The Quietus - A new rock music and pop culture website

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


Tyrannosaurus Rex - Beard Of Stars & Unicorn
I know this is two albums, but I always listened to these all the way through as a double album. It felt like a natural progression and I can't really disassociate the two. I love Bolan, and I've said this before but my secret when I was 13 was that when all the kids at school were into the Specials and The Jam, I really loved Tyrannosaurus Rex. I think it's because I had an older cousin who was massively into T-Rex. I remember when Marc Bolan died and thinking, 'That's pretty interesting.' Marc Bolan and Elvis were the two pop stars I remember dying, and Marc Bolan stuck more in my mind, maybe because he crashed into a tree in a Mini and it was a bit more understandable than dying a long way away in mysterious circumstances in Memphis. I homed in on Bolan, it was that weird thing of being nearly a teenager and having a ready-made dead popstar who couldn't really do anything wrong. I bought the double album because they were cheap, which is what you did. I put on Unicorn and thought, 'What is this shit?' but I grew to love it. I wasn't interested in The Jam’s Going Underground, The Specials’ Rat Race, I was into Tyrannasaurus Rex. The weird thing about those records is how it sounds like nothing else. He created what he thought was this Blakean, Tolkein world, and he stuck with it. The thing about Unicorn is that I didn't know any of the lyrics on it, and I didn't care. It was about this vibe, this Marc Vibe that he had. And then he honed it down, and on Electric Warrior the lyrics actually become brilliant. I think all his various periods are great, but you could never pin him down, or hold him in the same breath as Ray Davies or the standard, wheel-them-out British lyricists, because he was Marc Bolan, he didn't give a fuck about that. He was only into his Marc Bolan trip. I always keep a bit of Marc in my heart.