THE SINGULAR ADVENTURES OF LUKE HAINES (15)

I’d like this to be considered as an early Christmas present to everyone.

Das Capital – The Songwriting Genius of Luke Haines and The Auteurs was released in 2003. Wiki states only that the album features orchestral re-recordings of some of his older songs from The Auteurs and Baader Meinhof periods, along with some new tracks.

It’s fair to say that the few who actually wrote up contemporary reviews came to differing opinions. Ben Hogwood at Music OMH said:-

“Haines comes across as the macabre balladeer, that sinister husky voice of his ever more to the fore. The expansive How Could I Go Wrong does well in this guise with the guitar line (shades of Santana?!) a majestic opener before the strings drape their treble line over the top. What’s evident here and elsewhere is that the music retains its urgency and edginess, nowhere more so than on Lenny Valentino, which still rocks, and on Showgirl, where the complete standstill half a minute in has the same powerful impact.

So what of the new material, 21st century Haines? Well Satan Wants Me is pretty self explanatory, a dirge with Haines spitting “Satan wants me, not you.” Then there’s Michael Powell, where Haines announces, “I’m just a horny devil baby, but I know how to treat a lady.” Dark alley, anyone? All of which leaves Bugger Bognor, a quietly venomous vocal highlighting similarities with Philip Larkin.

Production on Das Capital is heavy on the strings but not usually intrusive, with violins up in the heavens on Starstruck but subtly restrained on the sublime closer Future Generation. The male voice choir in the middle foreground of Baader Meinhof is a nice touch.”

On the other hand, Michael Idov at Pitchfork, in giving the album a rating of 5.1/10, states:-

“Das Capital: The Songwriting Genius of Luke Haines and the Auteurs is a primo Situationist stunt. From the title on down, it concerns itself purely with the sound of money. Fat with winds, strings, chimes, echo chambers the size of Wembley stadium and, per liner notes, “the greatest sax solo in the history of popular culture,” the album is meticulously designed to mimic fundraiser quickies like The Royal Philharmonic Orchestra Plays the Music of Oasis. The result, needless to say, is patently and intentionally ludicrous; it could be one of the greatest jokes ever played on a label by an artist.

I can’t help but applaud Das Capital’s meta-architecture, which incorporates everything from the cover art to the attendant interviews filled with bragging about the project’s cost – one small quibble, however, remains: The album is unlistenable………….I would never recommend a living soul to purchase Das Capital, and yet, full marks are due to Haines for making good on the hissed mission statement from his Oliver Twist Manifesto: “You better believe me when I say/ I never wanted to be liked.”

Me? I love it. The very fact that he was able to again persuade a record label to fork out money to capitalise on the recent success of Black Box Recorder with the promise of delivering a ‘best-of’ collection has to be appluaded. The further fact that he stood and delivered something so unexpected and near impossible to market and recoup its costs was the ultimate in highway robbery. Here’s Luke Haines own words from the CD booklet:-

“I cannot afford to buy an island, but I can afford to buy a theme park, or more accurately, Hut recordings in their speculative wisdom have provided me with the neccesary to create an aural them park, HainesWorld if you like. So, dear listener, take your token, climb aboard the waltzer, and as you spin into luxuriant orchestral delirium, hear me whisper in your ear, “I’m the man you camt to see fall into the machine.” I may be paraphrasing David Essex.

Alternately, the CD you have purchased is a brand new collection of old songs re-recorded, mainly of the 92-96 vintage. Why did these songs need to be recorded again? Because they were slipping out of view. Sometimes you have to point out to people what lies in front of their noses. Does this consolidate my place in musical history? You bet.”

