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Old 01-26-2008, 04:47 PM   #41 (permalink)
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The Wonderful And Frightening World Of The Fall - Beggars Banquet - 8th October 1984

Album Tracklisting: Lay of the Land / 2 × 4 / Copped It / Elves / Slang King / Bug Day / Stephen Song / Craigness / Disney's Dream Debased

Re-issue Extras: Oh! Brother / God Box (7" Single 8th June 1984)
C.R.E.E.P / Pat-Trip Dispenser (7" Single 24 August 1984)
Draygo's Guilt / Clear Off! / No Bulbs (Call For Escape Route E.P. 12 October 1984)

Band Line Up: Mark E. Smith - Vocals / Brix Smith - Guitar, Vocals / Craig Scanlon - Guitar / Steve Hanley - Bass / Paul Hanley - Drums, Keyboards / Karl Burns - Drums, Bass / Gavin Friday - Vocals on Copped It , Stephen Song & Clear Off

Critique: Another year , another Fall album and another record label. Smith's relationship with Rough Trade had always been problematic. 1983 saw another problem appear in that relationship. Namely The Smiths. Smith was annoyed that all Rough Trade's time and money were being directed towards Morrissey & co and that Rough Trade were not realising the full potential of the band. He also felt that The Fall deserved more respect from the label being an already established act. Matters came to a head when the label refused to back a full length video for the Perverted By Language album. In the end the band did it themselves for £500 and released it on Ikon Video.The band eventually signed to the biggest independent label not affiliated with the big 4 , Beggars Banquet for (if the press releases were to be true) 5 Bauhaus singles of their choice. The first fruits of this relationship were the single Oh! Brother followed quickly by C.R.E.E.P. , a song that totally split fans of the band who loved it & loathed it in equal measures. It was heavily rumoured it was written about Morrissey but Smith denied it. Brix Smith said later on that Morrissey used to send fawning sycophantic fan letters to Mark on a regular basis who jokingly said one day he'd publish them.
Also around this time Mark was contacted by a young ballet dancer called Michael Clarke who wanted permission to use songs by The Fall during his show. Smith agreed and liked what he saw and the two of them appeared on The Old Grey Whistle Test on the BBC performing Lay Of The Land with Clarke wearing pants with the arse cut out of them. Smith said that the rest of the bands parents had tuned into the show to see them playing on TV only realise the band were barely visible at the back of the stage & all they could see was Michael Clarke with his arse hanging out. At the end of the performance a pantomime horse was pulled onstage & had cartons of milk shoved down it's throat.
Also joining The Fall around this time was Gavin Friday of The Virgin Prunes who lent his vocals to three of the songs on the album

Songs You Need:

Lay Of The Land - A fantastic pounding bassline that drills it's way into your skull and refuses to leave it , It's even got something that resembles a guitar solo in it .....BOOM

2 x 4 - Another catchy song dominated by a fantastic bassline , I'm surprised it was never released as a single.

Copped It - The slightly off kilter guitars added with Gavin Friday's vocals really give this song an abrasive twist. This song is really representative of what The Fall of this era did best , commercial rock songs with a slight subversiveness to give them a real sinister edge.

Slang King - Kind of like an old style Fall song but Brix's vocal harmonies and the swathes of keyboards floating over the top of it make this much more listenable.

Craigness - Craigness is one of those songs where you can never remember the title of it but you recognise how it sounds the moment you hear it. Kind of like 'Oh it's THIS one'. I love the simpleness of this song. Just a simple jangly riff repeated over & over with Smith talking about a neighbour with one eye & blond curls.Then towards the end the drums kick in to turn the song into some kind of 70s glam rock stomp.

C.R.E.E.P. - Even if it isn't about Morrissey it's still one of the most catchiest songs the Fall have ever written with some nice vocal harmonies from Brix.

Verdict: The Wonderful And Frightening World Of The Fall is a great place to start if you've never listened to anything by the band before. It's much more pop orientated than anything the band have done before but it still retains elements of the things that made The Fall great in the past. It's a commercial album , but it's a commercial album on the bands own terms. Smith said himself at the time he'd spent 6 years being the starving serious artist and it was time to have some fun. A wonderful album bursting full of twisted pop gems.
8/10


The Fall & The Michael Clarke Ballet Company - Lay Of The Land
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Old 01-26-2008, 06:40 PM   #42 (permalink)
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^ good informative read there.

I'm listening to Extricate just now. NOthing mindblowing, but it's a solid album.
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Old 01-26-2008, 07:18 PM   #43 (permalink)
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I do have a soft spot for Extricate , especially Telephone Thing.

