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The first album Cillian Murphy ever bought


Cillian Murphy is revered for his work as Tommy Shelby in Peaky Blinders and his stellar acting achievements, but his life could have gone down a different route if he had chosen to follow his musical instincts.

During his youth, Murphy juggled both acting and musicianship before it came to a point when he could no longer balance both of his interests, eventually leaving his musical career on ice. After getting his first taste of performing during school, Cillian became hooked and knew his life would be in the arts.

He and his brother, Páidi, were in The Sons of Mr Green Genes together, and they were even offered a five-album record deal by acid jazz when Cillian was 20. However, they weren’t content with the specifics of the contract and decided against signing it.

Later looking back on this moment, Murphy said: “I’m very glad in retrospect that we didn’t sign because you kind of sign away your life to a label and the whole of your music.”

When acid jazz put that contract on the table, Murphy had also just been offered a part in a play. After much deliberation, he accepted the role, which put his dreams of becoming a professional musician ended.

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Speaking to The Line Of Best Fit about the crucial importance of music on his day-to-day life in 2013, he said: “Music kind of keeps me going. It’s the second most important thing to me after acting. I use it in acting all the time.”

Additionally, Murphy regularly deputises on BBC 6 Music which makes for appointment listening, and there’s no doubt that he’s a musical connoisseur. However, the first album he ever bought will raise some eyebrows.

Speaking to NME in 2016, he revealed it was Europe’s 1986 album, The Final Countdown, which he was persuaded to buy from the strength of the titular track. He explained: “‘The Final Countdown’ was just the song that was on the telly and radio all the time. It’s a pretty catchy song, a pretty amazing riff. Ten years ago I would’ve been way too embarrassed to admit that. Now, I’m confident in my music taste.”

There’s no denying that Cillian’s son beat him on cool points on this front, and the actor revealed that DAMN by Kendrick Lamar was his first physical purchase which he conceded “was pretty impressive”/

Murphy then mentioned his first album and admitted, “I’m not ashamed of it, it’s a great riff. But Kendrick Lamar… Look, I think he tips it.”

In the Peaky Blinders star’s defence, he was only a child when he bought the Europe album. While the record isn’t universally lauded like Kendrick Lamar’s effort, it’s fair to say that Murphy’s music taste has progressed seismically from this point.