There’s a couple more equally entertaining and slightly tongue-in-cheek paragraphs, before Haines’ own genuinely hilarious reviews of all the albums he had released with The Auteurs or under his own steam as a solo artists. Here’s some extracts:-

New Wave – My first masterpiece…best debut album of the nineties no contest, and as seminal as the first Modern Lovers; 5 stars

Now I’m A Cowboy – OK, sometimes the artist isn’t the best judge of his work. However this one requires serious reappraisal (from yours truly at least)…The Upper Classes was (yet another) precursor to the burgeoning Brit Pop thingy. My commercial peak to date; 4 stars

The Auteurs vs. μ-Ziq – Remixes by some kid from Wimbledon for £500. A lot of money for a teenager. Never listened to it myself. Went on to sell well in America. 100% of the publishing goes to me: 5 stars

After Murder Park – The most fun I had making a record, written in wheelchair confinement. Sonically great, Albini on top form and me too. An anti-zeigeist gem. Chris Cunningham has made a career out of recycling this sleeve art. Full marks to everyone involved; 5 stars

Baader Meinhof – My second masterpiece. Buy it so that I don’t have to. A testimonial to the joys of analogue recording; 5 stars

How I Learned to Love The Bootboys – Under-rated now and at the time. Unfortunately this record cannot be reappraised due to its anti-sentimental stance; 4 stars

Christie Malry’s Own Double Entry OST – My first foray into film soundtracks and my third masterpiece; 5 stars

The Oliver Twist Manifesto – You are not allowed to make record like this anymore….and as the credits roll, I would like to thank David, Paul and all at Hut Records….I say continue your worthless work and hang your heads in shame; 5 stars.

All that’s left now are these:-

mp3 : Luke Haines & The Auteurs – How Could I Be Wrong
mp3 : Luke Haines & The Auteurs – Showgirl
mp3 : Luke Haines & The Auteurs – Baader Meinhof
mp3 : Luke Haines & The Auteurs – Lenny Valentino
mp3 : Luke Haines & The Auteurs – Starstruck
mp3 : Luke Haines & The Auteurs – Satan Wants Me
mp3 : Luke Haines & The Auteurs – Unsolved Child Murder
mp3 : Luke Haines & The Auteurs – Junk Shop Clothes
mp3 : Luke Haines & The Auteurs – The Mitford Sisters
mp3 : Luke Haines & The Auteurs – Bugger Bognor
mp3 : Luke Haines & The Auteurs – Future Generation

You better be quick, as the links will be removed on Boxing Day (26 December)

Oh, and one more thing. There was a hidden track that could only be played by holding down the rewind button when you went play track 1:-

mp3 : Luke Haines & The Auteurs – Das Capital Overture

This track includes Back With The Killer Again, The Rubettes, Housebreaker, Tombstone, Buddah, Kids Issue, Light Aircraft on Fire, The Upper Classes and Discomania. I’ll leave it hanging around for a bit longer.

This series takes a short break as next weekend will see the introduction of a temporary feature with 22 daily posts covering the entire festive period. Luke will be back on Sunday 19 January.

Oh, and I’m going to see him play live in 2020…….click here for the info!

JC

THE SINGULAR ADVENTURES OF LUKE HAINES (14)

Last week’s posting featured the final single to be released by The Auteurs, which was June 1999.

April 2000 saw Black Box Recorder hit the charts with The Facts of Life single.  The album went Top 40 in May 2000 but the follow-up single, The Art of Driving, ground to a halt at #53 in July 2000.

It was around this time that the budding secret romance between John Moore and Sarah Nixey became known to Luke Haines and he got mightily pissed-off….perhaps a bit hypocritically given that he and Alice Readman, the bassist in The Auteurs, had been an item throughout the period that the first three albums had been recorded.

He decided he needed to go off and do his own thing and there would be two releases in 2001, albeit one of them featured music that had been recorded more than a year earlier for a soundtrack to an as yet unreleased album and on which chaval will ruminate in due course.

The other album from 2001 proved to be the first time that David Boyd, supremo at Hut Records, had doubts about Luke Haines, with the tale of the album playback told in its full toe-curling detail within the pages of Post Everything.

