The AUTEURS – ” People Round Here Don’t Like To Talk About It ” The Complete EMI Recordings 6-Disc CD set

Posted: January 1, 2023 in MUSIC

A new 6CD box set called “People ‘Round Here Don’t Like To Talk About It” (the opening line from the song ‘Unsolved Child Murder’) is a celebration of one of the finest bands to emerge and evaporate in the hedonistic 1990s. The set brings together ‘The Complete EMI Recordings’ of 1990s British band The Auteurs.

The band’s frontman was Luke Haines who is still a prolific songwriter with many albums (his latest with R.E.M.’s Peter Buck is out now). He’s also an author, artist and music journalist (regularly contributing to Record Collector magazine).

The Auteurs were the brilliant British indie band fronted by the sharp-tongued songwriter Luke Haines who was also involved i other projects The Servants, Blackbox Recorder, Baader Meinhof.

The Auteurs released four ‘proper’ studio albums: “New Wave” (1993) hailed as a “canny time capsule, bundled up with all the retro glam of the era” , “Now I’m A Cowboy” (1994), “After Murder Park” (1996) and “How I Learned to Love The Bootboys” (1999) and‘Das Capital’ (2003).– all excellent – with each charting slightly lower than its predecessor in the UK, as Haines reacted to the commercial opportunities presented by Britpop, by digging his heels in and writing songs about child murder and German terrorist groups. The latter is a reference not to an Auteurs album, but rather the ‘side project’ that was Baader Meinhof. This “sonic experiment” was released in 1996, just six months after “After Murder Park” and is arguably one of the strongest and most interesting albums Haines was ever involved in, with its conceptual clarity, Tablas, Clavinets, Moog, bass synths and surprising levels of funk.

Out of the five albums, the sixth included here is “Das Capital“, which like Baader Meinhof “wasn’t really an Auteurs album” but included orchestral re-recordings of much of the band’s older material (plus three new songs). Issued in 2003, this was the last Haines album on the major-pretending-to-be-indie label Hut (actually EMI).

Hut actually released their own excellent 3CD summation of this era called “Luke Haines Is Dead” in 2005, so nearly 18 years later, how does this new 6CD box set compare?

Well, the new set is certainly generous with 56 bonus tracks including acoustic versions, bonus tracks from singles, remixes, demos, alternates and more. The obvious difference is that “People ‘Round Here Don’t Like To Talk About It” includes the full albums and rarities whereas “Luke Haines Is Dead” was a rarities-only affair.

Putting to one side that “Luke Haines Is Dead” spilled into the early part of Haines’ solo career, the most significant omission is the Auteurs BBC sessions from the era. Some of these were included on “Luke Haines Is Dead” and all of them were on the various 3 Loop Music 2CD deluxe editions from seven or eight years ago. But we get nothing here, which means no ‘Kids Issue’ EP, for example. Haines explains in the booklet that comes with this set that “The Auteurs were never gonna give the Grateful Dead a run” and he wanted to keep the new package to a “manageable” six discs. The Auteurs Versus Muziq remix album is also not included because Luke, probably wisely, decided it doesn’t “fit in” with the rest of the material.

Despite being subtitled “The Complete EMI Recordings” there’s still the odd thing missing. “Luke Haines Is Dead” includes an early unreleased single version of ‘Bailed Out’ that for some reason never ended up on the New Wave 2CD deluxe sets and isn’t repeated here and therefore appears to be unique to the 3CD set from 2005. There are a few bonus tracks on “People ‘Round Here Don’t Like To Talk About It” that are not on “Luke Haines Is Dead” but as far we can tell, these can all be found on the individual deluxe editions (including six very early 4-track recordings lifted from the New Wave 2CD deluxe and appended to Das Capital in the new 6CD box set).

With all the Auteurs/Baader Meinhof 2CD deluxe editions and “Luke Haines Is Dead” set, long out-of-print this is nit-picking and largely moot. The new box set should be welcomed by those who missed those previous releases or have ‘got into’ Haines past output in more recent years.

  • A righteous 6CD Clamshell Box Set collecting the complete EMI Recordings of The Auteurs across 125 tracks.
  • Featuring all four albums by The Auteurs, along with Luke’s side project (the self-titled) Baader Meinhof album, ‘Das Capital’ and a stack of fantastic B-Sides, bonus tracks, demos, and other delights.

“People ‘Round Here Don’t Like To Talk About It: The Complete EMI Recordings” will be released on 10 February 2023, via Cherry Red.

Luke Haines is alive and well, possibly living in Buenos Aires, but definitely still making excellent solo and collaborative records. He will be touring this box set throughout February 2023

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