on The Clash

extract from Renegade: The Lives and Tales of Mark E. Smith,

"Even The Clash - who, I must admit, were very good when they started out, much better than The Pistols - lost it spectacularly. After that first album there's really nothing there"

on The Sweet

"The thing is... I thought The Sweet were good."

on 'American Garage'

from Renegade, The Lives and Tales of Mark E. Smith, about his time in 1976,

"I was listening to a lot of 60s garage music, like the Nuggets LP, The Ramones, Patti Smith, German Rock"

on Lou Reed

in conversation with The Wire in 1999,
"Metal Machine Music just cleans your head out. I like that, it's my favourite. It's the best thing Lou Reed ever did. It was when he went bonkers, wasn't it? I had gone right off him by then. I was a big fan at one time, but after 'Transformer' I lost interest in what he was doing. Then he brought Metal Machine Music out and I thought it was just brilliant."

on Prince Jazzbo

"Every Nigga Is A Winner" from Mr Funny, The Wire in 1999,

"He has no shame, Prince Jazzbo, he just rips off everybody....he's fucking great"

on Mystery Jets

in conversation with the band's frontman, Blaine Harrison,
"I've heard 'Greatest Hits' and it's a f****** good song. I'm not just saying that."

on Augustus Pablo

on his playlist for the Millennium celebration,
"I used to play The Maytals, Monkey Man, every New Year's Eve, so I guess I'll probably go with them. There's also that Augustus Pablo. You know, decent reggae before it got all that religion."

on The Ramones

"It was all these American records from the 1960s, pre-punk, like The Seeds. And Blitzkrieg Bop by The Ramones. Yeah, put that one in." 

on 'Northern Soul'

"Northern soul. Anything. The thing about Northern Soul is that you never know the names or the titles, because it just doesn't matter. I've got all that stuff but I can't tell you what anything's called."

on Marvin Rainwater

on 'My Brand of Blues',
"This is an old country and western rockabilly song and it’s brilliant. He just plays one chord all the way through. Yeah, I know a lot of country and western is totally trite, sentimental slop, but it depends what kind of country and western you listen to, doesn’t it, cock? I know ninety per cent of country music is shit, but ninety per cent of any kind of music is shit, isn’t it? I haven’t even got that many records. I throw a lot of stuff away. I mean, you’ve got to, haven’t you?" 

on Lee Hazelwood

on the track, Sundown,

"I think Lee Hazelwood was really, really good. I love the way this song’s got this big, dead camp cinematic production. Nancy Sinatra was all right, as well. She’d got a bit of talent. She didn’t just sponge off her dad’s name. I couldn’t stand that f***ing Boots are Made for Walkin’ nonsense, though. Lee Hazelwood always sounds to me like a really wired, wiped-out Johnny Cash. Yeah, I always liked him as well. He’s back and he’s hip now? Is he really? F***ing hell!"

on I Ludicrous

on the track, Preposterous Tales,
"They’re very funny, I Ludicrous, and I like a lot of their stuff. They  rip off the Fall a lot, ripping off riffs and everything, but I don’t mind that because they make me laugh. If it makes me laugh, it’s OK. That’s a good basic rule. Pavement don’t make me laugh. They don’t make me angry, though. I can’t get angry anymore about people copying the Fall because there’s just been so many. We’ve been ripped off so many times. I Ludicrous are a good funny Northern band. Like the Macc Lads? Well, it’s not quite the same thing, is it?"

on The Walking Seeds

talking to NME about their album, Tantric Wipeout, in 1994,
"It’s five years old now, this. The Walking Seeds were great until they went all f***ing grunge. One of ‘em went on to be in The La’s, you know. I don’t like that many Liverpool bands, cos...well, it’s Liverpool, innit? I never went for Julian Cope, Ian McCulloch, all that stuff. Walking Seeds were all right, though. What’s that you say -- tantric sex is where you have it off in stages? You kiss the first day, fondle the second, gradually get more intimate? You’re getting very prurient, you, aren’t you? Stick to writing about music!"

on The Electric Prunes

"...I didn't really like much, except like garage music from the 60s, and nothing really. So, you had to do your own thing. (The Electric Prunes) ....Yeah, shit like that"

on The Rolling Stones

from an interview with North Carolina radio station WXYC, in 1994, on his favourite Rolling Stone music,
"I like Sticky Fingers, yeah, very much."
 ".....Well, I think that, (they) were pretty patchy actually. I think the Stones stopped in '66, to be honest!"

