Award winning Scottish novelist Ian Rankin has taken time from his busy schedule as writer, father and husband to curate a guest mixtape for us here at Netsounds.

Ian Rankin is quoted on his own website as being a music obsessive.  Many of his Inspector Rebus book titles have been taken from some of his favourite albums. Black & Blue, Beggars Banquet and Let it Bleed from albums by The Rolling Stones and Dead Souls is named after the Joy Division Song.  In addition he also served a stint as a journalist for a hi-fi magazine, has an impressive record collection and has contributed playlists to a number of websites and was a guest on BBC Radio 4’s Desert Island Discs.  We are delighted he has found the time to share his latest playlist with us.

The Fife born writer was even once a hopeful rock star.  During his university days in the late 70s he played in the unknown new wave/punk outfit, Dancing Pigs and rumour has it he even submitted demo tapes to the late great John Peel.

His first novel was published in 1986 (The Flood) and his first Inspector Rebus novel, Knots & Crosses, was published in 1987.  His latest novel, released in November 2016 is the best-selling Rather Be the Devil, the 21st instalment in the Inspector Rebus series.  The title was inspired by a John Martyn song from his 1973 album Solid Air.

The Rebus series turns 30 years old this year and to celebrate, Ian Rankin and the Orion Publishing Group have launched REBUSFEST; a weekend of literature, art, film, music and more taking place in Rankin and Rebus’ hometown of Edinburgh from 30th June – 2nd July 2017.

The Rebus series has now been translated into twenty-two languages and the books are bestsellers on several continents.

Ian has received an OBE for services to literature, opting to receive the prize in his home city of Edinburgh, where he lives with his wife and two sons.

Discover more about Ian Rankin here.

For more information on Rebusfest including line up and tickets visit

Click on the player below to listen to Ian Rankin’s Netsounds Takeover Playlist and read about the selections in his very own words.

Press play and let it run.

1. Hawkwind – Silver Machine

One of the first records I ever bought. Still have it; still play it. Pounding rock and roll meets sci-fi.

2. Sensational Alex Harvey Band – Swamp Snake

One of the best concerts I ever saw as a teenager. A force of nature and the missing link between glam rock and punk.

3. John Martyn – Solid Air

First heard this in a schoolmate’s bedroom. Astonishing then and still sounds fresh. Whenever I move house, first record on when the hi-fi is plugged in is this. A blessing on the home.

4. Joy Division – Atmosphere

My favourite band as a student. Properly urban, otherworldly and dark. Bedsit nights never sounded better.

5. Van Morrison – Snow In San Anselmo.

After university I got a job on a music magazine. A bunch of Van reissues arrived one day and I became an immediate fan. This was the opener on the first album I played.

6. Rolling Stones – Sympathy for the Devil

The whiff of sulphur as the 1960s looked set to implode. Great literate lyrics and a beat that gets you air-drumming as you sing along.

7. Jackie Leven – Exit Wound

Because Inspector Rebus loves his music, musicians have become fans of the books. Jackie was one such and I got to know him and work with him. I wish he was still around with that sonorous voice and muscular lyrics.

8. The Skids – The Saints Are Coming

A flashback to Sundays in Kirkcaldy at the Pogo-A-Gogo club, where The Skids were the unofficial house band. Such power and poise, and Stuart Adamson’s peerless guitar licks.

9. Blue Rose Code – Rebecca

I love this guy so much. A clear-headed romantic with a great turn of phrase and immaculate arrangements. Not too shabby on guitar, too.

10. Kate Bush – Cloudbusting

Just for the cellos really. I do love a cello. But it’s Kate Bush so everything else is great, too. It builds and builds, sad and lovely and hopeful. Not a bad way to end a mixtape.

Also: Listen to the full Rebus and Rankin playlists