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Baker's Dozen

Lust For Music: Irvine Welsh's Favourite Albums
Joe Clay , March 4th, 2014 06:05

With Filth recently released on DVD and a new novel due later this year, the Edinburgh author places a long-distance call from Miami to give Joe Clay the rundown of his top albums


Sex Pistols – Never Mind The Bollocks
The good thing about punk for me was that it was a fantastic education. You got lost in it for six months and it taught you everything you needed to know. The sensibility of it was not taking any shit or putting up with anything that's second rate and was being spoon fed to us in the UK at that time. I didn't get into the whole sectarianism of it. I loved disco as well. So I'd be a punk on Friday, then on Saturday I'd be togged up to go to the disco. The best looking birds went to the disco as well. Punk was always something that I did with my mates. I appreciated all kinds of music and I didn't really want to limit myself. I think that was the Bowie influence – you don't want to get stuck on one genre. But I loved Never Mind The Bollocks – I still do. I still think it's one of the best albums ever made. 

I'll mention another punk album, and again it's a fairly predictable one, and that's The Clash, London Calling. To me in different ways, these are the two quintessential albums of punk. One is a very "fuck you!" statement, and the other one is very much taking that aesthetic and looking at where it can go musically. I never saw the Pistols, but I saw The Clash live. I knew lots of people who were good friends with Joe Strummer but we never hung out together. Mick Jones wanted me to do the video for The Libertines' first single 'Up The Bracket' – to direct it – but I couldn't do it because I had something else on. That was my chance not only to meet Mick Jones but to work with him, but it just never happened.