The Quietus - A new rock music and pop culture website

Baker's Dozen

13 (Acts Of Love): Mick Harvey's Favourite Albums
Julian Marszalek , April 1st, 2014 04:16

Fresh off the back of his Ministry Of Wolves work and with Serge Gainsbourg albums and live shows on the way, the former Bad Seed and prolific singer-songwriter gives Julian Marszalek the rundown of his top 13 records

Mick Harvey, multi-instrumentalist, former Bad Seed, soundtrack composer, collaborator and solo artist, is making a spoiler alert concerning his Baker's Dozen.

"How did I not put a Nina Simone album in here? And how I did not put a Johnny Cash in there?" he tells the Quietus from Zurich, where he's currently playing with his new project, The Ministry Of Wolves. "So without mucking up the Baker's Dozen these would be a postscript. Although saying that, I'm not sure which of their albums I'd choose. But they're two of my all-time favourite artists and they've been a real touchstone for me, but I didn't put them in the list but there you go…"

Despite a forthcoming return to the music of Serge Gainsbourg in the form of re-issued albums and live dates, Harvey has elected to leave out the music of the French musician.

"Serge Gainsbourg is great music to listen to and I'm interested in his general output and his work across a long period of time, and what was unknown about his work was what attracted me to it as a project, but when it comes to individual albums I'd say, 'No'," he explains. "There'd be a few more albums I'd put in ahead of Serge like an early Roxy Music album."

Harvey has never been less than busy but he's now looking forward to a period of well-earned rest and recreation with a long term view to spreading his musical wings even further.

"There's a big beautiful space which is starting to appear ahead of me which I'm really looking forward to. Once the The Ministry Of Wolves stuff is done, I've got a few shows lined up in the early summer but then I've got an open space which is a rarity," he says.

He continues: "I don't know if that's a pleasure; I guess I'll find out. I am hoping to sit back and look at some larger scale projects and there's a compositional project that I want to do. We'll see what happens but there's no specific plan at all beyond what I'm doing now. But whatever it is it'll be quite different. I don't think I'll be going back to doing just another solo album. I think I said when I did Four (Acts Of Love) that it felt like the end of that cycle of albums and still feel like that. That's quite a hefty lump of work, really."

But if his future is an open book, Harvey is emphatic that he doesn't miss the life that he left behind with the Bad Seeds.

"No, I don't miss it," he states."I can do without most of that stuff. The great joy of being in a group is the chemistry you get playing with other people but I've got that now with The Ministry Of Wolves. I like the way we play together. And with Polly [Harvey], too. That's the best thing about being part of a band, playing with people and if you can get along socially then that's great but anything else to do with being in a group I can do without."

Intoxicated Man and Pink Elephants are out on April 7th via Mute and Mick will be playing four Serge Gainsbourg live shows: London's Union Chapel on May 27th and 28th, Primavera Sound, Barcelona, Spain, May 30th and Theatres Tilburg, Tilburg, Netherlands on June 14th; head to Mute for full details. Ministry Of Wolves play The Lexington, London tonight (April 1st). Click on his image below to begin scrolling through Mick's choices