingly musical record with incredible emotion in the songs, and hugely influential on my songwriting. Throughout my early days as a musician I probably played 75% of all the Black Sabbath songs. They're known as a metal band, but the truth is they have a lot of deeper emotional songs that are superb. There's way more than meets the eye with this band." 

The Beatles - Let It Be

"Let It Be came out when I was nine years old living in the mountains of Colorado working at a funky resort for my parents. It was my refuge from cleaning restaurant tables [laughs]. Every day after working in the restaurant I would pull out the record (original vinyl) and jam the tunes on bass with my brothers. It brings back great memories. The Long And Winding Road is my favourite tune by The Beatles."

Jethro Tull - The Broadsword and the Beast

"From the age of 21 I listened to this record non-stop for a period of about three years. Amazing vibe on this record. Jethro Tull were always a big influence on my and had a lot to do with my learning classical music. I think this is one of their best and went unfairly unnoticed." 

Pierre Boulez conducts Ravel

"This album contains my all time favourite piece of music, Trois Poèmes De Stéphane Mallarmé. In my opinion Ravel is the most uniquely creative composer of all time: his music is completely transformative, there's not one mediocre piece of music. If you are ever in France, I highly recommend visiting his house. It's called Le Belvédère, is shaped like a narrowboat, and is perched on the edge of the small town of Montfort-l’Amaury." 

Honegger - Symphony No. 3

In 1999 I was in Amsterdam at the Royal Concertgebouw, and on comes this massive piece by a composer I’d never heard of, Honegger. It literally blew my mind. I promptly went out and bought all his scores. He’s my number one go-to composer to study when I’m stuck on a piece of music.

Crosby, Stills & Nash - Crosby, Stills & Nash

"This is a hugely influential record for me regarding the influence on my acoustic guitar playing. Unbelievable songs and vocal harmonies. A major influence on my songwriting as well. When I was young my brothers and I would learn these tunes and sing all the harmonies. Guinevere is one of my all time favourite songs." 

Rush - 2112

"I’m a huge Rush fan, and was in a three-piece band most of my youth. This record was the pinnacle of three-piece band excellence. I learned all the bass parts the week it came out. My band did our (bad) rendition of 2112. It was like a master class in prog rock. Genius on every level."   

Joe Walsh - The Smoker You Drink, The Player You Get

"This record has been the soundtrack to my life on and off to this very day. The vibe of this record is astounding. It never gets old. Superb playing and production. Joe Walsh is such an underrated song writer. His work with the James Gang was also a big influence, especially the bass playing." 

Erik Satie - 50 Essential Piano Pieces

"I currently listen to this record every morning. The pianist Roland Pöntinen is by far the best at interpreting this music. An absolute must-listen. Many people believe that Debussy and Ravel are the music of Paris. But the truth (and both Debussy and Ravel would probably agree) is that Erik Satie is the true voice of Paris." 

Kip Winger Black Heart poster

(Image credit: Kip Winger)
Fraser Lewry

Online Editor at Louder/Classic Rock magazine since 2014. 38 years in music industry, online for 25. Also bylines for: Metal Hammer, Prog Magazine, The Word Magazine, The Guardian, The New Statesman, Saga, Music365. Former Head of Music at Xfm Radio, A&R at Fiction Records, early blogger, ex-roadie, published author. Once appeared in a Cure video dressed as a cowboy, and thinks any situation can be improved by the introduction of cats. Favourite Serbian trumpeter: Dejan Petrović.