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Baker's Dozen

The Sounds Of Planet Earth: Nick Rhodes Of Duran Duran’s Favourite Albums
John Freeman , April 15th, 2013 08:16

As his long-standing side-project TV Mania finally releases an album, Bored With Prozac And The Internet?, Duran Duran’s Nick Rhodes reveals the 13 albums that changed his perceptions about music


Michael Jackson - Off The Wall
This was a difficult choice. I did want something that was a disco album and could have gone for The Bee Gees’ Saturday Night Fever - you don’t get much better than the songs on that particular album. But then I thought about Michael Jackson and what he did and how he changed things. Off The Wall is Quincy [Jones] at the height of his powers producing Michael Jackson as he is coming of age. Michael had the most amazing voice and a sense of rhythm that no-one had ever heard before. It’s really something. I listened to it about two or three months ago for the first time in quite a while and it is flawless.

Off The Wall was the sound of [New York super-club] Studio 54. I was too young to go to Studio 54 when it first opened but I did go later when they reopened it briefly at the beginning of the eighties. I stood in the same room just imagining what it would have been like - it would have been a lot more fun in 1977. So, that album, which to me is a more interesting album than Thriller (although again another really great album), captured the spirit of a generation and moved dance music somewhere. This discussion could go on for hours if we had time, about what happened with disco and funk, bands like Chic and Sister Sledge who I’m obviously a huge fan of, but, for me, Off The Wall was the album that defined that period.

Did you know Michael?

I didn’t know him very well but I met him a few times. I actually presented him with a Grammy once. Sheena Easton and I gave him a Grammy – it was like a ‘who had the biggest mullet’ competition.

Who won?

Sheena was pretty good in that department.