, Brian Molko

Brian Molko, Placebo: Likes, Faves And Recommendations In Music, Movies And Books

Brian Molko, Placebo
Role: Singer


Current Albums:

Ladytron: 604
I’m obsessed with Kraut rock – Kraftwerk and Can. There’s a Kraftwerk element to what Ladytron does. They’re very sexy but the songs are electronic and cold. It’s a dichotomy that I love and they do it very well.

Scott Walker: The Best of Scott Walker
Scott Walker has the most amazing baritone and string arrangements. It gives me the biggest hard-on – the tenderness and humanity in his songs and music. He blows me away with lines like - ‘In a world full of friends, you lose your way.’ He’s indescribable.

Classic Albums:

Serge Gainsbourg: Histoire de Melody Nelson
This is one of the first concept albums ever made. It’s a 27-minute album about a French rock star that falls in love with a 14-year old girl. Serge Gainsbourg is driving his silver and gold Rolls Royce down a country lane and bumps into a girl on a bicycle. He gets out of his car to help her and they fall madly in love. Then she gets homesick and gets on a plane to visit her parents. The plane crashes and that’s the end of the album – in 27-minutes you get an entire lifetime of emotion. It’s a work of sheer, perverse genius.

Jacques Brel: Jacques Brel [Les Bonbons]
Jacques Brel has this biting understanding of the human condition. He was able to express life’s highs and lows so poetically. His work had such clarity and purpose. I’m amazed every time I hear his records and anything from him is a classic.

Leonard Cohen: Greatest Hits
Leonard Cohen had the most unconventional voice. Perry Farrell, Bob Dylan, Janis Joplin have it too. You know, I’m sorry, but f**k Britney. She’s so homogenized. With Leonard Cohen, you know you’re getting one artist who’s unlike anyone else. I mean, how many people sound like Fred Durst?

Big Brother & The Holding Company: Cheap Thrills
There’s so much sexiness and pain in Janis Joplin’s voice. You can hear her suffering, the not being at ease with her place in the world. Of course, Stephan says she sounds like Marge Simpson, but I don’t believe him. I guess I’m just fascinated my extremely strong women in rock- and the tragedy in rock. Janis had both.

Billie Holiday: Billie Holiday Sings


Jacques Brel: If You Go Away
The song makes me cry. It tears the heart out of my chest. It’s the ultimate don’t-leave-me-song. Lines like ‘I will give you pearls made of rain from a country that doesn’t exist.’ It f**ks with my head. You want to go rewrite every song you’ve ever written.

Radiohead: How to Disappear Completely
Thom Yorke called Michael Stipe when he was on tour for O.K. Computer. Thom said, 'I'm freaking' out. There are too many people; everything's gotten too big. How do I handle this?' Michael said, 'Just get into bead and pull the curtains and tell yourself- this is not happening.' That's how How to Disappear Completely came about.

Captain Beefheart: ABBA Zabba
There are so many amazing stories about Captain Beefheart. He took his entire band out to the desert and re-taught them how to play their instruments. They completed an entire album, Trout Mask Replica, in 18 hours – and it was a double album! Captain Beefheart invented deconstructionalist blues – there’s no one like him.


Selmasongs: Music from the Motion Picture Dancer in the Dark
This record is Bjork running around like a f**kin’ Eskimo on acid. She has a voice that no one else has – it comes from somewhere unworldly. She took an incredible risk with this film and record. She’s a little pixie with this incredible strength and voice.


Billie Holiday: Lady Sings the Blues

Legs McNeil: Please Kill Me: The Uncensored Oral History of Punk
The English believe they invented punk, but they didn’t f**kin invent punk. Malcolm McLaren came to New York, saw the New York Dolls and took the whole vibe back home to London. This book is ground zero of the New York punk scene – CBGBs, the Ramones, Iggy Pop. I’m obsessed with that era – and this book documents it all from the point-of-view of five different people who were there.

Darin Strauss: Chang and Eng
The book is a fictionalized novel about the original Siamese twins - Chang and Eng. I’m obsessed by twins. We even put twins on the front cover of our second album, Without You I’m Nothing. We were trying to display a relationship that was above and beyond the sexual.


Naked (1993)
When you walk out of the film, Naked, you feel horrible about the state of humanity. It’s an evil film. It shows us for what we are- how we treat people, our environment. We’re an evil bunch – and this film shows it all.

Down by Law
It’s a jailbreak movie where nothing happens. Tom Waits, John Lurie and Roberto Benigni are in jail; they escape, and then get lost in the Louisiana swamp. That’s the entire film but it works because it’s character-driven. You care about these guys and what happens to them.