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Old 12-25-2007, 08:08 PM   #21 (permalink)
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Bumped for Jackhammer's benefit, (And because i'm updating it again tomorrow)
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Old 12-25-2007, 08:17 PM   #22 (permalink)
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I'm taking a look through it now.
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Old 12-27-2007, 06:22 AM   #23 (permalink)
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Well I only just noticed this thread now, but thanks for making it anyway. I've listened to random songs from the Fall but I didn't know where to start. I'll get Slates EP.

Slightly off topic, but I've been thinking of maybe doing a top 20 or 50 albums list myself. While I'm sure I know enough about music to do a balanced top 100, I feel that I probably don't have enough time and I'd be kicking myself when I later discovered more great albums. Maybe I'll give it a year or so, then do it.
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Old 12-29-2007, 03:08 PM   #24 (permalink)
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I'm listening to their debut right now. Recorded in one day? Un-fecking-believable!
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Old 12-29-2007, 03:34 PM   #25 (permalink)
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It was supposed to be 5 days but half the band got flu & MES lost his voice.

They played a gig in the evening too.
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Old 01-12-2008, 11:29 AM   #26 (permalink)
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Hex Enduction Hour - Kamera Records - 8th March 1982

Original Album Tracklisting: The Classical / Jawbone and the Air-Rifle/ Hip Priest / Fortress - Deer Park / Mere Pseud Mag. Ed. / Winter I (Hostel-Maxi) / Winter 2 / Just Step S'ways / Who Makes the Nazis? / Iceland / And This Day

Re-issue Extras: Deer Park / Who Makes the Nazis? (John Peel Session September 15th 1981) / I'm into C.B. (B-side on the single Look, Know released 19 April 1982) /Session Musician (live at the Boerkeller, Leeds, November 5, 1981) / Jazzed Up Punk shit (live at the 666 Club, Manchester, May 15, 1982) / I'm into C.B. (Stars on 45 Version) (live at fagins, Manchester, September 30, 1981) /And This Day (soundcheck at Main Street, Auckland, New Zealand, August 20, 1982) / Deer Park (Live at Main Street, Auckland, August 20, 1982) / And This Day (Revisited) (live at Astoria 2, London, February 26, 1997)

Band Line Up:: Mark E. Smith – vocals, tapes, guitar / Craig Scanlon – guitar, vocal, piano / Marc Riley – electronic organ, guitar, electric piano, banjo / Steve Hanley – bass guitar, vocal / Paul Hanley – drums, guitar / Karl Burns – drums, vocal, tapes / Kay Carroll – vocals, percussion

Critique: This is it, the tour de force of The Fall if you're a diehard Fall purist.And, if Smith was to be believed at the time the Fall's last ever album. Some might argue that 'This Nations Saving Grace' would also be in with a shout , but that album features Brix Smith heavily. And nobody polarizes opinion amongst Fall fans as much as she does. Back to this album , it was recorded in, of all places a disused cinema in Iceland , armed with two drummers to accommodate returning original member Karl Burns , and yet another record label in Kamera Records.
The album opens up with controversial 'The Classical'. Controversial because of it's 'Where are the obligatory ******s?' line. Amazingly enough in 1984 Motown Records showed interest in signing the band and asked Smith to send them an album. Smith , only having a copy of this album sent it. Later he received a letter back from Motown saying 'I see no commercial potential in this band whatsoever' Smith assumed it was this lyric that put them off. If I love 'The Classical' for one reason it's that it's finally an opening song of an album to do the band justice. It's just balls out right from the beginning, and it just doesn't stop.
Jawbone & The Air-Rifle is another balls out rock song about an old war veteran who goes around shooting things because he feels unfulfilled. Next up is possibly the Fall's most classic song 'Hip Priest' as used in Silence Of The Lambs. This slow brooding atmospheric little number in some ways is a follow up to Spectre vs Rector on 'Dragnet but Hip Priest is much more easy on the ears.Over the years this song has become Mark E Smith's national anthem, when he sings over & over 'he is not appreciated' you know he's talking about himself , and even if he isn't the song has come to represent that.
Fortress/Deer Park is my favourite off the album. I just love it's thumping bassline & skewed synths washing over the top of it with MES ranting about life in the UK over the top of it. In the hands of a lesser band this would probably be considered filler material after 3 stonking opening tracks, but it's just as good & holds your interest as well as the other songs that precede it.
Mere Psued Mag Ed is the traditional MES rant this time about the media , this is probably the weakest song on the album. This version sounds totally ramshackled & all over the place. I much prefer the version the band recorded for a Peel Session 20 or so years later aided with a crunching riff & 20 more years of bitterness in MES's voice. It's not the song thats at fault here , it's the performance & recording of it.
Winter / Winter 2 is up next. It's actually one song but was split so that on the original vinyl album it would close side one & open side two. Another slow brooding number which contains some of my favourite MES observations about mad kids , alcoholics & anti smoking, anti nuclear feminists. The album fades a bit during the second half but still manages to keep up the pace with Just Step S'ways & Who Makes the Nazis? (Balding smug ***gots , Intellectual half-wits , Winos & 29 year olds apparently make the nazi's). The last two songs Iceland & And This Day highlight the bands influences such as Can & Captain Beefheart , Iceland full of Can like basslines & minimalist drumming with the guitars & Smith's vocals being kept low in the mix , And This Day is the polar opposite, a 10 minute Beefheart-like workout with the band's duel drummers being used to the maximum with Smith shrieking over the top of them.
The album extra's while nice to have don't really add anything to the album , if anything you can see why some of the B sides ended up B sides and the live material is , as usual ranging from ok to poor quality. Nothing essential was left off.

