Will Sergeant is one of the great guitar players.
His work with Echo And The Bunnymen helped to make the group stand out for decades- stark and tripped out, his guitar playing is incredibly distinctive and totally original. He is also brilliant DJ, with his his psych set being the best you will ever hear.
We asked him for his top 10 favourite albums, a cruel question for a music freak. Before giving us his answers and his comments about each album he told us…
‘I could have gone on forever and they could all be different tomorrow.
This is just in an order, but it could be in any order. Loads of other albums reluctantly left off…’
1. Marquee Moon: Television.
This Album really did change my life, the guitar work taught me that between metal string fingertip and mind there is a mystic process that can imbue real feeling and emotion into the ephemeral world of a guitar sound. The solos build with an intensity that is difficult to describe. At a time when it was extremely un-hip to have long guitar solos featured on so called punk albums Television seem to be able to transcend the whims of the fashionable and turn your heart to mush and make the hairs stand up on the back of your neck.
2. Kraftwerk: Trans Europe Express
The clarity of this pioneering electronic pop record, gave me the knowledge that space is just as important as areas filled with sound. The hypnotic repetition of the electronic beats emulating a train relentlessly thundering along european tracks though tunnels valleys and past mountains with dark histories held me in its mesmerising spell. These were very different times the Cold War was at it’s hight and the very real threat of nuclear war was never far away. West Germany and Kraftwerk seemed to be on the front line.
3. S.F.Sorrow: The Pretty Things
This is a gem of an album made at the same time The Pink Floyd where making Piper At The Gates Of Dawn and Beatles were in the middle of Pepper-land. It was a time of great experimentation the musical pallet was expanded as much as the bands minds had been by LSD. Spread with generous layers of guitar these tones are still unique and forbidden to seekers of sound even now.
4. For Your Pleasure: Roxy Music
Roxy Music were at the time of this album climbing up the ladder of rock. A weird mix of characters led by a sophisticated
Crooner. They all looked amazing in their own way. The effect of the gate fold inner sleeve picture is stunning no one looked so cool nobody could look this good except Bowie of course. Me and my mates had been waiting for the release and I had been saving up my paper round money for ages. After loving the First Roxy Music album I ran over to the square at dinnertime I bought it from NEMS, or was it Rumbelows? In Maghull Town Square. Clutching it in my inky hands we all went back to My mates house for cups of tea and biscuits and we played it on his mums radiogram. Sorry kids you can’t download the importance of that experience today on your sodding iPhone, you loose.
5. Piper At The Gates of Dawn: The Pink Floyd
A True Psychedelic classic as I’m sure you are all aware. This has been the soundtrack of my life for as long as I can remember. I also have a very big soft spot for the post Syd Floyd and Meddle was very nearly on the list.
Who hasn’t thought if only Syd hadn’t have lost it, what other mind blowing stuff would he have come up with.
6. Electric Storm in Hell: The White noise.
I first had this on a cassette that somebody had given me. It was a curious mix of sounds, and the fact that they had to crawl through the wow and flutter soup of a shitty quality cassette only enhanced the Mystery for me. Later when I got a vinyl copy and all became clear it kind of lost a bit of the mystique but it still is an amazing album.
7. In The Land Of Grey And Pink: Caravan
When I was a kid twelve or so I used to listen to Liverpool’s Radio City in bed sometimes on a little transistor radio. The DJ at the time would play the track Golf Girl every night for some reason. I loved it’s quirky little trombone and the words were very odd almost silly and throw away. I found out which album the track was on and found a second hand Spanish double album. The cover was pretty trippy and I already new I was gonna like this. After I had played the album I realised that the track Golf Girl is in fact the worst track on the album, my favourite now is Winter Wine. Somewhere between Folk. Jazz and Psychedelia. It has the best organ solo sound. Listen carefully and you can hear a fuzz wha peddle getting stomped on and the organ sound swells. A beautiful very English album from a band that was a leading part of the Canterbury scene.
8. Foxtrot: Genesis
Sorry John don’t want to give you a punk rock heart attack! But this is a very important album to the development of my mind. The early Genesis albums opened up lot’s of possibilities with song writing. Even though they are down as progressive rock I see them as lot more than that. They were edgy they pushed the boundaries possibilities of music. After all, the hoards of smelly Afghan and Airforce trench coat wearing Trogs are only the same as todays outcasts ‘the Goths’! When all around were growing their Barnets to record lengths, Gabriel shaved his head down the middle for fuck sake, the polar opposite of the fine mohawk you sport my friend.
Progs Not Dead!
9. Another Green World: Brian Eno
I saw Eno when he was in Roxy Music, and being someone who is always looking for the easy way out, I was drawn to the fact that he didn’t play that much, he pissed about with a Revox reel to reel machine he also twiddled a joystick on a synthesiser. I thought I can do that. I bought all his albums after he left Roxy, I soon realised no one can do what Eno does but Eno. I could have chosen just about any of his solo albums to include here but Another Green World shows most of the sides of him. It has ambient elements, pop songs weirdness a plenty all with drum machines ticking away. The drum Machine sounds Eno used on his early albums inspired me to buy a drum machine (The Mini Pops Junior) this in-turn lead me to start a band and start experimenting with music.
10. Low: David Bowie
I was already a massive Bowie fan when this came out I had all the Albums. Bowie and my other favourite space alien Brian Eno teamed up to create this strange concept of an album. Featuring some vocals with no words (just the sound of Bowies voice is enough) engulfed in dark somber chords with our old friend the drum machine peeking its head out on occasion. Though the album feels electronic it also has a played and imperfect charm that todays programmed music lacks The sound of real drums are also featured and the drum-sound became every 80′s band target, none of which ever hit gold.