The Quietus - A new rock music and pop culture website

Baker's Dozen

Strange Refuge: Holly Johnson Discusses His Favourite Albums
Ian Wade , December 23rd, 2014 14:26

In our final Baker's Dozen of 2014, Ian Wade talks to the former Frankie Goes To Hollywood frontman following the release of Europa, his first solo album in 15 years, about his all-time top 13 LPs


Roy Harper - HQ
Roy was about the same time. The Old Grey Whistle Test was on later than Top Of The Pops, and you had to be a bit older to stay up late and get away with it. I got my first sighting of Jobriath on there. I don't know if I saw a flash of Klaus Nomi on there too, and of course David doing 'Queen Bitch', Roxy doing 'Ladytron', and the New York Dolls was quite a moment for some people. It was via Genesis doing 'I Know What I Like (In Your Wardrobe)' from Selling England By The Pound, that I became interested slightly in that longer haired world. I didn't go for Pink Floyd; I thought there was something not quite right about hippies, and you were either a hippie or not a hippie.

Somehow, I heard the track 'Hallucinating Light' by Roy Harper, and was amazed by the quality of his voice. And of course, he had Chris Spedding playing guitar - David Gilmour plays guitar on the album also - but Chris had a sort of slightly Roxy Music edge to him as well. It is just a great album. 'The Game (Parts 1-5)' is a brilliant song sequence and it just appealed to me, as a perfect artistic statement. None of my other friends got into it, it was almost a guilty pleasure, but there was nothing to be guilty about because it was just a great record. The track where he has the colliery band - 'When An Old Cricketer Leaves The Crease' - is beautiful. It's hard not to shed a tear - it's a lovely song. He also had connections with Led Zeppelin, who I wasn't interested in at all, but a lot of people only know him because he sung on one of their tracks, but for me he was something outside of that.