(regular inside-back-cover column of Kerrang! a few years back, where the stars pick 10 songs/albums which influenced them strongly)
So what does a combination of bands drawn from everything from Rock to Reggae, from Soul to Punk, come together to make up? Crikey, it's the sounds that Richey James of the Manic Street Preachers will sell his soul for!
GUNS N' ROSES - Nightrain
We first saw 'em on the MTV clip from The Ritz in New York, and they were one of the most exciting bands I'd ever seen in my life. They looked so beautiful, and Izzy was just stunning! The last video I saw of them was from a Tokyo Dome show, where Axl changed his clothes about 14 times in one song! It's in the realms of Take That! I can't understand it. And Matt Sorum is difficult to look at, difficult to listen to, and difficult to stomach! Axl's really under-rated as a lyricist, though. "Sweet Child O' Mine" is one of the most amazing love songs ever written, and "Welcome To The Jungle" is one of the most hateful, but people just dismiss him as a redneck. He's one of the few people I'd like to actually meet and talk to.
JOY DIVISION - She's Lost Control
A big part of my adolescence, and some of the most beautiful lyrics ever. Ian Curtis was one of the few lyricists whose stuff you could call poetry, and he's the only musician whose death I was ever saddened by. I love music, but I couldn't give a fuck if anybody dropped dead tomorrow. I wouldn't shed a tear...
THE CLASH - Lost In A Supermarket
A really alienated song, about not belonging and not fitting in, linked to consumerism. Everyone buys things because they think it's gonna make them a better person. Everybody buys deodorant and after-shave because they think people will find them more attractive, but it doesn't make any difference. Deep down, everyone knows it.
THE SMITHS - Reel Around The Fountain
The first band that really impressed me. I've seen more of their gigs than any other band's. The words are more important to me than their music, although Johnny Marr was a fantastic guitarist. I think Metal fans would be really surprised if they gave The Smiths a chance. Slayer fans and Smiths fans are similar in so many ways, but they just won't tolerate each other.
SEX PISTOLS - God Save The Queen
One of the most incendiary bands of all time, and one of the first to really mean it. They crammed so many brilliant songs onto one album, and "God Save The Queen" has the most political lyrics of all time, just because it doesn't try too hard. If you go on-stage and say, "Vote for this political party", you've lost it. Steve Jones is the most under-rated guitarist ever, and Nirvana are such a good band because they're one of the first American bands to understand the Sex Pistols and their music. Most others just think Punk is an excuse to swear!
DINOSAUR JR - Get Me
I was never a massive Dinosaur Jr fan, although I've always liked J Mascis' attitude. He's very laid back - his daily routine seems to be, "Stay in bed, get up, see friends, smoke dope, go to bed". It was the first time an American seemed to have the same background as me!
THE BEATLES - Golden Slumbers/Carry That Weight
"Golden Slumbers" makes me cry every time I hear it. People seem to think that "Revolver" is the best Beatles album, but only in that it's the first one they wrote on drugs. But "Abbey Road" is much better, and they were one of the first bands to get better at what they did. The Beatles before "Revolver" were bullshit.
BOB MARLEY - Give Thanks And Praises
From "Confrontation", which is one of the last things Island Records released before he died so tragically. It's his best by a long way, with lots of references to Jah, and Biblical references which I'm not interested in. I never saw the point of organised religion, probably because I had to go to church so much when I was younger. I went to a tin-shack chapel in Wales when I was seven. There was some fat old cunt on-stage, screaming at you and humiliating people. I only went again one time when my grandfather died. I sat there, thinking it might make me feel better, but it did fuck all.
U2 - Who's Gonna Ride Your Wild Horses?
Their finest moment. I've never been a U2 fan - I spent my whole fucking adolescence telling people how bad they were! To me, they were too bombastic, too self-indulgent and too convinced that they could change the world. I've never fallen for that crap. But the "Achtung Baby" album and "...Wild Horses" are good and very emotional.
ARETHA FRANKLIN - Angel
One of the most soulful voices I've ever heard. "Angel" pisses on all her other, inconsistent work - it's a really sad, weary love song. "Gotta find me an angel...". With a voice as good as hers, it's really hard to ruin a song, and "Angel"'s got everything. Really seminal.
LED ZEPPELIN - Rain Song
James (Dean Bradfield, Manics vocalist) had been trying to convince me of Led Zeppelin's genius for about two or three years. All you'd hear at school discos was "Black Dog" or "Rock 'n' Roll", and I didn't like 'em at all. "Rain Song" was the first one I loved, and it's more depressing than any Joy Division song!