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Baker's Dozen

Crime Plays: Writer Ian Rankin On His 13 Favourite Albums
Luke Turner , November 21st, 2012 07:37

Ian Rankin talks to Luke Turner about his life in music, and how he'd like to write novels based on Joy Division and David Bowie albums

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The Sensational Alex Harvey Band - Next
I think I first heard them when I was about 13. The first album I heard by them was Next, it was a cassette that a friend of my sister's had. What got me at 13 was there were songs on there about sex, the title track is basically about a brothel, and that's very interesting to a 13-year-old male. Also there were songs about violence, gang violence, and that was something I was very aware of growing up in the early 70s, stuff like Vanbo Rools, you used to see the phrase "Vambo rules OK" spray painted over buildings. This was a character that Alex Harvey had created who was the leader of a gang. When I went to see the band in concert in Edinburgh when I was still at school I was absolutely blown away by the showmanship, there was cartoon violence, there were great songs and great catchy riffs, with a really tight band behind them. It wasn't just about Alex, everyone in that band was a great musician. Although I first heard it in about 1973, I could happily play it today, and I'd be singing along with 'Last Of The Teenage Idols'.


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