The Oliver Twist Manifesto was, an still is, nothing like anything else Haines has ever recorded.  He was obsessed at the time with concept art and rap music, and in particular falling for the charms of Dr Dre/Eminem. He decided to make a high-art-hip-hop pastiche concept album on which he opens with the line ‘This is not entertainment, don’t expect me to entertain you’.

The album has a pop at many things, and the best thing I can do to sum it up is provide the NME’s review from the time….one which gave album fours stars out of five:-

The erstwhile Auteur loves saying the unsayable, and the bizarre Dickensian Slim Shady character that glowers through the music on ‘The Oliver Twist Manifesto’ – his first ‘proper’ solo LP – is his most hateful invention yet. This is Haines as cultural dilettante – a murderous misanthrope who brings fear and doom to all.

While he wastes valuable bile on worthless art bores (‘Death Of Sarah Lucas’), when he finds something to get genuinely upset about, Haines is a genuinely stunning writer. His unusually affecting treatise on mortality ‘What Happens When We Die’ is exceptional – the primitive synth-march of ‘England Vs America’ is possibly even better.

However, if you want evidence of what bitterness can do to a person, it may be worth tracing the manner that Haines’ voice has degenerated to a hoarse whisper as his albums have become more spiteful. He hisses like a pantomime villain throughout this bizarre, uneven assault on popular culture: [I]”You’ve gotta believe me when I say I never wanted to be liked”,[/I] he coughs on the title track. If that was his aim, then with the most unlikeable album of his entire career, he’s going the right way about it.

Here’s the opening and closing tracks of an album that clocks in at just 37 minutes. It’s still a fascinating if rather odd listen…..one that has come to make more sense in later years but was so out of leftfield in 2001 that it jarred somewhat.

mp3 : Luke Haines – Rock’n’Roll Communique No. 1
mp3 : Luke Haines – The Oliver Twist Manifesto

JC

THE SINGULAR ADVENTURES OF LUKE HAINES (13)

The Auteurs broke up in the summer of 1996.

A few months later, the Baader Meinhof LP was released, a period of time wonderfully recalled in the pages of Bad Vibes, including the revelation that someone high up in Virgin Records, the parent label of Hut Records with whom Luke Haines had a contract, sent this in a fax to David Boyd, the head of Hut:-

“I would like to remind you that Virgin Records did not sign Luke Haines to make political statements. He is signed as an entertainer.”

In response, Boyd sanctioned a photo call at the Munich Olympic stadium where, in 1972 at the adjacent Games Village, 13 Israeli athletes had been killed after a terrorist attack. Haines really was testing everyone’s patience and understanding.

The Baader Meinhoff album gets mixed reviews in that it was loved and loathed in equal measures, best summed up by UK broadsheet newspaper The Guardian stating that Haines had wasted some of his best music on an impenetrable subject matter. No single is released to accompany it…. but there was a one-sided etched single given away free with vinyl copies of the album:-

mp3 : Baader Meinhof – I’ve Been A Fool For You

1997 proved to be a quiet year, but it was at this point in time that Haines formally hooked up with John Moore and Sarah Nixey to create Black Box Recorder.

Chrysalis Records signed the band, something which Hut Records seemed OK about, and in 1998 there were two flop singles – Child Psychology and England Made Me – before the release of a poorly selling album, also called England Made Me.

At the same time as this was happening, The Auteurs had come back together again….I’m guessing it was to fulfill a contractual obligation for a fourth album, as the reasons aren’t quite ever explained in Post Everything, the second volume of Haines’s memoirs, published in 2011 and covering the period 1997-2005. There are a number of aborted efforts at getting the recording process going, but eventually, from August – October 1998, things take shape.

The crazy thing is that the subsequent results yielded next to no reviews when the LP, How I Learned To Love The Boot Boys, was released in July 1999, but those who were paying attention, rightly recognised it as a masterpiece, such as this from Michael Hubbard in musicOMH, a London-based online magazine:-

If you’re going to be influenced by the music of decades other than the present one then you may as well allow that music to emphasise your own work rather than making your own music emphasise someone else’s.

