Wednesday, November 30, 2016

We are not adults. We are crusty mystics

Ed's Babe (1992)

Apparently things had cooled down on the singles front for the Fall as there were neither any singles nor Eps for 1991. Perhaps everyone took an extended vacation or simply dark times and no cash to record. Both are equal possibilities, but I'm going to lean towards the latter.

So after a long bit of silence in Fall terms this came out.

I mean, with almost any other band if they didn't release anything for a year, nobody would think a thing of it, but the Fall had almost always had a brand new slab of hot wax, be it a full length, ep or merely a single to slap on your turntable every few months for the previous fifteen years. The neighbors were starting to talk.

Four songs No chaff.
One an alt mix of a song on the new forthcoming "Code Selfish" lp.

It was a good day.

Sunday, November 27, 2016

Your brain splits each day from information anxiety

High Tension Line (1990)

The beginning of the much less verbose MES starts sometime here at the start of the 90's. He still commands a pretty imposing and formidable band, but he has a lot less verbiage to throw and more time to piss them all off individually by going around and messing with their shit on stage. (as witnessed more than once. Wander over to the guitar amp and randomly twiddle with knobs. Saunter behind the keyboards and elbow away Marcia Schofield and bang on them randomly for a little bit...)

But don't let that scare you away from this. It's got a terrible Christmas song on it! (and if you've been following along with me, you know how I feel about that).

Shitty holiday music aside, the contemporaneous Fall full length for this time period was "Shift-Work" which was probably the best record they'd done since "This Nation's Saving Grace"

Feel free to argue if you want. It won't change how wrong you are.

"High Tension Line" would have fit on "Shift-Work" pretty easy, but it's the flip that's the real winner despite the less than promising title of "Don't Take the Pizza". It's a really great lost Fall track.
It truly is.

Friday, November 25, 2016

And I'm destined for a bad end

Oh Boy! The Fall have a new EP and the first song is a COVER!!!!

Blah blah Big Bopper blah 
Blah BLAH BLAH! George fucking Jones! BLAH

This record in itself, despite the whole numbered limited edition hubub on the cover which got my youthful juices going as I all but ran to the counter with it is essentially the same as the "White Lightning" CdEp which was otherwise easily obtainable at the same time, cheaper. 

But it wasn't numbered and didn't come with a poster which graced my wall for many years. 

Nothing quite summed up my life at that point than MES's stern and disappointed glare upon me. The poster was like the 2nd father I never had and I was a disappointment to it to.

Wednesday, November 23, 2016

Dear crew. Try hard.

I'm Frank (1990)

An odd little promo only 12" featuring two tracks from "Extricate" ("I'm Frank" & Chicago, Now") with one song that appeared nowhere else entitled "Zandra"

All that aside.

Am I the only one who thinks that the cover girl on this rather unflattering cover painting bears no small resemblance to the MES's freshly ex-wife Brix?

  You can draw your own conclusions....

Monday, November 21, 2016

I'm very concerned about school buildings

Popcorn Double Feature (1989)

Hey! Look at this! It's the new Fall single and it's a cover! How novel!

This one was originally recorded by the Searchers in 1967 who are primarily only remembered for the song "Needles and Pins". (You can look that up if you don't already have it playing in your head)

B-side is "Butterflies 4 Brains". There. That's much better.

Saturday, November 19, 2016

And your tendril ocean bed achievements does not justify your abuse of privacy piracy act

Telephone Thing (1989)

Freshly divorced from Brix and the Fall soldiered on with a slightly more keyboard oriented sound this time. The title track here a collaboration with Coldcut and from the forthcoming Lp "Extricate"

"Extricate" was a grower for me. It took me quite a while to warm up to it.

It's the little things like the awful late 80's keyboard sounds like on the b-side here "British People in Hot Weather" that are sometimes hard to overcome. I do like the song anyway.

Thursday, November 17, 2016

Your business friend's Australian. And when he comes it's Götterdämerung!

Yeah, that throbbing bass that propels the title track with that bloody blimey space invader keyboard riff. This is late 80's Fall at its best.

