The Godlike Genius of Luke Haines

Who else but Luke Haines would release an album called Rock’n’ Roll Animals?


Well, Lou Reed did a live album called Rock’n’Roll Animal – but while it featured live versions of songs like ‘Heroin’ and ‘White Light/White Heat’ it wasn’t a concept album like the latest album from Luke Haines. Rock’n’roll Animals is not only a concept album, it’s about three music stars of times past. To whit: ‘Jimmy Pursey [Sham 69] is a frisky fox; Nick Lowe – a solid badger and Gene Vincent – a cat who’s seen a bit more of life than most of us.’ It’s 32 minutes of whimsy and acerbic whit from Mr. Haines in which they take on the Angel Of The North.

Do yourself a favour and buy it.

He is responsible for one of the best autobiographies about (or by) a musician I have ever read- Bad Vibes is essential- and is a consummate windup merchant. . In 1996, whilst The Auteurs were on hiatus, he released an album under the monkier Baader-Meinhof, about…terrorism.

This song, ‘Child Psychology’ from his time as one-third of Black Box Recorder became one of the few songs to get banned from the radio. Apparently the chorus of ‘life is unfair/kill yourself or get over it’ was a bridge too far (no gag intended).

The Auteurs were awesome, and if I had to pick one of their tracks, it would be this one -‘The Rubettes’- which shows his savvy appropriation of pop culture, and why no-one else could be more caustic than him.

Oh, and his album 21st Century Man is one of the best albums released in the 7 year history of this blog. I would give my right arm to interview him, though I think I would probably be reduced to be a stuttering nervous wreck. He is unlikely to assent. Ah well…

UPDATE: contacted by Mr. Haines via twitter and his record company to arrange an interview! Watch this space…

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