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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


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'.