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Baker's Dozen

God's Own Medicine: Wayne Hussey's Favourite Albums
Ben Graham , October 10th, 2013 08:06

We put in a long-distance call to Brazil to ask The Mission frontman and former Sister Of Mercy about the gems in his record collection


Talk Talk - Spirit Of Eden
Again, this is a recent discovery in the last year or so. I listen to Radio 6 online and they played a track off this, I can’t remember which one it was now, it was probably the single, and I loved it, and I went out and bought all their albums. And what is interesting to me really in the story of Talk Talk and their trajectory is that when they started off they were really a pop band. They had some really great pop singles to start off with, but each album got progressively weirder. You know, with the second album there were the pop singles but with a little bit of weirdness coming in, and then by the time they did Spirit Of Eden which I think is the fourth one, I would’ve thought - “Okay, we’ve spent a year making this record, Mr A&R Man, come and have a listen,” and the A&R man would be listening to it and pulling his hair out, thinking fuck, where’s the single on this?! But an album that’s as complete as this doesn’t need a single. Obviously that’s a tool to sell the record, but what I love about this record is the space on it. It’s vast. It’s wide and it’s deep and it’s got a really beautiful, haunting soundscape to the whole thing. It’s just so immaculately put together. I think it was done digitally at a time when digital was brand new technology, and so it’s used that technology in a way that I really like. If you put this record on, on a good system, you can just hear how wide and deep this record is. It’s just a really wide sound, it’s beautiful. They made one more album after this, Laughing Stock, which I love as well, but that’s even weirder. Here, there are still elements of pop in there, but there’s blues, there’s jazz; it’s really difficult to categorise this record.

I think when they were first signed to EMI they were signed as competition for Duran Duran, weren’t they? And then they ended up making Spirit of Eden, which is a fantastic record. I even like Mark Hollis’s solo album too, I think that’s a really brilliant, beautiful, low-key record. From what I’ve read he kind of left the music business to concentrate on being a family man which is to be applauded, I guess, but it’s a loss, you know.