The annotated Fall has an interesting bit about the origins of B-side track "Dead Beat Descendent":

'The title of The Fall's Dead Beat Descendant is a Flintstones reference. From the "Long, Long, Long Weekend" episode (season 6). After Fred criticizes a novel about the future that Barney is reading, The Great Gazoo sends Fred, Barney, Betty, and Wilma into the 21st Century (Wilma and Betty will remember nothing when getting back). This happens during a four day weekend that Fred and Barney have off from work.'

So the future they go to is very Jetsons-like. Fred's company still exists and the owner looks just like Mr Slate. Fred asks some questions about the old company and it turns out the $4 Fred took as an advance has now ballooned to 23 million dollars owed. The George Slate the 8000th chases them out yelling, 'Come back here, you dead beat's descendent!' [Fred is pretending to be his own descendant]

Thus, Fall history was made."

This 12" is rounded out by another fucking live version of "Kurious Oranj" which some asshole must have fucking liked more than me. 
And a live "Hit the North" 
oh boy.

Tuesday, November 15, 2016

Welcome to my world

Live at the Channel 5.12.88

So I was at this show. If you knew what to listen for you could even pick me out in the audience cheering. I can be quite loud when I want to be. This was simulcast on the radio and my friend Mark taped it for me. I appreciated that and still do. This was my first time seeing the band live. It wasn't exactly an amazing show, but it was still the culmination of a long fucking wait for me.

Unfortunately this is a bit of a placeholder until I can track down the original cassette. It's only a 192k rip I made a number of years back and one that is probably in need of an upgrade. If I can figure out where I put the damn tape....

Of interest is their singular nod to the past. The Fall live usually only concentrate on the most recent record and newest songs. Mark E is not exactly one to go out and do a greatest hits show. But they will usually throw the audience a bone and surprise us with an oldie but goodie out of nowhere. In this case it was a version of "Pay Your Rates" from 1980's "Grotesque (after the Gramme)"

It almost makes up for the plodding and seemingly endless version of "Kurious Oranj". I still really don't like that fucking song.

Sunday, November 13, 2016

A compilation for the 13th.

the Collection (1993)

A real mish-mosh from Castle Communications for this release containing tracks from the live "Totale's Turns" (1980) "Slates", various singles and misc up to 1983 & "Smile" from "Perverted by Language". I had all that shit to begin with.

I had to pick this up because of two other misc. tracks. The first is "Medical Acceptance Gate" which is an outtake from around the recording of "Slates etc" and the second is the Fall's recording of "A Day in the Life" from the compilation "Sgt. Pepper Knew my Father" which was a charity compilation of bands recording the entirety of the Sgt Pepper lp. I had owned it at one time, having purchased it on its release, but having long previous hit my saturation limit for all things Beatle and irritation at the growing religious movement based around their endless praise, I'd sold it.

I and you have it here now, should you ever feel the need to repel some dumbass Beatle cultist as they try to convert you to their beliefs with an endless tirade about Ringo's drumming prowess.

I'd rather become a fucking Scientologist.

Friday, November 11, 2016

I have to sing gothic, boo hoo

2B (1988)

If I may copy and paste directly from wikipedia:

I Am Kurious Oranj was intended as the soundtrack for the ballet I Am Curious, Orange, produced by contemporary dance group Michael Clark & Company, and loosely based on the 300th anniversary of William of Orange's accession to the English throne.

This is a double 7" box with a nice postcard of tracks and alternates from the "Kurious Oranj" lp the best of which "Big New Prinz" is a reworking of the old favorite "Hip Priest" from back in 1982 which was only 6 years previous, but which may as well have been another cover when it comes down to it. The Fall cover the Fall and make it a Fall cover.

Wednesday, November 9, 2016

The miserable Scottish hotel, Resembled a Genesis or Marillion, 1973 LP cover

New year, new cover song 12" by the Fall. This time it's the Kinks who get the Fall treatment, which is nice. I'm sure Ray Davies could have used the money as this one rocketed to #30 on the UK charts.

