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Baker's Dozen

Never Gonna Give 'Em Up: Rick Astley's Favourite Albums
Colm McAuliffe , June 13th, 2018 05:41

The absolutely charming Rick Astley sits down with Colm McAuliffe to tell him about his favourite records, from Roxy to Biffy Clyro and Tori Amos, taking in his enduring love of pop and prog along the way


The Smiths – Hatful Of Hollow
Johnny Marr was quite young around this time, wasn't he? And Morrissey…some people are more lyrical than others and their conversation can use the language more [stylishly]. And he must have found that it came easily to him. But how does Johnny Marr play like that! Even people who hate The Smiths agree that Johnny Marr was a genius. To be honest, Andy Rourke and Mike Joyce weren't a bad rhythm section either. How did they do that quite young? I don't know. One of my older brothers was into The Smiths and we shared a bedroom so I heard a lot of their music. We would have been teens about this time.

I loved the fact that they were from Manchester. I saw Andy Rourke around this time in town and it made me think 'fucking hell! It happens! I've just seen HIM! He's in this band that are totally credible, cool, has put Manchester on the map and I've just seen him walk out of the Arndale Centre!' And so yeah, we bought records and got drunk in Manchester and it felt like the town was happening at the time. The first time I saw them was on a north west television show and they did 'This Charming Man' and I was like [mouth agape]. We had had the Duran Durans and Spandau Ballets who looked great and were very glamorous and then you're confronted with these guys from Manchester – very ordinary in a way you might actually see them in Manchester but they weren't ordinary in their music. They didn't dress in clothes made by someone in Soho. It was like they got their shirts in Afflecks Palace! It was almost anti-glamour. And that felt very touchable.

What do I think of Morrissey now? For me, lyrically he's still incredible. I can't say I know the last album well but I just think, like anybody who is an artist, you can tell a story a number of times and it has a freshness about it but we know Morrissey's way [by now]. I don't want to judge him but I don't really get into what he says off record because sometimes you wonder if he's taking the piss? But I don't know, I haven't really followed it. Is he doing that to create something going? Will he come back and say 'I didn't mean it like that'? Surely he must know [his recent comments around Britain First] are not a cool thing to do. But he's bizarre and thank God he's bizarre. I don't want him to be normal in any way, shape or form.