Henry Cluney playing guitar and singing

Henry Cluney (ex SLF) my top 10 favourite albums

Henry Cluney‘s got some great punk rock history.

Still playing now, the 1957 born guitar player was the guitarist in Highway Star, the school band that became Stiff Little Fingers in 1977. He was a key part of the firebrand band until they disbanded in 1983.

Post-SLF he toured briefly with the band Dark Lady supporting Jake Burns and the Big Wheel, notably at the Marquee Club in Wardour Street before returning to Belfast where he spent five years teaching guitar until Stiff Little Fingers reformed.

He was a regular songwriting contributor for the group’s first four albums, taking over lead vocal duties on his own compositions. He left the group in 1993 and moved to Rochester, Minnesota in 1997 and still pops up on tours and punk festivals

1. T.Rex ‘The Slider’

At LTW Marc Bolan remains a god-like figure – a quicksilver presence on the music scene, who soundtracked the seventies with a series of some of the greatest singles ever – he also release several brilliant albums which are so hard to choose between that Henry nearly copped out before going for The Slider.

‘T.Rex…my all time fav band.hard to pick a fav album but this just reminds me of a lot..’

2. David Bowie ‘Hunky Dory’

Along with Marc Bolan, David Bowie owned the seventies and if Marc could say everything in three chords Bowie took the simple pop format and went to outer space and back in a series of songs that stretched the limits of imagination.

‘This album reminds me of passing my O’ levels and going out with my mates later. Great songs and Mick Ronson…oh yes….’

3. Slade ‘Slayed’

Too often missed out in the round up of the seventies, Slade were fantastic songwriters and another great singles machine in a decade of bands that understood the power of the seven inch.

Like the Beatles – if John Lennon had carried the band on without Paul – they had the raucous spirit and the songwriting melodic brilliance of the Fab Four filtered through a terrace chic.

‘I always loved Slade. Great collection of football chant type songs..magic….’

4. Megadeth ‘Youthenasia’

After several years in the doldrums metal was reinvented and given an new kind of punk-inspired urgency by a new breed of bands in the eighties. In the big four of thrash – along with Metallica, Anthrax and Slayer – Megadeth were a key part of this renaissance.

‘Megadeth are the best of the later metal bands and this album has their best songs…’

5. Slayer ‘Reign In Blood’

Another of the Big Four of thrash who gave metal a whole new lease of life in the early eighties, Slayer were the dark side of the new way.

Their bludgeoning power and wilfulness along with their billowing and heavy music has made them ugly and attractive at the same time.

‘Full of attitude and aggression…28 minutes of goodness!’

Part two of Henry Cluney’s favourite ten albums of all time is here…

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Award winning journalist and boss of Louder Than War. In a 30 year music writing career, John was the first to write about bands such as Stone Roses and Nirvana and has several best selling music books to his name. He constantly tours the world with Goldblade and the Membranes playing gigs or doing spoken word and speaking at music conferences.



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