Sung by Lucy Rimmer. This is only available on the Receiver compilation Sinister Waltz. A poignant tale. 'Took the invitations to her friends/They were too busy, doing other things.' She later falls off a ladder taking down the decorations from the wall after no-one comes to her party. 'Woe, woe' indeed. It was originally by The Idle Race, written by the group's singer/guitarist Jeff Lynne, who later formed Electric Light Orchestra. Fabulous Fall fact: When the Fall recorded this song, they were signed to ELO's record label, Jet. The Idle Race had earlier been name-checked in No Xmas For John Quays.
Birthday (Sinister Waltz, 1996)
posted @ 13.20 PM, November 15, 2007
Beatle Bones and Smokin' Stones
Captain Beefheart cover. Love the guitar line and the start with all the word stumbling. Just lurches on after that really. I've never been a big Beefheart fan. I like some of the garage-y stuff, but that's about it. Same with Zappa. Can't stand him. Trust me, I've tried to get it. Several times. Bloody awful self-indulgent wankery if you ask me.
Beatle Bones and Smokin' Stones (Peel session, 1996)
posted @ 12.50 PM, November 12, 2007
Spencer Must Die
The Peel version has Julia Nagle parping away like billy-o on synth amidst some sterling drumming and indiscriminate mumblings including 'The house that crack built' and 'The...Fall.' Completely different from the similarly obscure album track which, strangely, had me almost mesmerised by the end of it. Possibly best when you're aff yer chump.
Spencer Must Die (Peel session, 1996)
Spencer Must Die (Levitate, 1997)
posted @ 13.50 PM, November 9, 2007
Another surprising upbeat brassy number. You could dance to this f'Chrissake! Just the way he slurs, 'You're the one who always runs the show' with that great electronic pulse underneath it wins it for me. It's all about the keyboards and percussion here, including - xylophone! You have to love that cheesy ending, too. I have to say, listening to Light User Syndrome again has been a revelation. Great album.
Secession Man (Light User Syndrome, 1996)
posted @ 12.45 PM, November 8, 2007
Spooky organ/bells/tinkled piano, sundry effects, a garage guitar riff and thumping drums combined with yells of 'check that out', 'Mr Moody's scruffed up', 'oh yeah', 'carefully', 'Mr Moody's lair' and Brix screaming 'you pep!' Ladies and Gentlemen, The Fall.
Oxymoron (Light User Syndrome, 1996)
posted @ 13.00 PM, November 7, 2007
The Ballard of J Drummer
With a rat a tat tat military roll over a mournful keyboard drone, MES recounts the story of Johnny Drummer, the moral of which appears to be, 'Men, boys and girls! Don't ever follow the path of being hard and tough when your heart is soft.'
The Ballard of J Drummer (Light User Syndrome, 1996)
posted @ 12.40 PM, November 6, 2007
Last Chance To Turn Around
Brasstastic. The Fall go Stax crazy in this take on Gene Pitney's 1965 single, 'Last Exit To Brooklyn.' I've said it before and, you've guessed it, I'll say it once more, it's not what you'd expect from The Fall, which, of course, is just what you should expect. A great swirling beast of loud pop with a singalong chorus, no less.
Last Chance To Turn Around (Light User Syndrome, 1996)
posted @ 12.55 PM, November 5, 2007
Long one. Too long? Possibly. The same guitar chord being struck every 8 seconds or so for over 8 minutes may sound needlessly repetitive and dull on paper, but there's plenty other stuff going on, notably the keyboards, bass and chattering drumbeat, to keep you going. It sounds middle eastern chantlike to start with, but then soon settles into its own determined groove. Sounds like it could be referring to a nightclub rather than that other building in Rome, cos 'You have to have a good condition to get into the Coliseum.' Search me.
The Coliseum (Light User Syndrome, 1996)
posted @ 13.10 PM, November 2, 2007
Initial vocals by producer, Mike Bennett, kick off another one of those frenetic walls of slamming drums guitars and keyboards bordering on chaos which infuse Light User Syndrome. A truly brilliantly noisy album overall. This song, based around the punning possibilities of the Manchester suburb, appears to portray an eye witness account of something or other - 'a mission of passion' if you will, and contains one of those familiar Fall reportage type phrases - [so and so - insert eyewitness/commentator] 'had this to say.' The live version finds MES apparently forgetting the words and compensating by repeating the title amongst hack 'live' phrases - 'C'mon, are we 'aving it or what?...altogether now, here we go...yep yep, let's go...get down' etc.
