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Politicians' pop picks.

Byline: By Mark Stead South Wales Echo

The Beatles, Bob Dylan, U2 and Louis Armstrong - that's what your politicians have got on their stereos.

The British Library asked MPs to nominate their favourite No.1 album.

And while Welsh Secretary Peter Hain stayed loyal to his homeland by choosing Manic Street Preachers' This Is My Truth, Tell Me Yours, Cardiff West MP Kevin Brennan selected classic Beatles album Revolver.

U2 figured highly with Jenny Willott (Cardiff Central) opting for their Best Of and B-Sides 1980-1990 LP, while Rhondda MP Chris Bryant plumped for 1987's The Joshua Tree.

And Welsh Democrat leader Lembit Opik goes for Led Zeppelin II, proclaiming Whole Lotta Love as the 'greatest rock song ever'.

The Echo decided to check out the tastes of some of our other politicians. Cardiff North MP Julie Morgan also plumps for Revolver.

'Some of the songs on there - Taxman, Got To Get You Into My Life, Tomorrow Never Knows - are so evocative,' she says. Her husband, First Minister Rhodri - who doesn't own a CD player - has different tastes.

'I'd choose Louis Armstrong plays WC Handy, which I bought on vinyl at Spillers' record shop in Cardiff as a 16-year-old at Whitchurch Grammar School,' he said.

The Freewheelin' Bob Dylan gets the vote of Cardiff South and Penarth AM Lorraine Barrett.

But Tory AM Jonathan Morgan couldn't pick a favourite, saying: 'I like everything from Elton John to Elgar.' WHAT THEY PICKED: Echo music writer GAVIN ALLEN casts his eye over the MPs' choice of top albums

Kevin Brennan (Lab - Cardiff West)

The Oxford-educated man is considered one of Labour's bright young things - and is also part of the House of Commons all-party rock band. Songs like Taxman and Tomorrow Never Knows are relevant.

Chris Bryant (Lab - Rhondda)

I really can't argue with this as a choice from my hometown MP, but c'mon Chris, where's Barbara Streisand? This album choice is 19 years old and you're still young enough to download some new music from MySpace.

George Galloway (Respect - Bethnal Green and Bow)

Aspirational choice. Galloway believes he has the same nobility of spirit as Dylan. Yet he is sadly defined by his cosy coffees with Saddam and impersonating a cat on Big Brother.

Peter Hain (Lab - Neath)

Utterly unbelievable and smacks of someone desperate to be liked. Pick a Welsh band (yawn). Show me a picture of a younger Hain dressed in leopard skin and eyeliner then I might believe it.

Michael Howard (Con - Folkestone and Hythe)

The safe choice. Just like Howard, it's an album that comes with a sheen of normality until you hear the words. I can imagine Howard planning tax cuts with Revolution 9 playing.

Lembit Opik (Lib Dem - Montgom- eryshire)

The Mighty Zep and an album of intense, psychedelic power rock dripping with credibility. Sadly, harmonica-playing Lembit is more Spinal Tap than Led Zep.

Jenny Willott (Lib Dem - Cardiff Central)

Dear, dear, dear. Of all the great U2 albums you could have picked Jenny, you chose a compilation - it's not really an album, love.
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Publication:South Wales Echo (Cardiff, Wales)
Date:Jul 27, 2006
Words:508
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