Baker's Dozen

Artists discuss the 13 records that shaped their lives

“Rock & Roll Has Nothing To Do With Lists”: Luke Haines’ Favourite Albums

Ahead of his appearance at our Klub Gutenberg next week, Luke Turner talks to Luke Haines about his favourite 13 albums

"The linen suit is easier to get these days," says Luke Haines, sat on a sofa in his Hampstead flat. "I have got tonnes of white suits, but I do get through them. It’s a good look, though, the crumpled linen suit, food and red wine stains. In the Black Box Recorder days when we were quite heavily into the sauce I used to have a set of white suits, and I’d take them into the dry cleaners. The woman in the dry cleaners would say ‘Ah, the wine suit’."

We’re at Haines’ residence not to discuss summerwear, but to hear his Baker’s Dozen selection of favourite albums as the man with the sharpest pen in the music business prepares to release his latest album, Nine and a Half Psychedelic Meditations on British Wrestling of the 1970s and early ’80s a concept record that well, does exactly what it says on the tin.

It seems that The Quietus is rather lucky to have persuaded Haines to participate in kneading his Baker’s Dozen: "I hate the idea of lists," he says. "Lists are for fucking shopping and housewives, rock & roll has nothing to do with lists."

Interestingly, Haines list features only one album from the past 20 years, Mick Head’s Magical World Of The Strands, something he puts down to feeling uncomfortable listening to artists younger than him. "When I got to about 30 there were bands who were younger than me. I thought why am I listening to bands younger than me? What have they possibly got to say. I’d find it really odd to listen to a comedian who was 30-years-old. ‘What the fuck do you know about anything, you cunt’. I only listen to comedians who are 44 or over. The stuff you knew as a kid, Bowie’s records that he was making when he was 25 or 26, the perception is that he’s always going to be older than me. You have to look up to rock & roll, and I can’t buy into it as an ironic or post-ironic thing. It has to be Jim Morrison, or Larry Wallace freaking out on wah wah guitar in UFO. I can’t buy into the Franz Ferdinand sort of thing, the weird ‘ooo we’re a bit arty, nudge nudge wink wink’. You either are or you aren’t."

For a man who brutally dissected the worst of Britpop in his book Bad Vibes (which remains one of the best music-related tomes over recent years), it’s not surprising that Haines is disaffected with the lasting impact that tawdry movement has had on music today. "I remember talking to Suede early on, and they were doing it to make classic records, they weren’t doing it to be number one, or because they wanted to live in Monaco, that wasn’t the motivation," Haines says. "I think after the worst bits of Britpop, and after Oasis came along when Noel Gallagher would go on about how much money he made and how big they were, it became not about making great records, but about owning football pitches. I don’t think it’s ever recovered, as far as bands are concerned, from that wanting football pitches in the garden, which is kind of Rod Stewart in 1975. We’re now stuck in post-irony mode."

Haines’ choices, ranging from The Fall to The Shadows, The Doors to Tyrannosaurus Rex and Black Sabbath to a concept album about Cold War fighter planes that had a habit of falling out of the sky, are definitely not ironic, post or otherwise. Click on the picture of our man below to begin the rundown. Luke Haines plays the Quietus’ Klub Gutenberg next Tuesday, November 8th.

First Record

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