Cheetham Hill (Light User Syndrome, 1996)
Cheetham Hill (live, London, 1996)
posted @ 13.15 PM, November 1, 2007
Mostly noted at the time for its eerie supposed precognition of the IRA bomb in Manchester city centre which exploded just weeks after the song's release on Light User Syndrome: 'I had a dream/Bruised it coloured/It going to hurt me/Manchester city centre.' The mention of Enniskellen (albeit more likely in reference to the siege in 1689 - another Kurious William of Orange connection) only served to fuel such notions. That aside, the interplay of guitars between speakers is a treat, as is the powerful drumming. The remix is a bit of a throwaway, though.
Powderkeg (Light User Syndrome, 1996)
Powderkex (remix, extra disc, Levitate, 1997)
posted @ 11.00 AM, October 31, 2007
A sterling breathy and panting performance from Brix lending a pop sensibility and a catchy verse hook behind the MES lines. I like the way the verse suddenly appears in an unexpected key. The Peel version is faster and has an urgency about it which compliments its rockist leanings.
Spinetrak (Light User Syndrome, 1996)
Spinetrak (Peel session, 1996)
Spinetrak (Live, London,, 1996)
posted @ 13.10 PM, October 30, 2007
Stay Away (Old White Train)
Karl Burns takes lead vocals on this cover of the 1979 Johnny Paycheck paean to cocaine and sounds a bit like Iggy Pop mixed with Johnny Cash. I think the song suits his voice perfectly and is as good a cowboy romp as you're likely to hear.
Stay Away (Old White Train) (Light User Syndrome, 1996)
posted @ 14.00 PM, October 29, 2007
Thrilling rolling bass and drums set the tone for this industrial soundscape. Brix's aaahs and da dahs add to the heavy doomy mix to create a brilliant all round slammer of a tune. Lyrics again impenetrable but with an overall feel of murky/sleazy goings on. 'We are the elite gangsters of the damned, criminals of the damp. You must come with us, and hunt down - the hostile.'
Hostile (Light User Syndrome, 1996)
posted @ 13.05 PM, October 26, 2007
A thumping start. One of those seemingly formless but energetic and ever so slightly crazed numbers which abound within the Light User Syndrome. The keyboard parps and momentum throughout charge in with a recklessness par excellence. There's also some exceptionally off kilter keyboards on the ill-fated live at Brownies gig too. Wordwise, more wackiness and sarcasm, as in 'I believe there's a new drug out. It's called speed. I wrote a song about it. Conceptually a la Bowie.' Pep, though? I don't know.
He Pep! (Light User Syndrome, 1996)
He Pep! (Live, London, 1996)
He Pep! (Live, Brownies, New York, 1998)
posted @ 13.25 PM, October 25, 2007
Das Vulture Ans Ein Nutter-Wain
If you're in the right mood, everything about this track is superb. A supreme return to Fallform. The pounding bass and in your face drums, as well as the completely mental organ chaos somehow combine to make one glorious noise. MES's mutated German could mean anything, if taken literally (which, of course, is a big mistake), from 'the vulture is a nutter' to 'One whore is just like another' via 'a cart full of madmen.' The la la la bits which threaten to stake claim to a melody are one of those 'I'm sure I've heard that somewhere before' moments. The slightly less nuts organ on the live version echoes that melody line brilliantly and the drums at the end just nail it down perfectly. I like this one. A lot.
Das Vulture Ans Ein Nutter-Wain (Light User Syndrome, 1996)
Das Vulture Ans Ein Nutter-Wain (Live, London, 1996)
posted @ 13.10 PM, October 24, 2007
Starts like The Who before the discordant stuff kicks in. Some great 'tap tap tap' drumming and a peculiarly 80s synth line chucked in for good measure too. It's also one of those Fall songs where you get the impression MES is making up the vocal patterns as he goes along, as evidenced by the 'It was a handy a-handy a-handy man' attempt at forcing in another rhythmical stab. Bit of forced laughter as well as genuine laughter. Also, 'They have cheese.'
D.I.Y Meat (Light User Syndrome, 1996)
posted @ 11.25 AM, October 23, 2007
The glam rock revival starts here. Again. A many versioned beast with some pin sharp guitars and crackling drums propelling it along, at least in The Chiselers single version. Mind boggling lyrics including 'Pink Floyd are short', 'the 9th richest country in the world bar none' and a truly bizarre Brixian backing vocal of 'Dry hump, in the hip club.' The more chilled out section includes the hauntingly familiar 'I think like you do/I act like you do/I thought I was you.'
The Chiselers (single, 1996)
Chilinist (single, 1996)
Interlude/Chilinism (Light User Syndrome, 1996)
posted @ 13.25 PM, October 22, 2007