The quality extends to the various extra tracks "Guest Informant" & "Tuff Life Boogie" and "Twister"

Truly these were otherwise magic times for the Fall and I'd finally get to witness them live in this year.

Tuesday, November 8, 2016

Vote, damn you, Vote!

It's election day here in the good old US of A. While Curtiss A. has stood firm on his position regarding the presidency since 1979, there are as it stands several or more folks who would like the job. As well as a multitude of others standing by and hoping for a chance at one of many other elected positions on ballots across the country. Do your civic duty and vote. If you don't it still remains a mathematical possibility that Curtiss A. may be accidentally voted into office in a weird write-in campaign as yet unconceived in this reality. I've met the man. Nobody wants that to happen. 

So Vote, damn it.

Monday, November 7, 2016

My Cat says eeeee-ack

Well, this one was Number 57 on the UK charts with a limp dart throw.
I can't say that it's my favorite song the Fall ever did, but I don't immediately reach over and advance anything when it comes on unlike say "Kurious Oranj" which is just a terrible fucking song.

On the 12" you get Pts 1 & 3 of "Hit the North" as well as "Australians in Europe"

On the picture disc seven inch version you get Pts 1 & 2. 
And my personal, but very intense peeve that no matter how much you try it is physically impossible for the dartboards on the picture vinyl and the outer plastic sleeve to line up. I can only rage silently  and wish a terrible itchy rash upon the designer of this sleeve. You truly are a monster.

But with both of these at your disposal and if you're an enterprising person who is good with editing software you might be able to make a "Hit the North" megamix combining all three which could cause a serious disruption of the Space/Time Continuum and bring about Ragnarok and the end of all life from this particular Dimension all the way into the 23rd. 

I  mean, if you've got the time.

Saturday, November 5, 2016

The crux pretty grasped, yet mostly misunderstood

Another day, another kind of improbable cover by the Fall. In this case it's a Holland/Dozier/Holland tune originally recorded by R Dean Taylor on Motown. (Yeah, the Fall do Motown.) But it makes sense in that the song was apparently quite popular in the Northern Soul scene. It is a pretty damn good song and this also somehow improbably broke the Top 50 in the UK for the Fall.

The 7" version, well some of them anyway, featured a nice and nightmarish holographic picture on the front that was sure to confuse the unwary consumer as much as the more typical Fall material that graced the rest of the vinyl for this release.

I mean, the B-side for the single is "Haf Found Bormann" about finding Hitler's personal secretary in South  America which was unlikely to endear them to the unwashed masses who probably never found much reason to flip this record after a single spin. I'm sure there were plenty of "What the fuck is this shit" said in 1987 for the uninitiated.

 "Sleep Debt Snatches" a little number that starts with a jaunty little riff and Mark E. Smith rap about the sleep deprivation before going into a five minute long Fall avant-dub thing. Yeah, purchasers of the 12" version were also not spared.

The 12" also has "Mark'll Sink Us" which is a personal favorite. This one seems to be more or less MES making note of his own propensity for sabotaging the band. Especially noteworthy as this record was the their first taste of the next level of what passes for success.

However. I like all this stuff. But I'm one of those people.

Thursday, November 3, 2016

Bits and Bobs

An alternate recording of  "Lucifer Over Lancashire" that came on a 7" free with a copy of Melody Maker magazine. Also included are songs by Cocteau Twins, Hollywood Beyond and  Zodiac Mindwarp & the Love Reaction. You remember them, don't you?

 Sounds Showcase (1987)

This one came free with a copy of Sounds magazine and along with the original version of "Hey Luciani" has songs by the Cult, the Go-Betweens,

and the Adult Net who were Brix's other band at the time which included some members of the Fall who would subsequently drop out one by one with each release and whose sole Lp "Honey Tangle" (1989) featured the rhythm section from the by then defunct Smiths.
They actually weren't terrible.  

Tuesday, November 1, 2016

Try to wash crow's feet off my face but it's ingrained

Living Too Late (1986)

The approach of Middle Age can be a fucking bitch.

"Sometimes life is like a new bar
Plastic seats, beer below par
Food with no taste, music grates
I'm living too late"

I can relate.