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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


John Lennon - John Lennon/Plastic Ono Band
They’re not in any particular order, but Plastic Ono Band is one of the two or three albums that are always in my list. I’m a big Lennon fan, and this is a really naked and brave album. He was actually still in the Beatles when he was recording this, officially. It’s the album that he did just after doing all the primal scream therapy, and you can tell; there’s some quite chilling stuff on this album. ‘Mother’ is just one of the most heart-breaking songs ever, and then ‘My Mummy’s Dead’ is just really haunting. I like the minimalism of this record, and the dryness; the sound of the bass and drums, it’s really dead and crap, but it works for this album. It’s an album I’ve loved for many, many years. It’s funny, because many people consider ‘Working Class Hero’ to be - it’s one of his most famous songs - but actually that’s probably my least favourite song on the album. Because he wasn’t a working class hero really, he came from a pretty middle class background, didn’t he? But you know, I’m picking holes here where there shouldn’t be any holes.

I’m a big Beatles fan; always was. When I was a little kid my parents were big Beatles fans, so they used to buy the 45 singles which I commandeered many years later, along with The Kinks and The Walker Brothers and all that. So I was exposed to all that quite early on. And I remember A Hard Day’s Night was always on at Christmas, and that was one of the highlights of Christmas, that you would sit down and watch A Hard Day’s Night, and I’d be thinking, “Ooh, that’s a good job! I’d like a bit of that!”

I moved to Liverpool at the end of 1977, so it was only seven years since the Beatles had split at that point. There weren’t too many statues or Beatles tours at the time, but I got the feeling that the city was still very proud of them. And I think in many ways the music scene was suffering a hangover from that. You know, punk came along and Eric’s came along and you got the Bunnymen and the Teardrops et cetera, but until that point the city was suffering a little bit of a hangover from the Beatles. Any band that came out of Liverpool for a long time after, it was like, oh, this is the new Beatles. That’s something no-one could live up to, and it took something like punk to break down that misconception. Manchester has produced a lot of very famous bands too over the years, but it never produced anyone as big as the Beatles. Every musical movement has produced very good bands, but they haven’t had a history [like Liverpool’s] to live up to. So in that respect I think Manchester’s probably been a more thriving city, musically, over the years, because it hasn’t had to live up to that.

I haven’t gone for a Beatles album, but if I had done I’d have probably gone for Magical Mystery Tour. Even though that’s really a compilation of various tracks from the film, I just find that one to be my favourite, although I like them all, to be honest. Abbey Road is another favourite, but it does have a couple of songs on there that I’m not too keen on. But while I love the Beatles records, the Lennon album is just something that’s been omnipresent in my life really, for the past twenty years. If I’d done this list another day it would have been a totally different list. But the John Lennon album would always be in there, to be honest.