Bjorn Again are great, no doubt about it – but they emphasise Abba. Who would they be otherwise? It has, in the recent past, been something of a conundrum; lots of ’70s disco music revivalist tripe has been scribed and has spawned comeback careers for everyone from Martha Wash to Burt Reynolds.

All great stuff – I’m sure the ’70s were fun at the time and Boogie Nights was a refreshing film – but really, mes fruits, this is the ’90s. Why live in the past? Why not just learn from it and improve upon it? The case for evolution has not been stronger since Charlie D popped his clogs and finally we have, in the shape of Luke Haines, a man prepared to lead the fightback.

Haines last graced the Albums shelves with his side project, Black Box Recorder’s England Made Me, which I loved immediately. The atmospherics of that record are transferred to How I Learned To Love The Bootboys and given some spices to further improve the flavour. Haines claims this record to be twelve singles; “maybe not twelve hits”, says the nihilist, but we see – and hear – what he means immediately.

At once a personal album (1967 was the year Haines first looked upon the world) and a fusion of myriad styles (Asti Spumante and Your Gang Our Gang, for instance), there are tracks that remind one of everything from The Sex Pistols to Ziggy Stardust, Gary Numan to Blur, yet I suspect that this eclectic record conjures different bands for each listener, depending on what they’ve heard before. Haines refines Numan’s atmospherics, he plays Johnny Rotten subtlely, he uses one or two Bluresque riffs rather than songloads and everything somehow works. In fact, in works bloody brilliantly.

Although every one of these songs shrieks CLASS!!! at the eardrums, stand-out tracks must surely be Asti Spumante, Your Gang Our Gang, Johnny and the Hurricanes, The Rubettes and title track How I Learned to Love the Bootboys. If you don’t yet own this album then you are missing out. Go buy.

In recent years, more writers haved belatedly heaped praise on the album, especially when it was reissued in 2014 as a 3xCD expanded edition in which the original 12 tracks were joined by an album of b-sides and rarities, along with a live album from November 1999, recorded at the London School of Economics, on the occasion of The Auteurs final UK gig.

There was one single taken from the album, complete with two new b-sides  All three tracks are very listenable:-

mp3 : The Auteurs – The Rubettes
mp3 : The Auteurs – Get Wrecked At Home
mp3 : The Auteurs – Breaking Up

The a-side featured backing vocals from John Moore and Sarah Nixey, thus providing a neat bridge between what had just come to pass and what would prove, the following year, to be the commercial high point of Luke Haines as an entertainer.

I’ve previously said that Black Box Recorder wouldn’t feature as part of this series, and I’m keeping it that way. The series will continue, running through early into the new year, with this idiosyncratic look at the solo career of Luke Haines, very little of which has seen the release of singles or EPs, but something in the region of 12 albums. You’ll be pleased to learn that chaval will be lending his talents to this venture…..

JC

PS : I might be away oh holiday just now, but I was reliably informed that an old friend was intending to come out of the woodwork today.  If my intel is good, then clicking here should do the trick.

 

 

THE SINGULAR ADVENTURES OF LUKE HAINES (12)

After Murder Park entered the album charts at #33, dropping down the following week to #52 before disappearing altogether. Sales are disappointing and Luke Haines decides to call a band meeting and to inform everyone that once all the touring commitments are over, firstly to the USA and then Europe, there will be no more Auteurs.

The front man was already planning his next move which was to take up the offer from the record label to work up the idea of a Baader Meinhof album, but there was to be one last hurrah for the band via the release of an EP about which one critic would later say ‘proved to be one the best things Haines has ever released… and probably the most miserable.’

