John Cooper Clarke: 'Alex Turner's a fantastic lyricist'

The punk poet's work 'I Wanna Be Yours' is put to music as a track on the new Arctic Monkeys album

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John Cooper Clarke has said he thinks Alex Turner is a "fantastic lyricist".

The performance poet's work, 'I Wanna Be Yours', is put to music on the new Arctic Monkeys album 'AM', which will be released on September 9.

When asked how the band's version compares to his own, Clarke tells NME: "I think it's great the band have used it, because I think it was always kind of a song. It's a poem that owes a great deal to popular music. I haven't heard their version yet, but I know it's gonna be great."

He added: "I think he's [Alex Turner] a fantastic lyricist. He's always changing, and as a band they won't be pinned down. I like that album they made when they'd been to the States for the first time, they were so obviously Americanised. I think things like that are a strength, where you can make every new experience uniquely you. That's part of the secret of longevity."

When asked if he would perform with the band if asked, he replied: "Yeah, if they asked me I'd get involved – of course I would! I love what they do. For sure! I don't work with anybody I don't like just for the attention. I suppose it's not very surprising but all the people that have sort of latched onto us lately are all people that I really like. I include Plan B and the Alabama 3, people like that. It's a pleasure to be involved with acts like that, and Arctic Monkeys, because these people are in for the long haul."

Alex Turner has previously cited the poem as being a huge inspiration for him as a lyricist. "I was your typical teenager, trying to be cool and not interested and the teacher proceeded to read 'I Wanna Be Yours', doing an impression of Johnny. It made my ears prick up in the classroom because it was nothing like anything I'd heard, especially on this syllabus. Had I not seen him do his thing, I wouldn't have started writing like that," he said.

Read the full interview with John Cooper Clarke here.

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