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Baker's Dozen

Paid Attention: Johnny Dean Of Menswear's Favourite Albums
Wesley Doyle , June 23rd, 2014 08:11

With a new single from the rejuvenated Menswear recently released, frontman Johnny Dean talks about sax appeal, music as maths and why pop is as much about what you see as what you hear


Japan - Quiet Life
They're such a strange band. When they started out they'd obviously heard of the New York Dolls and their first couple of albums are kind of trash rock & roll. Then almost overnight they turned into this machine band with Quiet Life. It's so ahead of its time, the look as well as the music. It was almost like they had a time machine and went and got the sound and clothes from 1984 and bought them back to the late 70s. Vocally, as well, David Sylvian went from that glam rock thing into almost Scott Walker territory. I was transfixed by Sylvian - he's a very beautiful guy and the whole look really influenced me later in what I went on to do. Quiet Life was a massive hit many, many years after it was recorded and the band had practically split up, and I find that a bit tragic. They're kind of laughed at by people who consider themselves serious players and yet, like Duran Duran, they were amazing musicians and fantastic songwriters. You can play their songs acoustically if you like and they still sound good, but that's not what they were trying to do. And Japan looked much better than their peers. I was debating putting Tin Drum on the list, but it was Quiet Life that was the one that hooked me.