My Record Collection - February 21, 2017

My Record Collection by Piano Wire's Sean Duke
by Tom
Tom
by Tom hmv London, Bio hmv.com Editor. Peanut butter, punk rock and pillows.

My Record Collection by Piano Wire's Sean Duke

In My Record Collection, we dig down to the bottom of musicians' souls to find out what the most treasured parts of their record collection are. This week it's the turn of psychedelic rock foursome Piano Wire and their guitarist Sean Duke. Let's see what he chooses...

 

Check out a selection of Sean's picks in this playlist...

 

The first record I ever bought with my own money was…

"This was Black Sabbath's Paranoid. This was the first album I really connected with, it was heavy and the guitars sounded dirgy. There's something about it that's really ahead of its time and metal bands have been trying to copy that industrial sound that Black Sabbath patented ever since. When I heard Iron Man for the first time, it was like an awakening to the darker side of music that I hadn't really experienced up until that point."

 

The record that made me want to be in a band was…

"I'd say Alice Cooper's Schools Out. This was another one that really got me into that heavier sound very early on before I reached my teenage years. It's catchy and a decent pop song at the heart of it that appeals to kids. When I heard it and saw Alice Cooper with his out-there image, I thought it seemed like a good career choice to me as nine-year-old."

 

The record I've played more than any other is…

"This is Brainiac's Bonsai Superstar. I heard this a few years back, Brainiac aren't that well known due to the untimely death of their lead singer Timmy Taylor before they really took off, but chances are if you like alternative bands they've probably influenced one of those bands you're into. It takes some getting into but when you do, it's got something very unique. Jilted off-key guitars and whacked out synths make way for catchy pop choruses, if you haven't heard it then I would recommend checking it out if you like your music a bit out there."

 

The record that always makes me feel good is…

"I'd pick Rick James's Super Freak for this one. There's just something about Rick James his overly flamboyant image, his hedonistic attitude that comes off as likeable, albeit a bit tongue in cheek. It's actually a good pop song MC Hammer sampled his bass line for his 80s hit Can't Touch This. This track never fails to put me in a good mood!"

 

The record I turn to when I'm feeling down is…

"This is Elliott Smith's XO. XO is one of Elliott Smith's most popular albums with some of his most well-known tracks. It has that polished studio sound in contrast to some of his other albums. Good production or not, the songs are so well written they stand on their own with a full band or just an acoustic. Some might say it's melancholic and they'd be right although there's more to it than that."

 

The record I think is the most underrated of all time is…

"I'd choose The Blood Brothers' Young Machetes. It might seem a bit abrasive on the first listen but given a chance, this album juxtaposes thrashing guitars and manic screaming verses with melodic chants and lyrics that are written with hidden meanings and interesting thematic undertones. The vocals are sung with a poetic cadence that only the duality of Jordan Billie and Johnny Whitney could bring."

 

The record with my favourite cover art is…

"It's got to be Sonic Youth - Goo. This album cover is iconic and instantly recognisable. Even today go to a gig or festival and you'd be hard pushed to miss the masses of people wearing Goo shirts. Taken from a photo of Maureen Hindley and David Smith on the way to court, the image has a distinctly dark feel, but the illustration will be forever immortalised by fans of Sonic Youth."

 

The record with my favourite title is…

"This is Captain Beefheart and Trout Mask Replica. What can be said about Captain Beefheart other than he was a genius? If you listen to all the madness and chaos of Beefheart you'll come to the realisation that it's all meticulously worked out and structured in an almost obsessive fashion. This album typifies what Dan Van Vliet was all about and the name perfectly fits the oddball avant-garde scene that he cultivated around his music." 

 

The record I can't understand why everybody loves is…

"George Ezra's Budapest. It's tough to choose an artist or record that I'm not into to at risk of sounding like a music snob. But for the sake of it, George Ezra's single Budapest ticks all the boxes, listening to this feels like swimming in a never ending sea of mediocrity slowly facing the harsh reality that you're about to drown. As with a lot of music that's pushed on us, it misses the mark of originality and anything remotely interesting."

 

The last record I bought was…

"This was The Lemonheads' It's a Shame About Ray. The last album I physically bought. I think it was this on cassette of all formats! Some may know this band for their cover of Simon and Garfunkel's Mrs Robinson; although it's a great cover it merely scratches the surface of what they have to offer. It's catchy and feels nostalgic, uplifting and understated for me. It's a Shame About Ray serves up unique pop songs that a lot of bands could only dream of writing. Alison's Starting To Happen is one of my favourites and definitely worth a listen."



The record I'm most looking forward to hearing in 2017 is…

"This is Pissed Jeans' new album Why Love Now. There's something immediate and exciting about Pissed Jeans. They've managed to stick to their thrashy punk roots and sell out venues at the same time as becoming a well established credible band. Their last album, Honeys, was pulsing with intense blasting guitars and venomous spitting vocals. This one isn't for the faint-hearted and I'm looking forward to their next album."

 

The greatest record of all time is…

"This has to be David Bowie's The Rise and Fall of Ziggy Stardust and the Spiders from Mars. It's hard to choose the best album of all time. But I think this comes close, David Bowie was at the top of his game with this one. For me, as a guitarist, it's always great to hear the pairing of Bowie and Ronson, and it feels like it's a one-off on this record. Maybe something just clicked in the studio. From a songwriting point of view the each track is instantly recognisable, and they are written by a visionary lyricist so what more could you want? Most of us could name or sing along to any one of the tracks on this album, and for that reason, I think it will be a classic for years to come."

 

Piano Wire's new single 'Get A Life' is out now and available here in hmv's digital store. 

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