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Baker's Dozen

The Business Of Forever: Theo Hutchcraft Of Hurts' Favourite Albums
Simon Price , October 6th, 2015 12:04

The lead singer of classy, continent-conquering synth duo Hurts, about to release their third album, Surrender, goes from Phil Spector to Nine Inch Nails via UK hip-hop and Bulgarian folk songs as he picks his top 13


Prince and The Revolution - Purple Rain
Again, I could have chosen an all-Prince list, 13 Prince albums, because he is the greatest living musician. No one comes close. In terms of his voice, and he's one of the greatest guitarists of all time, and... he's just superhuman, to me. What's great about this one is, not only is it his most popular one, but it's a crystallisation of everything that led up to it. This is the moment that he became Prince. And every single song is brilliant and the production is incredible. Obviously it was accompanied by a film, and the concept of Prince became very powerful. 'The Beautiful Ones' is one of my favourites. Absolutely killer. And 'Darling Nikki'. I've taken a lot of influence from him... well, as much as I can take, obviously, because there's too much. 'Wonderful Life' is very influenced by him. And 'Rolling Stone' off this album, and 'Flow'.

But I love the darkness to his soul and his sexuality. And he's also a rock star. 'Purple Rain' is one of the greatest rock songs ever made. I remember hearing a brilliant story that when he was making the film, he gave the director a hundred songs and said: "Just pick from them." And the director rang him one night and said, "We need a song for this montage scene. It's not quite right." And the next morning he sent over 'Take Me With U' and 'When Doves Cry'. It's not human, 'When Doves Cry'. It's one of the only Billboard number ones not to have a bassline. It comes from someone who is completely devoted to music, but still has a sense of fun, a sense of pop, a sense of wonder. It's calculated and smart, but he's still got humanity to him, which I love. He could be right up his own arse, but his music isn't. Some of his lyrics are as simple as 'man meets woman'. The film's brilliant, too. It's got one of the funniest comedy sketches of all time, the password sketch. "What's the password? The password is what? Say the password, onion head!" That's the funniest moment in film, to me, to this day, so to me it's the best comedy film of all time. But he is what I love about pop: it's magnificent, it's bold, it's flamboyant, it's eccentric, it's not shy, it's got a sense of showbusiness. And that's what Adam and I really care about.