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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


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.