Richey of Manic Street Preachers talks about the records that changed his life
1. THE STOOGES: "Loose" (from "Funhouse")
"We never really liked The Stooges, but this is a brilliant song. Iggy Pop always looked great. Self-mutilation? He did it really well, but that kind of thing, doesn't lead anywhere. It's like car crashes: they're interesting to watch, but you wouldn't want to see them every day."
2. THE CLASH: “What's My Name?" (from"The Clash")
"Contrary to what people think, we are quite young, so we didn't get into The Clash until around 1986. This is my favourite lyric ever: 'What the hell is wrong with me/I'm not who I want to be/I've tried spot cream/I've tried it all/ I'm crawling up the wall'. His (Strummer's) voice is perfect, he sounds so pissed off and confused. I had really bad skin when I was at school, so I knew how he felt. After a while, it gets to be the most important thing in your life."
3. THE ROLLING STONES: "Shine A Light" (from "Exile On Mainstreet")
"Jagger/Richards are the best songwriters of all time, really consistent. 1973 onwards they were a disaster/ but this is from their last creative peak. Mick and Keith looked really amazing at the time, as if nothing mattered to them anymore, the most decadent people ever, completely free of all responsibility. They just didn't care what anyone - critics, the public - thought. We still read all our reviews, yeah."
4. THE SEX PISTOLS: "Holidays In The Sun" (from "Never Mind The Bollocks")
"Around the time we first heard this, everybody's aunties and uncles were coming back from Spain or Portugal, saying what a brilliant time they had. And I'd be thinking, 'Bullshit, travelling is so shit, it's just another form of snobbery'. You can learn just as much about place from watching TV. I didn't need to go to America to know what Americans would be like."
5. THE SMITHS: "Miserable Lie" (from "The Smiths")
"Before The Smiths came out, we didn't really fit in at school, so we used to stay at home watching all those black and white Sixties dramas like 'A Taste Of Honey' - they were so nice and grey and British. When Morrissey came along, he seemed to have the same interests and to be living the same lifestyle as us. And when we saw him on the first Smiths tour l thought he was the best frontman I'd ever seen. Johnny Marr was just the coolest guitarist ever, saying things like, 'Morrissey just needs a good f***ing’. Most indie bands lack a Johnny Marr figure, someone who understands the essence of rock 'n' roll. I mean, Terry Bickers, he's nothing."
6. AEROSMITH: "You See Me Crying" (from "Toys In The Attic")
"This was the first time I'd heard orchestration used in a good way in a rock song, that wasn't 'Hooked On Classics'. It also includes one of my favourite ever guitar solos. Joe Perry and Steve Tyler look like hell on earth, but they're brilliant to watch. Their nervous systems must have gone a long time ago."
7. BIG FLAME: "Why Pop Stars Can't Dance" (Ron Johnson Records single)
"We didn't really enjoy their music -it's such a disgusting noise, trying to fuse jazz with punk - but they were a brilliant band, easily the best of the whole circa 1986 bunch. I love that line - 'Substitute invention for that unit-shifting pout'- cos that's how the contemporary pop scene seemed to us in the mid-Eighties. Bands like the Cocteau Twins, or Cranes today, just wind us up so much - you can never understand a word they're singing, which, I' s'pose, is the point. But always thought it was important to say something'. Our early songs all sounded like Big Flame."
8. PUBLIC ENEMY: "She Watch Channel Zero?!" (from "It Takes A Nation Of Millions To Hold Us Back")
"I thought their first LP was just nauseating misogynist shit, but this is just the most original piece of music I've ever heard, derivative of nothing at all. We always liked the idea of one person in the band being the joker, another the spokesman, another being responsible for the music, another for the dance routines. In our band, James does the music and me and Nicky write the words. Am I the Manics' Minister for Information? Hardly."
9. LED ZEPPELIN: "Over The Hills And Far Away" (from "House Of The Holy")
"The only band to ever completely transcend their R&B influences and possibly the only truly original band I've ever heard, despite the fact that Percy [Robert Plant] wrecks every record they've ever done cos his voice is so crap! They were everything the Stones didn't have the bottle to be. And they were completely wild, what with all the deaths and weird stories (e.g. the infamous shark-in-hotel room incident). Are we wild on tour? No, we're pretty introspective, really."
10. GUNS 'N'ROSES: "Estranged" (from "Use Your Illusion II")
"Their first LP is, for me, the hardest rock album of all time by a mile, but then to come up with a song like 'Estranged' after that is so brilliant. They could so easily have become just another dumb LA rock band, but, to put it simply, their music elevates them beyond all that. This is one of the saddest songs I've ever heard. And AxI Rose has the best voice since Otis Redding."
11. DURAN DURAN: "Save A Prayer" (from "Rio")
"The last great pop band, I think. Early on we used to say we wanted to look like Duran Duran and sound like The Sex Pistols. At school, all the girls liked them, so we thought, 'Yeah, we'll look like Duran. We never wanted to look like industrial Mogadon gravediggers like The Fall or all those other 1978 bands like Magazine - disgusting. Joy Division? Ian Curtis looked all right, but the others were complete c***s. One thing that always impressed me was Simon Le Bon getting Yasmin. Nice one, Simon."
12. THE STONE ROSES: "This Is The One" (from "The Stone Roses")
"We went o see them in Cardiff and there were maybe 24 people in the audience. And 'Sally Cinnamon' was just the most awful, trite, embarrassing, jingly-jangly, moronic crap. But when the LP came out we were shocked. 'This Is The One' was probably the most exciting thing we'd heard for about two years, and very possibly the most authentic British rock record of the decade. Everything ever written about 'The Queen Is Dead' actually applies to this track. And everything they've released since has been chronic."