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Old 08-03-2009, 07:39 PM   #81 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by Urban Hatemonger View Post

Grotesque (After The Gramme) - Rough Trade - 17th November 1980

Original Album Tracklisting : Pay Your Rates / English Scheme / New Face In Hell / C n C -s Mitherings / The Container Drivers / Impression of J Temperance / In The Park / WMC Blob 59/ Gramme Friday / The NWRA

Re-issue Extras :How I Wrote 'Elastic Man' / City Hobgoblins (7" Single July 1980)
Totally Wired / Putta Block (7" Single September 1980)
Mark E Smith Self Interveiw

Band Line Up: Mark E. Smith - vocals, tapes , guitar , kazoo / Marc Riley - guitar,keyboards / Craig Scanlon - Guitar / Steve Hanley - bass / Paul Hanley - drums / Kay Carroll - Additional Vocals

Critique: Grotesque (After The Gramme) sees The Fall enter their best period. Between 1980 & 1982 The Fall would consistantly record their best material. They would go on to make great albums after that but it remains the era that is my personal favourite. Helped by a stable line up (OK stable for The Fall anyway), growing confidence musically & Smith writing some of his best lyrics.
This album is a product of it's enviroment. In fact during this period Smith was writing material that would show up as late as 3 or 4 years down the line on albums such as Hex Enduction Hour & Wild & Wonderful World Of The Fall.
With Dragnet Smith wrote horror stories about the occult and the supernatural , with this album the horror stories are about living in early 80s Thacherite Britain. The theme of being working class dominates this album cropping up in songs such as Pay Your Rates , Container Drivers , The NWRA and especially on English Scheme were Smith berates those people pretending to be middle class (especially bands) with lyrics such as The commune crap, camp bop, middle-class, flip-flop
Guess that's why they end up in bands
and Peter Cook's jokes, bad dope, check shirts, lousy groups Point their fingers at America Down pokey quaint streets in Cambridge.
'C n C - S Mithering' Sees Smith having another rant at the music industry and then halfway though he just goes off on a general rant about anything ,
The things that drain you off and drive you off the hinge.
Boils, dirty socks, the ceilings collapse.
The sunday morning loud lawn mower,
The upstairs jewish girl damn hoovering every thirty minutes,

Sometimes these rants are made in the third person with Smith inventing characters such as J Temperence and J Totale and his son R Totale speaking in the third person.
Smiths lyrics also cover govenment paranoia (New Face In Hell), Sex (In The Park), Drugs (Gramme Friday). The final song on the album is the 9 minute epic The NWRA , being short for The North Will Rise Again and describes a coup in the north of England and how they`ll take control ....and then f*ck the whole thing up because the place is full of drunks & criminals.
Also on the album is WMC Blob 59 , which can either be an abbrieviation of Working Mens Club or Womens Menstrual Cycle depending on which you prefer. It's basically just a couple of minutes of studio noise with Smith ranting in the background.On press releases with the album Smith days 'It's a really funny track , it's a pity you can't hear whats going on.
There are extras on the album in the form of not one but the two best singles ever recorded by The Fall. How I Wrote 'Elastic Man' is Smiths experience of being a media darling (Although not Gary Bushell , but Smith has a pop at him on C n C -s Mitherings) and also Totally Wired ,Smiths ode to his drug of choice ... Speed. The extras are completed by a self interview recorded by an out of it Smith . His first target being The Vapors (The band who recorded Turning Japanese) when he found out that one of the band members used to be a lawyer.

