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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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Clock DVA - Thirst
In the Throbbing Gristle newsletters they'd mention bands that they felt and affinity with, and one of them was Clock DVA. Thirst was the album that I bought at the time. There were a few tracks on that that I found completely propulsive and hypnotic. You'd sit there in a trance as you listened to it, these quite razor blade edge vocals and bits of brass coming through this wall of noise and very heavy bass. The rhythm took you out of where you were to somewhere else. It was music of alienation, and like a lot of young people of a certain age and a certain disposition, I felt alienated. I didn't really feel part of any particular group, I felt I was presenting a face to the world that wasn't necessarily the real me. It was cold and it was dark a lot of the time, I seem to remember, and you were shoving ten pence pieces into the gas meter to get the little fire in your room to work. I was studying all this stuff at University that made very little sense to me. I'd gone to Uni because I liked modern novels, and for the first two years at University I was having to go through all this Thomas Hardy and William Wordsworth, and this isn't why I came here. Meantime I was busily scribbling down poems called 'Euthanasia' and lyrics about mega cities where Judge Dredd hangs out, trying to write comics, just kind of experimenting. It was quite experimental music, and it was unlike anything any of my peer group were listening to at the time.


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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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