Kids Issue features four songs, two of which, the title track and A New Life A New Family, hadn’t previously seen light of day.  They were all taken from a John Peel session, recorded on 20 February and broadcast on 8 March 1996, just a week after the release of the new album and just as it was falling out of the charts.

mp3 : The Auteurs – Kids Issue (Peel Session)
mp3 : The Auteurs – Buddha (Peel Session)
mp3 : The Auteurs – A New Life A New Family (session)
mp3 : The Auteurs – After Murder Park (session)

Confession time.

Until getting things underway on this series, I had no idea whatsoever that this EP even existed. Wiki states that it reached #163 in the charts….I had no idea that the singles chart went so deep (or least it did in 1996)….which probably equates to sales of about 1,000 (which is a complete guess on my part!).

I did know the songs from their inclusion on a 3xCD retrospective Luke Haines Is Dead that was released in in 2005 but I’ve now managed to pick up a second-hand copy of the actual EP.  These four songs are an absolute delight, and it is hard to reconcile them with the fact that they were recorded at a time when the band was about to give up the ghost………..well, for now anyway, as will be explained in Part 13 of this series which will be here at the same time next Sunday on this very same channel.

JC

THE SINGULAR ADVENTURES OF LUKE HAINES (11)

Previously on The Singular Adventure of Luke Haines:-

“It was April 1995 before he was in any sort of shape to return to the studio, where he took the songs he had been writing while recuperating and teamed up with Steve Albini, the producer best known from his work with Nirvana, It took just 13 days to finish work on the new album, which was given the title After Murder Park, and it was presented to the record label in May 1995. For one reason after another, its release is consistently delayed and it doesn’t see light of day until 1 March 1996. But that’s a story for another day”

We have now reached ‘another day’, via last week’s wonderful guest contribution from chaval with his thoughts on the masterful Back With The Killer EP.

It took just six weeks for Hut Records to issue the next 45 by The Auteurs, the all-important track to fully showcase the forthcoming album recorded so many months previously with Steve Albini. It came in at just over two minutes in length; it featured a swear word in the second line amidst a lyric that seemed to make little, if indeed any, sense; the responsibility for the promo video was handed to an up-and coming director named Chris Cunningham whose ideas  bordered on the surreal; and it had a title that, in the event of a war breaking out or some sort of aeronautical disaster incurring, faced an automatic radio ban:-

mp3 : The Auteurs – Light Aircraft on Fire

I really didn’t like this single when I first heard it, thinking it was the final nail in the coffin for The Auteurs and indeed for Luke Haines himself. It’s a hard-edged, rockier sort of sound, which to be fair, should have been anticipated given who was in the producer’s chair, miles away from the chamber/baroque-pop that had been such an attraction in the early days. It was only when I read Bad Vibes more than a decade later did it hit me that Haines had come to the conclusion he was both unable and unwilling to play the game in terms of being a pop star, with things like the broken ankles from the fall that had brought a previous tour to an end and the release of the Baader Meinhof single being clear signs that he wanted someone to drive the stake through the heart of his band.

And it was only in listening to the track alongside the others that would appear on After Murder Park on its release a month or so later, did it make some sort of sense why Light Aircraft on Fire had been selected as a single – the other tracks were even less commercial sounding, although many of them bordered on genius, albeit from the mind of a complex individual. It was a long way removed from country houses, cigarettes and alcohol and the lives of common people. The fact that the album had titles such as Unsolved Child Murder, New Brat In Town, Tombstone (in which he dreams of blowing up the hotel of choice for the Britpop cognoscenti) and Dead Sea Navigators are all you need to know, not forgetting a wonderfully powerful version of an old b-side, Everything You Say Will Destroy You.

The reviews were again reasonably positive, with one or two being astute enough to suggest that Haines had things in common with the newly revitalised Radiohead and that songs on After Murder Park would not have sounded out of place on The Bends.