Songs You Need

All of them except WMC Blob 59

Verdict: This album has been called the gateway to the best of The Fall.Which is a good thing really because this was the first Fall album I ever bought so I guess there is some truth in that. I love everything about this album. I love the raw garage rock of Pay Your Rates I love the jaunty bounciness of English Scheme , New Face In Hell is my favourite Fall track """"""OF ALL TIME EVER""""""" and not just because of the quality kazoo playing in it. I love the acoustic blueiness of C n C -s Mitherings , I love Mark E Smith's love of trucker music (Bet you didn't know that) shining through in Container Drivers. And then just when you think things could not possibly get any better you get their 2 best singles ever to top it off as well. Ending this is really hard because I could talk about just how good this album is all day. BUT it still only gets 9.5 out of 10.
The reason? well because they recorded something even better so I have to give Hex Enduction Hour a higher score.
Actually forget that , this album is sheer genius and deserves every mark , even for WMC Blob59.
10/10
Does anyone know where I could get a *cough* Torrent *cough* of this
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Old 02-12-2010, 07:37 AM   #82 (permalink)
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Amazing thread, I'm going to make reference to this as I continue to work through their back cat. 8 studio LPs and counting thus far.
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Old 03-20-2010, 04:53 AM   #83 (permalink)
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The Fall are one of the bands that I`ve decided to give a really good listen to lately, as my knowledge of them was extremely limited and this guide seems to be a good way to listen to them and its well presented to get soembody into the band. I`ve listened to the first three albums now and this is my opinion:

Live At The Witch Trials- This was the only Fall album that I really knew from before and always thought it to be a good and polished album, but not necessarily something that I`d want to listen to again and again, which is probably why I never listened to more stuff by the Fall over the years. This time around, I found it much more to my liking and really appreciating the lyrical angst of ME Smith and in many ways it is a classic debut.

Dragnet- Liked it instantly with its muddy and raw sounding garage rock, a lot more basic than the debut and its below par production adds to its charm along with the lyrics of ME Smith again. This is certainly an album more than the debut that makes me want to listen to more stuff by the band. Its the sort of album that takes a step back but a step forward at the same time.......great stuff.

Grotesque (After the Gramme)- Builds off the previous album and its more experimental but without doubt its an absolute classic, as ME Smith gives a manical Lydon style vocal display that is breathtaking from start to finish. At the moment this is the album that I`ll compare all Fall albums to and the best of the three.

I`ve also actually decided to listen to these albums in the context of their time as well, ie...I`m also listening to a lot of stuff by Killing Joke, PIL, Joy Division etc as well to fit this material into the right time context.
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Old 08-20-2012, 09:12 PM   #84 (permalink)
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Was The Man Who's Head Expanded on an album? I thought I remembered having it on an album (vinyl) years ago but as far as I can tell now it was only a single.
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Old 08-21-2012, 07:41 AM   #85 (permalink)
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Without forethought or malice, I totally copied your title theme.

Shall be checking this out.
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Old 08-21-2012, 07:44 AM   #86 (permalink)
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In '98, Perverted By Language was re-released with The Man Who's Head Expanded
and the flip side to that single, Ludd Gang, as the first two cuts.

Love The Fall! I have all the LPs and CDs.
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Old 08-21-2012, 10:11 AM   #87 (permalink)
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Was The Man Who's Head Expanded on an album? I thought I remembered having it on an album (vinyl) years ago but as far as I can tell now it was only a single.
Could it have been this you owned?
As far as I am aware this was the only Fall album it was featured on in the 80s...

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Old 08-21-2012, 07:52 PM   #88 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rostasi View Post
In '98, Perverted By Language was re-released with The Man Who's Head Expanded
and the flip side to that single, Ludd Gang, as the first two cuts.

Love The Fall! I have all the LPs and CDs.
Cool, might track that one down.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Urban Hatemonger ? View Post
Could it have been this you owned?
As far as I am aware this was the only Fall album it was featured on in the 80s...

Hmmm, not ringing any bells. Unless it had a different cover here? Who knows. Thanks for trying
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Old 09-05-2012, 09:19 PM   #89 (permalink)
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I saw the Fall but it was just Mark E. Smith with a drum machine... still very cool. He walked around in the crowd performing. Liberty Lunch in Austin.
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