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The musical ABCs of Albo: It’s as Albanese as 123

Throughout the election campaign, Labor leader Anthony Albanese did not hesitate to remind us of his humble roots: the housing commissions of rough and tumble western Sydney, raised by a single mother on a disability pension. 

Yes, he may have sounded like a broken record, but one could make the argument that if you had such an uplifting story, you’d probably struggle to keep it to yourself.

But in the current attention economy, the fight to win over the imagination of voters meant key aspects in his coming-of-age, underdog story were skipped.

Every great story must have a great soundtrack. In Albanese’s case, he has both.

Featuring as a guest programmer on Rage in 2013, the then Deputy PM gave us a glimpse of his personal favourites from a variety of artists at the peak of their powers during the prime of his youth.

It boasts tracks with a strong political theme that is on brand for notorious “Tory-fighter” Albo. 

The musical ABCs of Albo: It's as Albanese as 123

Anthony Albanese as guest presenter on rage.

There is a definitive post-punk sound, with legendary UK acts such as Billy Bragg, The Clash, The Jam, The Cure, and The The in the mix.

Aussie legends such as Midnight Oil, Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds, Hunters and Collectors, The Saints, and The Triffids all feature.

Alternative superstar PJ Harvey, grunge giant Nirvana, and Manchester staples Joy Division and The Smiths round out the playlist.

In 2017, he added Record Store Day Ambassador to his impressive resume, and has cited Polish Club and Gang of Youths as his preferred contemporary bands.

As well as being a keen listener, Albanese is also a hands-on participant. He’s frequently jumped on the decks for a DJ set, whether it be for charitable causes, fundraisers, or a cheeky breakfast TV spot.

A petition was started to get “DJ Albo” and Greens leader Adam Bandt to play back-to-back sets was made just days after Labor’s election victory. 

It’s not often, even rare, that we have a bonafide music nerd as prime minister. 

Scott Morrison (or rather, his media team) opted to show us his culinary side. Malcolm Turnbull couldn’t even name a single AC/DC song.

In 2016, Albo told The Sydney Morning Herald it wasn’t a ploy to win young voters and that by choosing his own songs he was ignoring the insistent pleas of his younger staff.. 


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