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Baker's Dozen

Batting Order: Neil Hannon's Favourite Albums
Laurie Tuffrey , July 4th, 2013 08:11

The Divine Comedy man picks out the gems in his record collection following the release of his second album with The Duckworth Lewis Method this week


The Human League - Dare
I was only ten when it came out, but I knew there and then that this was the best music ever, that album. Obviously, child of the seventies, I had grown up on quite luridly sentimental and cheesy music [laughs]! Because you didn't really see punk on the television or hear it on the radio, I never really noticed it, but I did hear how it affected pop music, which is new wave, synth-pop, Elvis Costello and Blondie and stuff like that. In amongst all that, you had Gary Numan and The Human League. It was a breath of fresh air, definitely. I can see myself in my dressing gown watching Top Of The Pops. Obviously, 'Don't You Want Me', which they casually put at the end of the record, is one of the ultimate pop hits of that era and it seemed to be number one for just ages, which was fine by me, because I loved the video as well. Also one of my favourite records, I couldn't put it in this list because it's just a single, is 'Pop Music' by M, which kind of sums up that era for me completely. That's a great record, but he never made a decent album!

Dare is, of all the albums on the list, it's probably the most complete - there's not a bad tune on it. They're just at the absolute pinnacle of their powers. It's not just about great pop music, because they were quite experimental still. It's not so much crazy experimental sounds, but it's really, really hard-edged and it doesn't let you off the hook. Nothing has really got a lot of reverb or delay on it, it's very, very clean. Some of the sounds go right through your head, piercing.