Albert Hammond Jr needs no introduction: but we’re going to give him one anyway.
Making his name as the legendary guitarist in The Strokes, who - it is no exaggeration to say - changed the course of music with their debut record Is This It , he soon branched out into his own additional solo material, releasing two full-lengths and an EP in 2013. Now, he’s turned his hand to production, working with Dundee indie-rockers The View on their upcoming fifth album Ropewalk - we recently premiered the first single from it, ‘Marriage’ - click here to listen.
We spoke to Albert to discover his Ultimate Playlist - listen to his selections, and the stories behind them, below.
Favourite Song From Your Childhood
“‘Careless Whisper’: I just remember when I was a kid, my mum loved it - we’d always blast it in the car - I was probably about 4 years old. I used to try to record it for her, because it would come on the radio - we had a little tape player - and it triggered that memory. Has it ever inspired me to use more saxophone in my songs? No! I didn’t really notice the saxophone until I got older, and there’s that great skit on YouTube of the guy playing that saxophone lead in all those different places, it’s just too funny. But, no, that chorus, the melody of it….it still gets me.”
Favourite Movie Soundtrack
"That was hard...Blade Runner or Edward Scissorhands are both so different...I guess I'd keep Edward Scissorhands because that the first time, at a young age, that there was just that musical theme...that helped evoke such emotion, I guess it was the first time I noticed such strong music."
Favourite Sad Song
“Arctic Monkeys - ‘Despair in the Departure Lounge’. I think it’s just one that I listened to a lot when I was sad. There was that one, or Spoon - ‘Underdog’. Sometimes you just find songs that when you put on repeat - y’know in New York you just walk around listening on headphones, to make you feel better, you just don’t want the song to end. There’s something about that song, that’s just…I don’t know, I listened to way too many times! A hundred times in a row.”
Favourite Club Anthem
“To be honest, I’m not so much of a club person, the only thing I could think of when you said ‘club’ was, for some reason, 24 Hour Party People - Manchester. So I just thought of New Order and that [’Blue Monday’] was one - they have so many. But, if I was thinking of clubbing, if I was at a club, what would be exciting to me is hearing New Order, so I just picked a song of theirs - but any of their songs would be fun to dance to.”
Favourite Lyric From A Song
"The Velvet Underground: "You are what you perceive". I'm not a huge fan of saying favourites, because it's just in the moment you're thinking of, but that one's come up a lot...I just tried to think of a lyric that's come up a lot. I imagine there's other time when there's other lyrics, yesterday I tweeted this Doors lyric, "This is the strangest life I've ever known", because that's how I was feeling. But, "You are what you perceive" - in the melody and in the words, there's just something that was always very striking, I think when I first heard it I just liked it and thought it was pretty and as time went on, it made so much more sense."
Favourite Song That No One Else Knows
"I just didn't think people would know Guided By Voices. Donkey School was the first song I heard from them that I heard over and over again and then Liar's Tale was something I found once I knew them and I didn't think I'd find new songs - it's almost kinda like when you discover the Beatles and then you discover Hey Bulldog and you're like, "Where was this song? I've never heard this!" I just thought people wouldn't know Guided By Voices that much. The other one that I've been listening to all the time is by Wire - Champs, but I feel like people would know that more than Guided By Voices."
Favourite Wedding Song
"I want to walk the aisle to When I Grow Up (To Be A Man)! I had no idea what to write for a wedding song, and I was listening to - I was about to do jump rope and I was listening to that song and I was like, that's hilarious. That would be so funny if the man walked down the aisle with that song, and the woman walked out afterwards. More like a comedy moment in my head!"
Favourite Current Album
"The Police - Outlandos d'Amore. Well I moved to my house in State and all my records are out and my record player and I've just been listening to full albums at home, while I'm setting stuff up and that one, between myself and my wife, has got the most rotation. I've always loved it but it's just I haven't heard it in a very long time. It's such a good first album, there's a whole album - by the time Side B is done you wanna hear Side A again. I don't know - when you feel that emotion...you just kind of wanna see how long it lasts, so you just keep on playing it until it dies! It's just a good feeling. There's a high in liking a whole album."
Favourite Song From Your Own Music
"My latest music is always my favourite!"
(Images: Getty/Jason McDonald)