Frankie Poullain (The Darkness): 5 Albums That Changed My Life

Frankie Poullain (The Darkness): 5 Albums That Changed My Life

The Darkness just released their fifth album, Pinewood Smile, and to celebrate, bassist Frankie Poullain put together an excellent collection of records that changed his life.

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Prince, Dirty Mind

In 2005, during the making our our second album, One Way Ticket to Hell and Back, I fell out with the guys and we went our separate ways. For various reasons, the atmosphere between us all had soured, making me moody and distant. I spent most of my time in rural southwest France, where I’d bought a 16th century chateau, coasting the sunny countryside in an old Merc that I crashed twice. I had no driving license, I hadn’t even had a single lesson, hated cars and still do. But the police chief I bought it from didn’t seem to care. No one seemed to care about anything in that part of France, which suited me just fine. I listened to Dirty Mind constantly. It’s probably my most played album.

The Carpenters, Gold

Genius, or musical perfection if you prefer, transcends technological limitations. I sensed that when I was young, listening to Karen Carpenter’s voice on tiny transistor radios or warped cassettes, yet thrillingly aware of her presence in the room. I make no apologies for choosing a Greatest Hits; it’s not as if they were into soul-baring or re-inventing the wheel. And yet, in retrospect, she reveals so much: the caged bird singing, cosseted and enslaved by her family, record company and mainstream audience.

The Sex Pistols, Never Mind the Bollocks

Like my previous two choices, this album and band were — and are — misunderstood. John Lydon, the ginger Irish crippled soothsayer, could be a character from Shakespeare or Dickens. He outed Jimmy Savile before anyone else, way back in 1978, but the BBC blocked it. Never trust a hippy. Befriend a rocker. Listen to a punk. Take no heed of an indie kid.  That’s what life has taught me and what I’ll pass on to my son.

Neil Young, On the Beach

An open wound of an album, the very kind I like. A cocaine comedown, unheralded at the time and yet, to me anyway, his finest work. As Hunky Dory was to Bowie and Berlin was to Lou Reed. I love the way he throttles the life out of his guitar solos as if in a tantrum; a Neil Young strop can be transcendental. ‘Vampire Blues’ is my favorite blues song of all time.

The aching lament of ‘See the Sky About to Rain’ just makes time stand still. Suede shamelessly plundered it on ‘Saturday Night.’ I don’t mind that so much, just the fact that their fans wouldn’t get to hear the real thing.

Marvin Gaye, What’s Going On

My greatest musical experience of last year was being stuck in a Brighton clothing boutique for almost an hour while my friend tried on multiple jackets and pairs of shoes. They stuck this on and I remember actually encouraging him to try on more stuff so I could enjoy this to the very end; the sound system was perfect for the room. Only Marvin Gaye can make middle-aged men enjoy shopping together.

(Photo credit: Simon Emmett)

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