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Baker's Dozen

"Rock & Roll Has Nothing To Do With Lists": Luke Haines' Favourite Albums
Luke Turner , November 5th, 2011 14:18

Ahead of his appearance at our Klub Gutenberg next week, Luke Turner talks to Luke Haines about his favourite 13 albums

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"The linen suit is easier to get these days," says Luke Haines, sat on a sofa in his Hampstead flat. "I have got tonnes of white suits, but I do get through them. It's a good look, though, the crumpled linen suit, food and red wine stains. In the Black Box Recorder days when we were quite heavily into the sauce I used to have a set of white suits, and I'd take them into the dry cleaners. The woman in the dry cleaners would say 'Ah, the wine suit'."

We're at Haines' residence not to discuss summerwear, but to hear his Baker's Dozen selection of favourite albums as the man with the sharpest pen in the music business prepares to release his latest album, Nine and a Half Psychedelic Meditations on British Wrestling of the 1970s and early '80s a concept record that well, does exactly what it says on the tin.

It seems that The Quietus is rather lucky to have persuaded Haines to participate in kneading his Baker's Dozen: "I hate the idea of lists," he says. "Lists are for fucking shopping and housewives, rock & roll has nothing to do with lists."

Interestingly, Haines list features only one album from the past 20 years, Mick Head's Magical World Of The Strands, something he puts down to feeling uncomfortable listening to artists younger than him. "When I got to about 30 there were bands who were younger than me. I thought why am I listening to bands younger than me? What have they possibly got to say. I'd find it really odd to listen to a comedian who was 30-years-old. 'What the fuck do you know about anything, you cunt'. I only listen to comedians who are 44 or over. The stuff you knew as a kid, Bowie's records that he was making when he was 25 or 26, the perception is that he's always going to be older than me. You have to look up to rock & roll, and I can't buy into it as an ironic or post-ironic thing. It has to be Jim Morrison, or Larry Wallace freaking out on wah wah guitar in UFO. I can't buy into the Franz Ferdinand sort of thing, the weird 'ooo we're a bit arty, nudge nudge wink wink'. You either are or you aren't."

For a man who brutally dissected the worst of Britpop in his book Bad Vibes (which remains one of the best music-related tomes over recent years), it's not surprising that Haines is disaffected with the lasting impact that tawdry movement has had on music today. "I remember talking to Suede early on, and they were doing it to make classic records, they weren't doing it to be number one, or because they wanted to live in Monaco, that wasn't the motivation," Haines says. "I think after the worst bits of Britpop, and after Oasis came along when Noel Gallagher would go on about how much money he made and how big they were, it became not about making great records, but about owning football pitches. I don't think it's ever recovered, as far as bands are concerned, from that wanting football pitches in the garden, which is kind of Rod Stewart in 1975. We're now stuck in post-irony mode."

Haines' choices, ranging from The Fall to The Shadows, The Doors to Tyrannosaurus Rex and Black Sabbath to a concept album about Cold War fighter planes that had a habit of falling out of the sky, are definitely not ironic, post or otherwise. Click on the picture of our man below to begin the rundown. Luke Haines plays the Quietus' Klub Gutenberg next Tuesday, November 8th.


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Nov 3, 2011 9:06pm

Best Baker's Dozen yet. By a mile. Hilarious. Won't be rushing to buy the Sabbath album any time soon.

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Nov 3, 2011 9:46pm

I concur. Best Baker's Dozen yet. Thank God SOMEBODY else considers Grotesque the best Fall LP to date, I was beginning to think I was mental. And that 1-sentence summation of Zappa nails him completely. Mr Haines, I salute you!

p.s. Isn't it about time The Quietus interviewed Mick Farren? Better still, get him on board...

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Nov 4, 2011 2:12am

Bang on! Agree about The Doors, more or less dig of all these choices - massive respect for including Sabotage and Captain Lockheed - very much looking forward to the Old Queen's Head gig...

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Nov 4, 2011 10:01am

In reply to manish:

F**KING HELL those F**CKING Ads with sound/film trailers are F**CKING ANNOYING if you're trying to listen to music while reading this.....

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Nov 4, 2011 10:25am

In reply to :

Haha, whatever happened to SUBLIMINAL advertising, eh?

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Illustrated NME Encyclopedia of Rock 1978
Nov 4, 2011 11:00am

It's Larry Wallis not Wallace.

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Luke Turner
Nov 4, 2011 12:44pm

In reply to :

Are you sure? They're all set to be silent unless activated, I've check on three browsers and I'm not getting automatic sound at all. Which ad was it?

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Rich M
Nov 4, 2011 4:19pm

I've got the exact same mirror as Mr Haines. There's a thing.

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Nov 6, 2011 7:47pm

Sorry to be pedantic, but it's Larry Wallis, not Wallace!

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Nov 6, 2011 8:06pm

just seen someone had already pointed that out, sorry!

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Nov 7, 2011 3:38pm

Fascinating read that. Is it me - or is there only 12 LPs? Am I missing something?

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Nov 7, 2011 3:49pm

It's Larry Wallis! Not Larry Wallace!

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Christopher McDonnell
Nov 8, 2011 2:58am

Loved reading this! The backstory on the discovery of each album as well as the ability to both love and find fault with the records/artists was just great. More Luke Haines on The Quietus please!

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Shaun Rogan
Nov 25, 2011 1:55pm

I didnt realise how many records I love and own would find their way onto Haines list. He is right about the Doors as well, nothing wrong with a bit of bad poetry now and again. Geoff Love movie themes records on MFP and Shadows Golden Greats!!! Being born in '69 clearly wasn't a leap from being born in '67. I would have found room for "Space Ritual" though.

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George Henderson
Apr 1, 2012 10:53pm

Far Out! Ah could'nae agree mair.
Morrison Hotel far and away the best Doors, ditto Totale's Turns re: Fall, The Pink Fairies were monsters of rock, and so on.
Oh, and Bolan, with those fantastic and unreal productions...
Luke would be my hero. Were he not my junior, thus unfitting.
Pretention is what it's all about; great Rock Music is the sound of hubris toppling.

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Jun 15, 2012 12:55am

If anyone wanted to check the lyrics on any of the Tyrannosaurus Rex albums, then try and obtain the original vinyl album releases as they all came with printed lyrics. Although Bolan did hone down his words to become more commercial, it's worth checking out the early material as the lyrics were supreme, beautiful and amazing...

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Michael E
Feb 11, 2013 6:16pm

Beard of Stars and Unicorn, yeah! I had to smile when reading his comment... I also loved to be drawn in this really weird free folk world, didn't go fo the lyrics, was thrilled by the singing and the atmospheres!

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