The Quietus - A new rock music and pop culture website

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


Sex Pistols - Never Mind The Bollocks, Here’s The Sex Pistols
Punk rock changed my life. In 1976 in grim old England – grey days, Thatcherism, strikes, power cuts, unemployment through the roof – it was pretty bad out there. There are similarities to now, I suppose. I was a little kid and I would get up to go to school and it would be freezing as we didn’t have any power. I wondered what was going on. You needed something in life to shake things up and this punk rock movement seemed to come out of nowhere. There was glam rock which was fading by 1975, Bowie had changed identity again and then – bang – in came the Sex Pistols. It wasn’t just them – there were all these bands, The Clash, The Buzzcocks, Siouxsie And The Banshees, The Damned. But, I chose the Sex Pistols’ album as I do think they were leading the race.

They had Malcolm [McLaren] and Vivienne [Westwood] who were behind the scenes helping paint the picture – two of the greatest creative people of that time period. They had the most extraordinary image. The Pistols were so stylish. Everyone says it is anti-style but actually it was complete high fashion; their first show was at Central Saint Martins for God’s sake. The whole thing, to me, was incredibly stylish which of course I loved having grown up with glam rock.

There was something about punk – it really did upset your parents. All kids need something at some stage that is theirs and doesn’t belong to their parents. Every generation needs to rebel and punk rock really was that. It tore up the rule book.

Before that were all these technical bands like Pink Floyd, Yes and Genesis – some of which are amazing – but at the time was all too complicated. Emerson, Lake And Palmer had too many notes. Punk rock just had a few chords and it was raw and you could feel the nerves. That’s the first time I realised that maybe I could be in a band. I remember going with John Taylor to Birmingham Barbarella’s to see a punk band – maybe Generation X – and I was stood watching the guitarist play and I knew all of the chords. I went home and got my guitar out and played the chords. I could play the song. That was an epiphany – I realised I could do it. I could never have done anything like that to a Genesis track.

I’ve chosen the Sex Pistols album as I think it is the most significant one but I would say I almost chose The Scream by Siouxsie And The Banshees because it is a brilliant record – so enigmatic and different – and I played it so much. Siouxsie was so unique. In fact punk bands were unique, even if they had the same energy. I loved the Buzzcocks’ Spiral Scratch EP and then the album, which Malcolm Garrett designed and went on to do all of our stuff for the first five years. We got him because of Buzzcocks.