Outspoken and passionate, former hardcore-punk-singer-turned-agit-folkie Frank Turner has first and always been a dyed-in-the-wool music fan whose early influences include a healthy fixation with Iron Maiden. Here are a few other favorite albums the former Millions Dead frontman holds near and dear.
Black Flag – The First Four Years (SST)
“It obviously wasn’t the first punk rock record and it wasn’t even a coherent album in terms of recording. But for me, it’s the kind of platonic ideal of a punk rock record. That’s what punk rock sounds like to me—the attitude, aggression and energy that drips off of it. It’s pretty much untouchable to me.”
Counting Crows – August and Everything After (Geffen)
“My oldest sister only gave me a couple of things in my taste in music and one of them is my love of the Counting Crows. I actually hated them initially but she wanted to sing along with the songs, so she made me learn how to play them on guitar in between learning Iron Maiden riffs. I learned how to play all the songs on that record and in later years, kind of realized that they’d worked their way into my psyche. I think it’s a master class of songwriting—it’s all simple chords and simple melodies but it’s absolutely perfection. I met Adam Durwitz and it made my fucking day.”
Townes Van Zandt – Live at the Old Quarter, Houston, Texas (Tomato)
“I have his initial tattooed on my wrist. It’s particularly that this is a live record and it’s so stripped back that you can hear the kind of infuriating simplicity of his genius laid bare. There are no frills and no messing around. It just is one of the most pure and beautiful sounds that you’ll ever hear.”
The Weakerthans – Reconstruction Site (Epitaph)
“If you put a gun to my head and asked me what my favorite band is, and that’s just such a bogus question, I would almost certainly choose the Weakerthans. I could choose any one of their records but this is the one I listened to this week.”
The Clash – The Clash (CBS)
“The Clash went on to do many more interesting and complex things in their career but there’s a certain kind of simplicity, rage and directness to these songs. There’s also a sense of joy to it. It’s kind of a happy record too. It doesn’t have the sort of nihilism that the Sex Pistols had. It’s a very, very English-sounding record. It’s a very London record and that appeals to me too. When I was a kid and I was into metal and I asked my friend’s dad what punk was, he rolled his eyes and told me to buy that album. And I did and it was a big eye-opener for me.”
Frank Turner and the Sleeping Souls will be appearing on Feb. 17 at the Beacon Theatre, 74th Street & Broadway, NYC. For more information, visit www.beacontheatre.com or call 866-858-0008.