The Quietus - A new rock music and pop culture website

Baker's Dozen

On Her Radio: Pauline Black's 13 Favourite Albums
The Quietus , November 22nd, 2017 12:17

The Selecter leader and one of 2 Tone's most formidable figures takes Lois Wilson from Jimmy Cliff to Björk in this list of the LPs that shaped her


Blondie - Parallel Lines

The Selecter and Blondie have a history. We both shared a record company in Chrysalis and when Parallel Lines was issued in 1978, and we discovered it in 1979, we were just getting it together and it was fascinating to see this strong woman leading a group and getting into the pop charts with everything she and they did. At the time you could go into the Chrysalis offices and quite literally ransack the press department cupboards for freebies. Paula Yates was always in there looking for Spandau Ballet records, and when I got my copy of Parallel Lines from there, I was floored by this perfect power pop. It was frothy and light but had an intelligence and was slightly off kilter. Tamla had been my introduction to music and I could really see a link in feel to a song like ‘Sunday Girl’.

In 1980 Blondie invited us and Holly And The Italians to support them at their show at Hammersmith Odeon and musically they were so brilliant and off stage. They were so nice and still are even when you meet them now, and you couldn’t fail to love everything about them and that album. Nothing comes close to a collection of real pop songs with an edge which only they could bring. I mean, think of a song like Picture This. “All I want is a photo in my wallet/ A small remembrance of something more solid/ All I want is a picture of you”. It’s so sexy and raw and yet has a total simplicity to it.