Songs You Need: Just get the whole thing & immerse yourself in one hour of juicy Fall goodness.

Verdict: Amazingly when I first heard this album I was totally indifferent to it , but then all of a sudden one day it just clicked. It's a great help if you come into this album at least aware of what the Fall are about and to know of Mark E Smith's little idiosyncrasies to get the maximum from it. The thing that makes this album a cut above the others is that it takes the atmosphere of 'Dragnet' and combines it with the growing maturity lyrically & musically of 'Grotesque'. Smith files shots at all his usual lyrical targets but this time there is the musical muscle to back it up. It's still raw & privative as ever but the band sound much tighter complete with both drummers. There is a reason why this is considered one of the best post punk albums ever made , listen to it & you'll discover just why that is. Every time I listen to this album I find it hard to listen to anything else afterwards because compared to this most bands just sound redundant amateurs.
10/10
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Old 01-17-2008, 02:15 PM   #27 (permalink)
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Room To Live (Undilutable Slang Truth!) - Kamera Records - 27th September 1982

Original Album Tracklisting: Joker Hysterical Face / Marquis Cha-Cha / Hard Life in Country / Room to Live / Detective Instinct / Solicitor in Studio / Papal Visit

Re-issue Extras: Joker Hysterical Face (live in Bury April 1982) / Medley: Town Called Crappy-Solicitor In Studio (live in London March 1982) / Hard Life In Country (live in Wellington, New Zealand, August 1982) / Detective Instinct (live in Manchester December 1982) / Room To Live (live in Rotterdam February 1983) / Words Of Expectation (live in Toronto April 1983)

Band Line Up: : Mark E. Smith - Vocals / Karl Burns - Guitar , Bass , Drums / Marc Riley - Guitar / Craig Scanlon - Guitar / Steve Hanley - Bass / Paul Hanley - Drums / Arthur Kadmon - Guitar / Adrian Niman - Sax

Critique: A short six months after the release of Hex Enduction Hour The Fall entered the studio to record a new single. Or at least that was the plan before Mark E Smith decided he'd rather record an album instead. The only problem was he decided to wait until the last minute to inform the rest of the band. Because of the hurried nature of the recording and the lack of preperation this album was basically thrown together as quickly as possible with nobody seeming having a clue as to what was going on. It was also around this time that tension was growing between Smith & Marc Riley which culmilated in the two of them having a huge fistfight in the middle of an Australian nightclub. Riley was still in the band at the time this album was recorded but was hardly used , the majority of this album was recorded by Smith with Karl Burns , in most cases on the songs on here the full band were never used and because of the chaotic nature of the recording nobody seems to have a clue as to who played on what songs. One person who was used was new guitarist Arthur Kadmon. Kadmon played for all of 23 seconds on 'Hard Life In The Country' before being fired , thus becoming the shortest serving official member of The Fall. A few months after the recording of this album Smith informed Riley that the band would be going on a European tour without him , he also told him that if it didn't work out Riley could re-join the band.
Needless to say after the tour he wasn't invited back.Riley played his last gig with the Fall at the Manchester Free Trade Hall on December 22nd. Many people thought at the time they'd fall apart without him.

Songs You Need:

Room To Live - A nice upbeat rockabilly style number , it would have been nice if the horns had been a bit higher in the mix though

Solicitor in Studio - Probably the highlight of the album you could probably stick this on the end of Hex Enduction Hour & not notice the join , a nice catchy bassline with a solid riff to compliment it.

Verdict: Listening to this again now it's not as bad as I remember it to be , but it has to be said this is a pretty woeful effort. It's not that the songs are bad , they just sound like demo versions. Solicitor in Studio is about the only song here that sounds anywhere near finished. It's a shame because stuff like Joker Hysterical Face , Marquis Cha-Cha and Room To Live could have been great. Of the other songs Hard Life in Country is just painful to listen to , I can't say i'm at all surprised Smith fired Kadmon if this rubbish is anything to go by. Detective Instinct is your typical Fall repetition song where the bass will just go on & on while Smith talks over the top of it. The song isn't terrrible just average really. Papal Visit is just a load of background studio noise with Smith talking over it supposedly about the pope's first visit to the UK in 1982. My first thought was to trash this album but it does have it's moments. But what I would say is if you ever decide to collect all of The Fall's official studio albums get this one last.
2/10
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Old 01-18-2008, 05:34 PM   #28 (permalink)
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During 1982 & 1983 several live albums by the Fall were released on various labels around the world , here is a brief overview.


