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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


The Fall – Totale's Turns
The three Fall albums I love are Dragnet, Totale's Turns and Grotesque. I'd say Grotesque is the best album, way above Hex Enduction Hour, but I picked Totale's Turns. It was the second Fall album I ever heard; the first was a vinyl compilation of early Fall, 77-79, which came out in about 1980. A friend's older brother at school who was into Crass and Killing Joke was into The Fall. It was quite a big deal getting a friend's older brother who was perceived to be cool to tape you something, but he taped me that and I fell in love with it. I used to get my mum and dad to get me records for Christmas, and when I was about 14 the two albums I got from them were LA Woman by the Doors and Totale's Turns, which I proceeded to play on their gramophone. That was quite good, playing Totale's Turns on the gramophone with your parents. My parents had me when they were older, they were in their late 40s or 50s at the time, and they had no interest in music at all. They liked Matt Munro and Perry Como, the Beatles hadn't touched them because they were a bit past that generation, and they thought Elvis and rock & roll was bad stuff. They thought Frank Sinatra was a bit edgy. Even though I haven't listened to Totale's Turns for about 15 years, I can hear the way it starts up: "we are northern white crap that talks back…", I can remember all those bits in between songs. I thought it was a brilliant album when I was 14, and I don't know why. I remember even at that age being blown away by things like 'Spector Vs Rector', even though that's the less hardcore version, because he says on it "we're breaking it in easy for you". I love all the stuff where he's shouting at the band, which obviously had some influence on events to come. I still buy all their new albums, and I think the run they've had since the turn of the 21st Century has been way better than the 90s and most of the 80s, I didn't like the Brix period at all. Steve Hanley said something like "oh we had to change else it would have been five miserable blokes from Manchester doing 'And This Day' for 15 minutes", I said 'no! that's good! Do it even longer'. Now, even though the records are good and there's a progression, he's stripping it all away, the decline in his lyrics is pretty noticeable from those four albums, and Hex as well. The Roman Totale, and the whole mythology of that, I loved the sleevenotes and the cover, wherever it was, Bradford, Preston, and the fact that he concluded the Roman Totale mythology by using his yet-unborn son Joe Totale on 'The North Will Rise Again'. Those first four albums were incredible. I first saw him when I was about 14, probably in Portsmouth, and he had that shamanic thing, and that seems to be a thing of the past.