I may be the last person to find out about this, but since I’m American, it’s OK: Luke Haines, the greatest British songwriter of the 1990s, has released a book detailing his bitter memories of the Britpop years and being completely ignored by the public at large. Entitled “Bad Vibes: Britpop and My Part in Its Downfall,” the book was released in the UK in February. So far no release in the US, nor is there likely to be, ever, so suck it up and pay the postage.
Haines, who laid down the template that Blur and Pulp would later capitalize on with his band The Auteurs, went on to record such gems of human potential as concept albums about the Baader-Meinhof gang and Oliver Twist, recording under his own name and also with “supergroup” Black Box Recorder.
For those who have never been exposed to the man, try any of his albums, ever: they’re all essential. While Blur were writing about middle-class boredom, Haines was writing one-man nostalgia trips through the lost, forgotten and seamy sides of English history, like a snarling pop version of Peter Ackroyd. Try it, you’ll like it.
The Auteurs: Rubettes music video