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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 Blue Nile - A Walk Across the Rooftops
I left university, moved to London, got a job on a hi-fi magazine so I was concentrating too much on the hardware. We were writing these essays on this amplifier, that cartridge, and it took away from the music somehow. I kind of went off music for a while. Then I moved to France, because my wife had persuaded me that if I was going to be a full-time writer we'd have to move. There wasn't much music around, there was a supermarket 30 miles where you could occasionally get Bowie and Cure albums but that was about it. When we moved back to the UK after being six years in France and four years in London before that… that's ten years when music hadn't been that important to me. But when we moved back I just got straight back into it, and everything had changed. Suddenly there were all these Scottish bands that I didn't know anything about, like Mogwai, Boards of Canada and the Blue Nile. Blue Nile were the first ones because we used their first album as a reference, because it had been put out by Linn, the hi-fi manufacturer, to show off their systems. It was otherworldly, you couldn't tell what had influenced it. It was quite exciting to me that quite a number of these bands were Scottish.