Alan Johnson on Hunky Dory

Oct 14, 2019, 05:22 PM

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WELCOME TO THE NEW episode of Album To Album in which we meet former Labour Home Secretary and award-winning memoirist Alan Johnson, former MP for Hull West and Hessel. We met recently in his Hull offices – ‘in Spiders From Mars land!’ as he proudly informs me - to reminisce about Hunky Dory, the 1971 LP which ch-ch-changed everything, not only for Bowie, but for legions of young rock’n’rollers.
In the course of course of our chat, Alan recalls his days as a shelf stacker and postman in the late 1960s and early 1970s, a new father inspired by ‘Kooks’, a songwriter in love with ‘Life On Mars’ and a fan besotted with ‘Changes’. Along the way, we touch on Alan’s other great musical love, The Beatles, the mood and atmosphere of the early 1970s and Alan even sings one of his own songs. 
“It really is a remarkable record,” says Alan of Hunky Dory “And it’s an album as a whole. You can’t really think of Changes without morphing into Oh You Pretty Things, Life On Mars, Kooks – it’s all of a piece.”
Thank you as ever for listening and if you enjoy this episode, please do share and review. If you would like to buy us a drink, we have a Patreon account under ‘albumtoalbum’ where all donations are very welcome indeed. And please do check out Alan’s site at where you’ll find details of his current tour of the UK, reading from his music memoir ‘In My Life”. And Alan’s three award-winning instalments of his autobiography are all available from And if you want to hear Alan’s Spotify playlist to accompany 'In My Life', check it out here: