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Baker's Dozen

Shining On: Guy Chadwick's Favourite Albums
Joe Clay , December 10th, 2012 09:23

The House Of Love man picks out the albums that mean the most

Photograph courtesy of Mick Griffiths

There’s a general consensus at the moment that if The House of Love were to be emerging into the current musical climate they would be huge – stadium huge at the very least, bigger than Coldplay if luck was with them. Their brand of intelligent, crystalline guitar pop would be lapped up by the masses who have taken indie into the mainstream. Instead they were forever on the fringes; beloved by those with cardigans (and fringes). Even major label money couldn’t propel them towards the level of stardom that was once assumed to be their destiny.

And listening to the imminent reissue of their self-titled debut (remastered with a load of unreleased demos and alternate takes, plus some thrilling live tracks), originally released in 1988, it is startling how fresh and essential it still sounds. Old wounds between the band’s creative forces, Guy Chadwick and Terry Bickers, are long healed, and their on-going reunion seems to be more about unfinished business than unpaid mortgages – another album of new material is due next year.

Back then Chadwick, square of jaw and dark of eye, was, on outward appearances at least, the relative straight man to Bickers’s deranged, acid-frazzled guitar hero. But anybody who has read David Cavanagh’s excellent biography of Creation Records, My Magpie Eyes Are Hungry for the Prize will know that it was Chadwick who was the cast-iron loon. “Guy was more of a Keith Richards than Keith Richards himself,” recalled Alan McGee in The Times last year.

An infinitely more stable presence these days (he delays our call because he is collecting his daughter from school), Chadwick’s Baker's Dozen stays pretty faithful to the rock music canon, give or take the odd wildcard. “I’ve mostly gone for the albums from my childhood,” he explains. “They’re the ones that really mean something. I hadn’t listened to some of them for years, but they’re still important. My taste is much more eclectic than this list would suggest. I’m a big fan of ethnic music and I love Cuban music. I know Buena Vista Social Club is very obvious, but it’s a great intro point. I guess my real feeling about music is that just because it’s accessible doesn’t mean it’s not good.”

The House of Love (Deluxe Edition) is reissued by Cherry Red on December 10.

Click on Guy's picture below to begin scrolling through his choices.