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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


Soft Cell - Last Night In Sodom
I bought Last Night In Sodom from Boots in Birmingham, you could get really great stuff in Boots. I asked my mom to buy it for me and she said 'I don't have the money, I'm not going to buy something with that title, and anyway I hate Marc Almond.' I realised I would have to get a job of some description. There'd been this three years that I'd been a fan of Soft Cell and suddenly with this album it was all over. It's so weird being a fan of anything, but to be so deep into something - I would scour the magazines, buy any record I could, my whole life was inhabited by this. I was projecting stuff, 'oh what are they doing tonight, who are they hanging out with?' When you're a kid you imagine all these things, now of course I know exactly what they're doing because it's fucking boring. Soft Cell's career was so weird because it started with the hits, descended into The Art Of Falling Apart, which is a great record, and it ended up with this. I don't think there's any band who have sabotaged their pop career in such a way. They lost their teenybopper fanbase, but they made their best record. It was complete in every way, it stands up against Suicide or early Birthday Party, it was made at Britannia Row where Joy Division did Closer, so it had this really gritty, grainy feel, it sounds like its soaked in acid and speed. I loved that Anita Lane and Nick Cave-inspired one, ‘L’Esqualita’ - "we could go out for dinner but we're always on drugs". That was mindblowing for me - how can you talk to anyone at school about Level 42 after that, you just can't! It was the perfect finish for that band and it’s still the record I hold highest out of their catalogue. It was the most perfect career suicide album ever, just perfect, wilful destruction. In a way it released me as a fan, because I wasn't just going to go around and just look for them and be obsessed, and I looked for other things.