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Baker's Dozen

Stir My Teenage Soul: Karl 'Regis' O'Connor's Favourite LPs
Luke Turner , July 1st, 2020 08:47

Karl O'Connor guides Luke Turner through the 13 teenage hits that made him Regis, with tales of smelling like a badger on the mail train to Brum and what happens when you get a member of Einstürzende Neubauten the wrong gravel on the way


DAF - Alles Ist Gut
Even though we might now think DAF were an experimental electronic band they were on Virgin, and if you read any magazine back then, as I did, all of them, they were very heavily advertised. They looked so cool and it looked so interesting. My good friend Richard Harvey's dad was a pilot and bought the record for him in Germany, thinking that there must be some sort of educational value to it even though the cover has two sweating men, you couldn't get anything less educational. I got my copy from Virgin on Corporation Street in Birmingham. It's got to be one of the greatest covers ever – it just goes so well with the music. I just remember looking at that as we played it, I was quite lucky in that everyone used to hang out at my place, like it was Mick Jagger's place in Performance, we'd play music late and loud and I'd steal those flashing lights from roadworks. We listened to Alles Ist Gut, there were no choruses, it's relentless, I don't know what they're singing about because it's in German but I can imagine it. I was never aware of what production really was until I heard that record, and of course it was produced by Conny Plank - it was the first time I heard the crispness and beauty of space in music. It was the polar opposite to anything that was happening in the pop charts in England. I didn't realise Germans were allowed to make music after the war. They could play football, but pop music? It was great because it was completely against the Anglo-American rock & roll set-up, it disassembled everything. It was sexually and lyrically ambiguous, sonically unlike anything I had heard up until that point and it totally blew open my perceptions of what music could be. It was so weird and European and made me look towards Germany. I was awful in school but I used to copy a lot of the lyrics down and use them in my German class and I started to excel. The teacher said to my mum, 'Karl's poetry in German is absolutely fantastic'. Because of DAF I was able to go on this school trip to Germany, so thanks to them for that.