Live In London 1980 - Chaos Tapes - 1982

Album Tracklisting: Middle Mass-Crap Rap / English Scheme / New Face In Hell / That Man / An Older Lover etc. / Slates, Slags etc. / Prole Art Threat / Container Drivers / Jawbone And The Air-Rifle / In The Park / Leave The Capitol / Spectre Vs Rector / Pay Your Rates / Impression Of J Temperance

Review:
Live In London 1980 was released a limited edition of 4000 copies by the Chaos Tapes label who would issue live recordings of punk bands in cassette format. It's been re-released several times since under the name 'The Legendary Chaos Tape : Live In London 1980'. All the other bands put out by the label were either 2nd gen punk bands or Oi bands , so why they were releasing stuff by The Fall is anyones guess. Also because the material from the Slates EP was unreleased at the the time the gig was recorded the label had no idea what the songs were called so they just put question marks on the tracklisting.
The gig itself was recorded at the Aklam Hall in London on 11th December 1980 , they also recorded the gig there the following night but didn't use it. Which bemused Mark E Smith because he felt they played better the second night. The set is mostly made up of Grotesque and Slates material with only Spectre Vs Rector dating earlier. It's worth getting the album just for Spectre Vs Rector as it's far superior to the studio version. The sound quality while not being great is listenable & no worse than Totals Turn. If you can tolerate that then this is a good energetic & lively set of the Fall in this era
4/10


A Part Of America Therein - Cottage Records - May 1982

Album Tracklisting: The NWRA / Hip Priest / Totally Wired / Lie Dream of a Casino Soul / Cash 'n' Carry / An Older Lover / Deer Park / Winter

Review:
Recorded on the last night of their first American tour in Detroit in 1981 'A Part Of America Therein' was released by Cottage Records to help promote the bands second American tour in 1982. It was during the 1981 tour that drummer Paul Hanley was refused entry to the country by US immigration for being too young to play at the +21 clubs the band were due to play at , so Karl Burns returned to step in which resulted in the band having two drummers for the Hex Enduction Hour recordings. During this tour the UK was gripped by a number of race riots in Brixton , Toxteth & Handsworth , so when the band came on stage they were dubbed as being '... from the riot torn streets of Manchester England'. After such bravado in the introduction the band would start up The NWRA with a kazoo almost sounding like a novelty cabaret act. This is probably the best Fall live album there is Mark E Smith is on form , the sound quality is good and the crowd were into the music. Smith himself said he was surprised at how positive the American audience was to The Fall , especially after spending years playing to indifferent audiences in the UK for so long. Album highlights for me are the storming versions of Deer Park & Winter from the then unreleased Hex Enduction Hour. Unlike most live albums this isn't a greatest hits live package , The Fall don't do greatest hits gigs if you go to a Fall gig you'll hear stuff off the last album , stuff off the current album and stuff of the next album , maybe a cover or an old favourite if you are lucky. What The Fall do is snapshots of an era and this is a snapshot of this line up of the band at their peak.
6.5/10


Fall In A Hole - Flying Nun Records - December 1983

Original Album Tracklisting: Impression Of J. Temperance / The Man Whose Head Expanded / Room To Live / Hip Priest / Lie Dream Of A Casino Soul / Prole Art Threat / Hard Life In Country / The Classical / Mere Pseud Mag Ed /Marquis Cha-Cha / Backdrop / Fantastic Life / English Scheme / Joker Hysterical Face / No Xmas For John Quays / Solicitor In Studio

Re-issue Extras: The Container Drivers / C'n'C Black Night / Look, Know / Who Makes The Nazis? / Gramme Friday / Slates, Slags etc

Review:
By some miracle The Fall found themselves with a top 20 hit in New Zealand with Totally Wired. Deciding to pounce while the iron was still hot a group of promoters fresh from having some success organising a tour of Australia & New Zealand for The Birthday Party approached Mark E Smith about The Fall doing the same thing. Smith , desperate to get out of the UK for a while agreed and shortly after The Fall were off to tour that part of the world for the first time. This was the infamous tour of the nightclub brawl between Smith & Riley. The final gig of the tour at Mainstreet Cabaret in Auckland,on 21st August 1982 was recorded & released by Flying Nun records as an album that came with a 12 inch single for the New Zealand market. The album quickly became a popular import in the UK until Mark E Smith saw it. Apparently not happy seeing a picture of a recently fired smiling Marc Riley in an airport on the cover and also at not being paid Smith ordered that unless he received a substantial amount of money he would block all imports of the album. Flying Nun didn't have the funds to pay for this so the album became a sought after rarity until Smith re-issued it on his own Cog Sinister label 15 years later.
I have to say i'm not really a fan of this album the songs just sound flat & the audience don't really seem that into it. To be honest the bonus material recorded from other gigs on the tour sound a lot better. the sound quality is worse but there's much more atmosphere. This one really is for completists only. The Deep Purple pastiche is quite funny though.
1/10
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Old 01-19-2008, 11:19 AM   #29 (permalink)
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I have been listening to Hex Enduction Hour for the first time and I prefer it a lot more than their debut!
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Old 01-19-2008, 11:38 AM   #30 (permalink)
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I don't think I could choose between them , My favourite usually depends on my mood.
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