I like it a lot more than the other albums from that era like Shift Work & Code Sinister , I never really got to grips with those.
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Old 01-27-2008, 02:51 AM   #44 (permalink)
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I'm just getting into the Fall properly now, i don't think i've ever felt this overwhelmed by a band before! This guide helps a lot, thanks
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Old 01-29-2008, 09:01 AM   #45 (permalink)
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This Nations Saving Grace - Beggars Banquet - 23 September 1985

Album Tracklisting: Mansion / Bombast / Barmy */ What You Need / Spoilt Victorian Child / L.A. / Gut of the Quantifier / My New House / Paintwork / I Am Damo Suzuki / To Nkroachment:Yarbles

* Barmy was replaced on non UK pressings of the album by the Cruisers Creek single.

Re-issue Extras: Couldn't Get Ahead / Rollin' Dany / Petty (Thief) Lout (7" Single 14th June 1985)
Cruisers Creek (Edit)/ Vixen

Band Line Up: Mark E. Smith - Vocals , Violin , Guitar / Brix Smith - Guitar, Vocals / Craig Scanlon - Guitar / Steve Hanley - Bass / Simon Rogers - Keyboards , Guitar , Bass / Karl Burns - Drums , Backing Vocals on Rollin Dany

Critique: In 1985 The Fall were on a roll , not even the loss of the Hanley brothers could slow things down. Paul Hanley had enough and quit to start his own band. He told the press ' I didn't join the Fall to play with Mark E Smith , I tolerated Mark E Smith to play in The Fall'. Steve Hanley went too , but only for 6 months after his wife gave birth. The band bought in Simon Rogers who was doing music with Michael Clarke to replace them meaning that Karl Burns became the sole drummer in the band. This new line up released a double A side single of Couldn't Get Ahead , and Rollin' Dany the bands first ever cover. The original being sung by Gene Vincent. The following single Cruisers Creek along with it's B sides L.A. & Vixen was a much more poppy affair with Brix handling the vocals on both B Side songs.
The album followed three months later amongst universal praise. Lyrically the album was as random as per usual with such diverse topics as Can frontman Damo Suzuki getting his own tribute , What You Need was based on an episode of The Twilight Zone where a man could guess whatever someone wanted. Spoilt Victorian Child dates all the way back to the Live At The Witch Trials era Smith having wrote the lyrics but been unable to find some 'Really daft English music' to go with it , which Rogers provided when he joined the band. To Nkroachment:Yarbles takes it's influence from A Clockwork Orange (Yarbles being testicles) Paintwork & My New House illustrate the growing domestic bliss between Mark & Brix having just bought a house together.
Smith praised the production of the album by John Leckie (Later of Radiohead & Stone Roses fame) saying that The Fall had never sounded clearer & all the right elements had been bought forward in the mix. Leckie himself said he went for home bedroom recorded feel.
The band played two of the new songs on the Channel 4 show The Tube. The band looked visibly different , Brix having smartened them up. Smith himself appeared in riding boots , a leather trenchcoat and amazingly eyeshadow. In the following interview he was asked how he felt about the band losing their anoniminity with their new found fame , Smith replied 'The sort of people who follow The Fall are the salt of the earth , they're not the type of people to attack you in supermarkets'

Songs You Need:

Bombast - Fantastic bombastic (sorry) opener in which Mark warns the bastards & idiots will 'Feel the wrath of my bombast'

Barmy - A song which has a great catchy riff. Shame the band can't take credit for it , It was stolen from the song Valleri by The Monkees.

What You Need - A more traditional Fall song with the driving bassline and the lyrics basically being one big list

Spoilt Victorian Child - A full on blast of the garage rock that The Fall became known for on earlier albums

L.A. - Brix Smith's mostly instrumental signature tune about life in her hometown with a lovely 60s surf feel to it.

Gut of the Quantifier - A song in which Mark speaks out against Half-wit philanthropists and cosy charity gigs. A reaction to Live Aid perhaps?

Paintwork - One of the most melodic songs ever written by The Fall , almost approaching an acoustic ballad , but not quite. Not even the rather annoying tape manipulation in the middle spoil it too much.

I Am Damo Suzuki - A wonderful tribute to Can's frontman. The pounding rythmn has Tago Mago written all over it and there are also Can references scattered through the lyrics.

Couldn't Get Ahead - Another of the Fall's most recognisable singles , this one about the dreariness of everyday life.

Cruisers Creek - Another example of Brix's American pop influences finding their way into the band.The very thought of The Fall doing this kind of thing 3 or 4 years earlier would be unthinkable , yet it works really well.