But that was all for the future. The most disappointing thing from the release of the new single was that the b-sides felt like the b-sides, which seemed a first in respect of The Auteurs (albeit the demo showed promise!):-

mp3 : The Auteurs – Buddha (4-track band demo)
mp3 : The Auteurs – Car Crash
mp3 : The Auteurs – X-Boogie Man

All told, it was no real surprise that the single failed to crack the Top 50.

Tune in next week for another instalment is this tale of the top of the flops.

JC

PS : Video bonus

THE SINGULAR ADVENTURES OF LUKE HAINES (10)

A GUEST POSTING by CHAVAL

Cast your minds back a couple of weeks to JC’s celebration of Chinese Bakery, a single which featured a throwaway line about “Bob Dylan on a motorbike”. For Dylan’s 1966 Woodstock crash that released him from the album/tour/voice of his generation treadmill, Haines’s equivalent was that reckless drop off a wall in San Sebastian.

As well as instilling respect for the difference between sand and concrete, Haines’s leg fractures allowed him an interval of reflection. Like some post-Britpop James Stewart in Rear Window, Haines brooded and read, and like Dylan in 1967, unleashed his creativity in several directions, only tangentially connected with the pop marketplace.

By the end of 1995 and drift into 1996, Haines’s career was all over the place. The Auteurs’ best album After Murder Park was in the can but still awaiting release. Baader Meinhof, Haines’s unhinged, brilliant homage to 70s terrorism, was about to baffle critics with its mash-up of crunching retro-funk, dub and lyrics about hijacks. Always ready to muddy the waters, The Auteurs released the Back With The Killer EP, fresh material that took Haines’s lyrical provocations further than ever, albeit expressed very succinctly (the four tracks clock in at a total of just over nine minutes).

mp3: The Auteurs – Unsolved Child Murder is as uncompromising as its title, a dark depiction of an event dragged from the news headlines and given unsettling intimacy, exploring its devastating effect on a suburban family. Haines says it was based on a childhood memory of a local doctor’s family whose child went missing, presumed dead. Haines’s 70s childhood would prove a rich and often disturbing seam of material from this point on.

Haines had covered vaguely similar territory on Daughter Of A Child on Now I’m A Cowboy, but otherwise the only indie-rock point of comparison with regard to subject matter would be The Smiths’ mawkish Suffer Little Children from their first album. Where Morrissey’s lyric is mostly adolescent melodrama, Unsolved Child Murder is a richly detailed and empathetic depiction of tragedy, irrational desperation and a viciously judgmental world, wrapped up in a gorgeously melancholic tune (the EP version is enhanced with a French horn omitted from the album track that appeared later).

Along with the title track of After Murder Park, it showed how far Haines had shifted from the usual lyrical terrain of mid 90s popular music. The band had just finished recording these tracks in Abbey Road when Paul McCartney looked in and amiably asked if he could hear what Luke had been working on. “I politely decline the ex-Beatle’s request,” Haines recalled. “I don’t want him to be the first person to hear these songs; they’re too good for him.”

This startling work merited that kind of pride, but this EP contains another masterpiece:

mp3: The Auteurs – Back With The Killer Again takes the direct route of Lenny Valentino musically, although the atmosphere is distinctly psychotic. In Tim Mitchell’s deranged non-biography of Haines the author suggests the song is about “a man who takes drugs to turn himself into a murderer”, an explanation that may have come directly from Haines. Certainly the lyric offers a disturbing cluster of allusions to nerve gas, bad dope, primed bombs . . .

Those better versed in 70s counter-culture might be able to identify all the references in the line “John got Barrett for the lot, it must have been the Microdot”. All I can offer is that the Microdot happened to be the name of the early 70s gang of underground LSD chemists eventually busted by Operation Julie (as immortalised in the Clash song), who were rumoured to have links with the German terrorists Red Army Faction aka Baader-Meinhof, bringing it all back home to Haines’s reading lists. “A damning, self-mythologising riposte to the current crock that is the UK scene,” is how Haines described the song.

