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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


T. Rex - Electric Warrior
My first love, really. He was the man who made me want to be a pop star. I saw him on Top Of The Pops and that was it. I think Bolan was a very underrated guitarist; I know he was derided a little bit in his lifetime for his guitar playing, but you listen to the guitar playing on this record, it’s so funky and earthy and really cool. The opening riff of ‘Get It On’ is probably the simplest thing you could play on a guitar, right? But that still to me, to this day, sounds so sexual. And it’s a combination of the way he plays it, and the sound; I’ve owned plenty of guitars in my lifetime, plenty of amps, and I’ve never been able to play that riff and make it sound like that. And also you’ve got to remember that this is a record that came out when I was 13. And so the whole sexual thing was quite a big deal, and Bowie quickly followed on with the same kind of intensity, but Bolan was my first love. And this record is still a fantastic sounding record. You put it on and it’s got it, it’s just got that funkiness, that earthiness. The opening of ‘Mambo Sun’ is just, wow. It’s groovy, in the best sense of the word. And of course Bolan’s lyrics were nonsense, but to a 13-year-old kid they made perfect sense. Yeah, he was the one who made me stop wanting to be a footballer and become a pop star.

When punk came along a lot of musicians who’d been around previously were seen as dinosaurs or whatever, but there were two or three who were cool with the punks. There was Bolan, and there was Bowie, and there was Bryan Ferry and Iggy and Lou Reed, these kind of people. And I don’t know if there was anything tangible as to why you would say one above the other, but some were just cool and some weren’t, and Bolan was one of those cool people. I get the feeling, having read biographies and stuff, that maybe Bolan wasn’t a very nice person, or he ended up becoming not a very nice person. But sometimes you can excuse that, if the music is this good. And obviously I’ve got a lot of T. Rex stuff, and some of it, it has to be said, is a bit hit and miss, but this album is near perfect, there’s not a track you would skip. Again, it goes back to that Lennon record where the sound is so minimal but it just works. Actually, Peter Murphy was playing in São Paulo last week and he dragged me up on stage to do ‘Telegram Sam’ and ‘Ziggy Stardust’ which was quite fun, two songs from that period.