Verdict: Although This Nations Saving Grace isn't my personal favourite Fall album I can easily see why it is their most well known album. Firstly this is the most American influenced album The Fall have ever released , both with Smith's early Rock n Roll influences on songs such as Rollin Dany & Brix's pop influences on Cruisers Creek & L.A. It's also not quite as poppy as Wonderful And Frightening World Of The Fall so fans of the old style Fall still have something for them too. It's the mixture of those two elements that make this a great album. Also unlike the album that came before it this album is solid the whole way through. If there was a problem with Wonderful And Frightening World it was that the middle of the album was a bit drawn out with filler material. This Nations Saving Grace has no such problems as the only song that really let's the album down is To Nkroachment:Yarbles , and even then it's not actually that bad , just a bit weak compared to the rest of the album. Even the B Sides such as Petty (Thief) Lout & Vixen don't bog down the album.
The first time I ever heard this album I was really shocked by it , I was expecting some dreary northerner moaning about life in Thacherite Britain. Thankfully it's nothing of the sort. What it is is an acessable avant garde pop album with some wonderful & witty insights & observations.
Pitchfork apparently gave this album a 10/10 rating & put it at number one in a list of the best ever albums from the 1980s. I'm not going to go that far. As I have stated in a number of occasions this isn't the best album of the 80s , hell it's not even the best Fall album of the 80s *cough*HexEnductionHour*cough*. But what it does happen to be is a very very good solid album that demands listening to , even from non fans of the band.
9.5/10
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Old 01-29-2008, 09:25 AM   #46 (permalink)
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This Nations Saving Grace Videos


Cruisers Creek


L.A.


Couldn't Get Ahead - WOMAD 1985


Spoilt Victorian Child - WOMAD 1985


Cruisers Creek - Live on The Tube , Channel 4


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Old 01-29-2008, 01:53 PM   #47 (permalink)
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awesome, thats my 2nd favourite Fall album after Hex Enduction Hour.

The Fall are touring Britain in March by the way. I'm def hitting up one of those.
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Old 01-29-2008, 02:15 PM   #48 (permalink)
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That's when the new album is due out.

Quote:
Imperial Wax Solvent. Released on Castle, hopefully in March. Sanctuary has worldwide rights; Narnack is out of the picture. Artwork coming in a week or so.

1. Alton Towers
2. Wolf Kidult Man
3. 50 Year Old Man
4. I've Been Duped
5. Strangetown (Groundhogs cover)
6. Taurig
7. Can Can Summer
8. Tommy Shooter
9. Latch Key Kid
10. Is This New (co-written with Andi Toma of VS/MoM)
11. Senior Twilight Stock Replacer
12. Exploding Chimney
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Old 02-01-2008, 10:10 AM   #49 (permalink)
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The Fall Starter Kit (Part 1)



1. Free Range
Taken from the album CODE : SELFISH 1992
2. Totally Wired
Taken from the album GROTESQUE (AFTER THE GRAMME) 1980
3. Mr Pharmacist
Taken from the album BEND SINISTER 1986
4. I'm Frank
Taken from the album EXTRICATE 1990
5. New Face In Hell
Taken from the album GROTESQUE (AFTER THE GRAMME) 1980
6. Telephone Thing
Taken from the album EXTRICATE 1990
7. Hey! Luciani
Taken from the single HEY! LUCIANI 1986
8. Glam Racket (Star)
John Peel Session originally from the album MIDDLE CLASS REVOLT 1994
9. Psycho Mafia
Taken from the E.P. BINGO MASTERS BREAK-OUT 1976
10. Blindness
John Peel Session originally from the album FALL HEADS ROLL 2006
11. Leave The Capitol
Taken from the E.P. SLATES 1981
12. Hey! Student
Taken from the album MIDDLE CLASS REVOLT 1994
13. There's a Ghost In My House
Taken from the album THE FRENZ EXPERIMENT 1987

GET IT HERE
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Old 02-01-2008, 11:04 AM   #50 (permalink)
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The Fall Starter Kit (Part 2)



1. Lay Of The Land
Taken from the album THE WONDERFUL AND FRIGHTENING WORLD OF THE FALL 1984
2. Dead Beat Decendant
Taken from the album SEMINAL LIVE 1989
3. Touch Sensitive
Taken from the album THE MARSHALL SUITE 1999
4. The Classical
Taken from the album HEX ENDUCTION HOUR 1982
5. L.A.
Taken from the album THIS NATIONS SAVING GRACE 1985
6. Cab It Up
Taken from the album I AM KURIOUS ORANJ 1988
7. C.R.E.E.P.
Taken from the album THE WONDERFUL AND FRIGHTENING WORLD OF THE FALL 1984
8. Fall Sound
Taken from the album REFORMATION POST TLC 2007
9. Container Drivers
Taken from the album GROTESQUE (AFTER THE GRAMME) 1980
10. Theme From Sparta F.C.
Taken from the album THE REAL NEW FALL ALBUM (FORMERLY COUNTRY ON THE CLICK) 2003
11. Wings
Taken from the album PERVERTED BY LANGUAGE 1983
12. Victoria
Taken from the album THE FRENZ EXPERIMENT 1987
13. Cruisers Creek
Taken from the album THIS NATIONS SAVING GRACE 1985


Get It Here
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