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Baker's Dozen

Paid Attention: Johnny Dean Of Menswear's Favourite Albums
Wesley Doyle , June 23rd, 2014 08:11

With a new single from the rejuvenated Menswear recently released, frontman Johnny Dean talks about sax appeal, music as maths and why pop is as much about what you see as what you hear

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Wire - Pink Flag
The weird thing about the internet is that is turned everyone's ability to form an opinion into an exercise in copy and paste. Things like, "Menswear were a one hit wonder" - well, we weren't if you were around at the time, we had quite a few top 20 singles actually. The other one is this idea that we ripped off Elastica and… it's the one thing that really gets on my tits because we were ripping off Wire! I used to go to Blow Up and we were quite friendly with Graham Coxon and because we lived in Southend he used to let us sleep on his front room floor. He'd get up the next day and play records to us and that's when I first heard Wire. It's a traditional band set-up but insanely tight, the tightest band I've ever heard in my life, which gives them a machine-like quality. It's very robotic and the fact Colin Newman doesn't really sing really fired my imagination. The two big songs on this for me are 'Lowdown' and 'Strange', which will come as no surprise if you like 'Daydreamer'.


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Jun 23, 2014 2:50pm

Why?

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Reggie P
Jun 23, 2014 3:07pm

Cheers for this, Johnny and the Quietus. Need to have an article on that 'lost' Menswear second album surely? Strings by Sean O'Hagen. Beards.

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Neil
Jun 23, 2014 3:35pm

Yeah... good call. I'd love to hear Scott Walker cover The Killing Moon. I'm sure Ian McCulloch would be interested too.

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BOOF.
Jun 23, 2014 8:12pm

In reply to Reggie P:

In all fairness, having heard it, it ain't that great.

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Jun 23, 2014 9:33pm

In reply to BOOF.:

p.s. Am definitely interested in hearing their "new" stuff though, I'm a seasoned Menswear apologist with regard to their debut. :)

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F Again
Jun 23, 2014 9:46pm

You know, I have no idea who either Johnny Dean or Menswear is- I'm isolated out here in the West Texas desert- but I thoroughly enjoyed this Baker's Dozen. Gracias!

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JB
Jun 24, 2014 8:04am

The Africa Shop is still going in Southend. I remember Johnny on the local scene, going from a long haired grunge kid with a woolly hat to a sharp dressed besuited mod in finger snapping quick time. Never liked Menswear at all but that's a pretty good list, mirroring my youthful Duran Duran and Beastie Boys fixations nicely.

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Jun 24, 2014 12:49pm

What's this guy doing here? Isn't britpop the worst thing to happen to the world in the last half of the twentieth century?

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Reggie P
Jun 24, 2014 2:24pm

In reply to BOOF.:

I quite liked some of the cuts, that Wait For The Sun is rockin' (as the kids say) and I think the first track has great strings....but yes, perhaps not the lost classic I want it to be ;)

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Scott
Jun 24, 2014 5:54pm

Not a bad list of albums, especially like the inclusion of Quiet Life, a brave choice, as no-one admits to liking Japan nowadays, yet they were massive back in the day.

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john p.
Jun 24, 2014 6:29pm

In reply to Scott:

Is that so? I still listen to Quiet Life and Tin Drum a lot. Beautiful stuff that still feels fresh nowadays (Gentleman Take Polaroids doesn't somehow...)

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Scott Sanders
Jun 25, 2014 7:50am

In reply to john p.:

I love Quiet Life, Gentlemen Take Polaroids, Tin Drum and Oil on Canvas too, and still listen to them regularly. I've also followed David Sylvian's solo career. However, Japan do not get the kudos in the media that they deserve.

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Dan Diltch
Jun 26, 2014 6:09pm

What a queef list! Rubbish.

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Jun 27, 2014 8:36pm

Good to see some love for Japan. Great band. Scott doing Killing Moon, now there`s a thought. Someone make it happen.

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