If the other tracks on the EP can’t match the impact of the first two, that’s not to say they are filler.

mp3: The Auteurs – Former Fan continues the murder theme, seemingly from the viewpoint of a Mark Chapman type obsessive whose disenchantment with a former idol turns homicidal. Or it might be a twisted love song, you tell me.

mp3: The Auteurs – Kenneth Anger’s Bad Dream name-checks the underground film-maker (or “pornographer” as Haines somewhat harshly calls him when introducing the song at live shows) and keen disciple of the Satanist Aleister Crowley. Haines’s insatiable cultural curiosity is on display once again, and given a pretty, folk-rock-ish tune.

The EP reached number 45 (says Wikipedia, Haines’s memory says 48), a commercial disappointment in the hit-crazed climate of Britpop, but undeniably a remarkable achievement considering the artistic reach and lyrical ambition.

chaval

THE SINGULAR ADVENTURES OF LUKE HAINES (9)

This is where things start to get just a bit messy when it comes to getting these releases in the right order in terms of chronology…I’m going by the info contained in one of my go-to-books, namely ‘The Great Indie Discography’, written by Martin Strong, published in 2003, and consisting of more than 1,000 pages. It’s slightly at variance with how Luke Haines lays things out in Bad Vibes, but that may well be down to him keeping the narrative flowing in terms of music rather than jumping back and forth.

So….Chinese Bakery had stalled at #42 in April 1994 while the album Now I’m A Cowboy released the following month, reached #27, which was higher than had been achieved by New Wave but was a sore one for Luke Haines given the success being enjoyed by many other acts whom he regarded as second-rate.

Last week focussed on one of his responses, in the shape of the The Auteurs vs. μ-Ziq EP. The release of that EP coincided with a period in which he was incapacitated – both ankles badly broken and the right heel smashed to smithereens, sustained after he jumped down off a 15-foot wall onto concrete after a gig in San Sebastian in northern Spain. His defence was that he had gone slighly crazy mid-tour and had decided to make the jump on the basis that if he landed unscathed, the tour, which was still to go Italy, France and Japan, would continue…and that he thought he would landing on soft sand.

It was April 1995 before he was in any sort of shape to return to the studio, where he took the songs he had been writing while recuperating and teamed up with Steve Albini, the producer best known from his work with Nirvana, It took just 13 days to finish work on the new album, which was given the title After Murder Park, and it was presented to the record label in May 1995. For one reason after another, its release is consistently delayed and it doesn’t see light of day until 1 March 1996. But that’s a story for another day.

Not long after finishing work with Albini, The Auteurs return to the studio and begin work on some new songs that would, as it turns out, see the light of day as an EP before the next album is released. But that too is another story for another day….(and I’m delighted to say that chaval will be the one to tell that story)

The next physical release to feature Luke Haines proves to be a 7″ single in which neither his nor his band’s name actually features. It came about because Luke Haines and his great mate Phil Vinall, who had produced the first two albums by The Auteurs, were bored and restless, and over a weekend they went into a studio to have a bit of fun, trying to match music to a lyric or two that Haines had pulled together about his latest fascination, a left-wing terrorist gang that had become famous/infamous in the 1970s.

The results were presented to his manager, who dismissed it as being uncommercial. They went next to David Boyd, the boss of Hut Records who had long regarded Haines as a maverick genius. His response on hearing it was to give the green light for a 7″ single release, just a few weeks in advance of the new EP by The Auteurs, and at the same time signal his support for the concept to be worked up into a full album.

Luke Haines is ecstatic:-

mp3 : Baader Meinhoff – Baader Meinhoff
mp3 : Baader Meinhoff – Meet Me At The Airport

To nobody’s surprise, the single doesn’t do anything much in the way of sales, but the unusual marketing campaign, which consisted of sending journalists a copy of the single along with a photocopy of a page from a booklet that described in detail how best to construct a nail bomb, did get column inches….the music press knew exactly who was behind the stunt…

JC