on Die Krupps

"Well, that Britpop thing doesn't interest me. I've been listening to a lot of Italian dance music. It's really spooky with loads of screams on it, very dark and moody, very much from that side of the Italian character. And I like a lot of German stuff, Die Krupps and all that."

on Henry Cow

from an interview in 1991, asked if his favourite rock'n'roll music was ostensibly teenage music,
"No, not at all. I like all sorts of stuff. I listen to Gene Vincent, and stuff like that. Henry Cow. I keep me mind open, I think. What I don't like listening to is MTV and stuff like that. It just passes right over me, I don't get anything out of it at all. I think it's just bilge, really."

on John Lee Hooker

"......I'm really into John Lee Hooker myself. He's great, solo, without a band. His bands are crap."

on The United States of America

".....I'm into things like Stockhausen, The United States Of America and Gene Vincent and rockabilly."

on Elvis Presley

in conversation with Nick Cave, for an interview with NME journalists in 1989,
"A lot of Presley's good stuff was overlooked. Like, the NME viewpoint that he died when he came out of the army. I think the opposite, his best stuff came after the army"
and arguing with Nick Cave,
 "Look pal, Elvis was the king, right? To me, Elvis were king. He was only the king 'cos he sustained it.

on Odyssey

on the 1977 song Native New Yorker,
"I don't mind a bit of disco. I like their attitude of, 'We're too good for you'. I like their snobbery. It's also top-class playing, that bass and guitar sound although on the first listen it sounds a bit cabaret."

on Frankie Valli, and The Four Seasons

on Walk Like A Man single,
"If you listen to the guitars and drums you realise they're actually really hard group. This is what I think of as proper 60's music. I never liked The Beatles. People just know The Four Seasons from Grease and Oh What A Night but their other records are brilliant. All that high-pitched singing..."

"...I love Frankie Valli's solo stuff as well, like The Night, and You're Ready Now."

on Toots & The Maytals

on Revival Reggae from the reggae and ska album, From The Roots,
"I dance around the room to this all the time. Every New Year's Eve I always play Toots and The Skatalites. It's become a weird ritual. I also play them when I'm pissed off at the music business. It's timeless music that stands outside of everything."

on Mr Bloe

on the 1970 cover single, Groovin' With Mr Bloe
"A brilliant instrumental with loads of harmonica. I love that Northern Soul sound.."

on Bud Brewer

on White Line Fever; The Fall did a cover version of on the album, Reformation Post TLC,

"Bud's an American trucker and a big trucking hero. Merle Haggard originally wrote the song. It's not about drugs but the white line in the middle of the road. I first heard it when we toured the Deep South. It was much more raw and raucous than the US punk we were being subjected to. It's Country music mixed with rockabilly and driving; I like that combination. I used to drive motorbikes. I had a Honda 350 but I had to stop as I had too many accidents."

on Nat Stuckey

on Caffeine, Nicotine And Benzedrine from Country Fever,
"Another trucking song. This is really hard sounding."

on Visnadi

on Hunt is Up,

"Vis is an Italian dance fella and this is a fookin' great record. Avante-garde with a strong beat and classical piano. It's really doomy, not cheerful at all. I never get sick of playing it."

and in 1994 in another interview with NME, on Hunt Is Up,
"This is an Italian rave record which is around at the moment. Yeah, that’s right, a rave record. Why shouldn’t I like a rave record? I’ve been getting into loads of Italian stuff lately. I’m not normally into rave music, though. I mean, it just sort of plods, doesn’t it? I don’t do a lot of clubbing, but I have been doing a bit of DJin lately, around Manchester. People just keep asking me to do it. F*** knows why. I just turn up and start playing Italian rave records and rockabilly!
Ha! That does their f***ing heads in!"

on Mouse On Mars

on Subsequence, from Idiology album,
"This is an instrumental from a German teeny band. They sound like computer game music, all bleepy, bleepy, bleepy, but they do unique things with cellos, They make the music all slow and stretched out, too. It's strange."

on That Petrol Emotion

extract from an interview in 1988; replying to a question about his opinion on bands who choose to write songs about prevailing politics, preoccupations and social prejudices of the day,
"....I mean, I like That Petrol Emotion and that, I really do, but I don't want to hear their half-arsed views on Ireland which they got from some politico in Camden Town. When I want to read about politics, I buy New Statesman, it's as simple as that."