Daily Express: My Six Best Albums

Neil chooses his favourite long players

My Six Best Albums - Neil Hannon

NEIL HANNON, 45, is the frontman of The Divine Comedy whose hits in the 1990s include National Express.

PULP: Different Class (Universal/Island)

I was making my album Casanova when this came out. I listened and thought, oh crap. It was so good, so literate and angry with such forward momentum. It was just a cut above.

THE HUMAN LEAGUE: Dare (Virgin/EMI)

I was nine-ish when I started getting into chart music and Dare is one of the finest British albums ever. Some of it is incredibly intense but I found it so cool they weren’t just playing drums, guitar and bass.

They were slightly depressed men in black standing behind synthesizers. And there was Phil Oakey’s strange one-sided hair.

KATE BUSH: Hounds Of Love (Fish People/EMI)

I had her poster on my wall but I looked at her as being on a higher plane. This is probably the record that influenced me most: the vibe, the strings, the drums. It’s welcoming yet also quite obtuse lyrically so it’s endlessly intriguing. It created a world of its own, something I’ve tried to do in my songs.

THE LEFT BANKE: Walk Away Renée/Pretty Ballerina (Import)

An obscure one from the 60s people ought to go and find. Psychedelia with a classical tinge and it’s just gorgeous. During interviews in the 90s, clever journalists said I must have listened to them. I’d never heard of them then.

SCOTT WALKER: Scott 2 (Virgin EMI)

I love all Scott’s albums yet they’re all flawed. I discovered him at 19. Suddenly there were songs about Second World War prostitutes, all sorts of crazy stuff. I hugely admire his ability to not care about the masses and his voice is stunning pure melancholy.

ELO: Out Of The Blue (Sony)

I was weaned on ELO as my eldest brother tied me down and made me listen. I can’t imagine life without this work of genius. I see myself in the back of the family car going through songs in my head. That morphed into me making up my own tunes.

Caroline Rees
Daily Express, July 2016

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