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.
Daily Express, July 2016