My Record Collection - October 7, 2020

My Record Collection by Toyah Willcox - A National Album Day Special
by Tom
by Tom hmv London, Bio Editor. Peanut butter, punk rock and pillows.

My Record Collection by Toyah Willcox - A National Album Day Special

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, we're counting down to National Album Day. 

This year, the organisers are taking us back to the 1980s, to a time when nu-romantics, big hair, arena rock and electronics ruled the chart. 

We're celebrating all week on with a selection of features from the day's ambassadors, which this year include La Roux, Blossoms, Kim & Marty Wilde, Toyah Willcox and more!

Each day this week, we'll be showing off the record collections from an ambassador, as they count down their memories of the 1980s, as they lived it, or just as they wished they had. 

We continue today with Toyah Willcox...


The record that made me want to make music was…

"For me, it's David Bowie's Ziggy Stardust and the Spiders From Mars. It is almost impossible to pinpoint one Bowie album that made me want to write music because they all did, but the unique thing Bowie achieved above all other artists was to have a burst of creativity that lasted a whole decade from the early ’70s into the ’80s."

"Bowie surfed the Zeitgeist effortlessly like a Pied Pipper and lead a generation into the brilliant unknown with each album release. Ziggy was my first discovery of Bowie's genius and thereafter he awed me with everything he ever did."


The record I played throughout the 1980s was...

"It was Roxy Music's Avalon. I have loved Roxy Music since their first album. Their sound is utterly unique, but tricks you into thinking that it is familiar, it isn't, they are one of the cleverest bands of all time, creating a whole movement of stylish cool and smooth dance-inducing music. AVALON is a super commercial album but it hasn't sold out in any way. It is the definition of lounge cool."


The record that takes me back to the 1980s was…

"It's Tears For Fears and their album Songs From The Big Chair. There are easily three albums that define the 80’s Kate Bush's Hounds Of Love, Peter Gabriel's So and Songs From The Big Chair."

"Songs From The Big Chair has a wealth of classics that have inspired so many who followed. 'Shout' is an all-time anthemic great and 'Everybody Wants To Rule The World' must be one of the cleverest songs of the ’80s, a decade often associated with greed."


The record with the best cover art in the 1980s was…

"It's Talking Heads' Remain In Light. Like Bowie, the Talking Heads became cultural leaders, not simply songwriters and musicians, they were great all-round artists. The videos are sublime as is their album cover artwork."



The 1980s record I love, but didn’t get the credit it deserved, was...

"Fad Gadget's Fireside Favourite. Frances (Frank) John Tovey is Fad Gadget,  he was a friend, an inspiration and a brave groundbreaking soul. I discovered him through his first single, the astonishingly good 'Back To Nature' and thereafter he opened the show on many Toyah concerts. He had a strong loyal following. In my eyes, he deserved the same success as early Joy Division."


The best music video of the 1980s was...

"Blancmange's Living On The Ceiling. It's also one of the best songs of the ’80s. Blancmange created fabulous pop with huge credibility attached to it. Their songs were groundbreaking, as where their videos, they always achieved a dry commentary on life. It was delicious."



The best song of the 1980s was...

"It has to be Eurythmics' 'Sweet Dreams Are Made Of This'. This song was an instant hit. A rare song you only needed to hear the first 20 seconds of to be completely and utterly hooked forever. The song still appears everywhere, it's a timeless classic. I believe it was written and sung at the mixing desk.......revolutionary for the time."


The best album of the 1980s was...

"I'd have to choose Kate Bush's Hounds Of Love. This album shook the world, because Kate made a huge transition between this album and her last. It has an incredible mastery of the voice and maturity in the songwriting. The vocal sound, the songwriting, the videos are all complete perfection. This album made Kate a worldwide superstar."

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