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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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Throbbing Gristle - D.o.A: The Third and Final Report of Throbbing Gristle
At that time, a lot of the bands I liked had this mythology around them, like Throbbing Gristle. Their music I was introduced to by a guy who was a radical poet at the university. He was a Throbbing Gristle fan and said 'you've got to listen to this band, you've got the join the fan club'. Because I looked up to him, whatever he told me to do I'd do. So I got my signed photograph of Cosey Fanni Tutti, I would send away for the private pressings that they'd do of their albums, and get the newsletter. I'd be sitting in my tiny student bedroom with the curtains shut listening to this very intense, urban soundscape. Why I didn't top myself I don't know.

It's about transgression, isn't it? I remember being in the lift at Uni wearing my Throbbing Gristle badge, which is the lightning flash through the red background with the black stripes, and a member of staff said 'that's a fascist badge, are you a fascist?' I never thought of them as fascists, it was about transgression. They wanted to challenge you. There was a uniform that Throbbing Gristle fans tended to wear, and I think it was all part of being transgressive, to shock you out of your malaise or shock you into a strong feeling about something. They might hate me for saying it, but there's a lot of Hawkwind about that - a grouping that comes together because of beliefs of what art can do, or should do, or music should do. There was a strong sense of why they were doing it… they weren't just doing it [adopts sarcastic American accent] for the bread, man.


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Jason
Nov 21, 2012 3:32pm

Big fan of Bowie's Outside - thought I do listen to a copy without the narrated interludes.
Some real quality songs on there.
It sits with Diamond Dogs, Low and Station to Station as my Bowie favourites.

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Lodger
Nov 21, 2012 4:48pm

one of the best Bowie albums for sure...like Lodger, Low, Scary Monsters, Station to station...

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Orishe Olugbo
Nov 21, 2012 5:00pm

Ian Rankin please leave my idea alone! I have been working on my 'Joy Division' novel for a long time and I did exactly as you did. Beginning with 'New Dawn Fades' and ending in 'Interzone' I feel that I have a great tale. Don't rain on my parade.

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bob the slob
Nov 21, 2012 8:44pm

its dansette not dancette mp3 heads tsk tsk tsk

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Nov 21, 2012 10:44pm

Another engaging selection in this always interesting feature. Some of the choices won't come as a massive surprise to readers of Rankin's fiction but his love of early industrial music is not so well documented as his other enthusiasms.

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RobW
Nov 22, 2012 1:08pm

Started listening to Jackie Leven right after reading this. Absolutely magnificent.

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Robin
Nov 22, 2012 2:24pm

Served him a few times many moons back when I worked in a record shop in Edinburgh! A gentleman who loves his music! Can't remember what he bought though! Sad to read this on the same day I find out that Avalanche are shutting down in said city...

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FokkoJan
Nov 22, 2012 3:49pm

wonderful piece! Great to see someone with a real heart for music and a way of telling so too. Really enjoyed it. Guess I have to start reading the books now ...

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Robert
Nov 26, 2012 4:32pm

I was at that Buzzcocks gig at the Edinburgh Odeon, when the support act was Joy Division. And I had a ticket for the next Joy Division gig that got cancelled after Curtis' suicide. And, yes, I went and got my refund on the ticket...unlike Ian Rankin!

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Alan Ferguson
Nov 30, 2012 10:21am

Jackie Leven is the Robert Burns of our times - such poetic and thoughtful music in a generous serving - true genius ! Just ordered the whole catalogue... Get it while you can !
Thanks to Ian Rankin I learned about Jackie's existence , alpha to omega. the Jackie Leven RIP dedication in Standing in Another Man's Rain filled me with such grief I couldn't read it for 12 hours. It took the release of Ian's in NZ , nearly a year after Jackie's death to reach me, and on the anniversary I was pleased to have a conversation with Ian in a Scottish Bar in Dunedin - not the Bonny Earl of Moray though :-)

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branwell Johnson
Dec 20, 2012 3:40pm

Interesting - I actually want Hawkwind's Lord of Light or Ejection played at my cremation (latter for amusement's sake if you know the lyrics...).

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Denise Jordan
May 13, 2017 10:50am

Just been listening to a Cafe Jacques CD....can not remember if there is any reference to them in any of the books especially the earlier ones that I have read many years ago.

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