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 40 Years of The Fall ; A year by year best of thing

Post #161 - 17 Feb 2019, 15:27

1996

Image
Not a happy year. :mellow:


1996 was another regular year release wise, though increasingly irregular performance wise. One single and one album then, kicking off with the single 'The Chiselers'. A very ambitious project in which The Fall attempted a Bohemian Rhapsody style piece containing various movements. The title track was the 7" version which crammed most of the movements into four minutes. 'Chilinist' was longer and contained the complete work, beginning with the straightforward fast paced tune. It would then change using hopelessly amateur attempts at editing into the various parts, including a terrible techno section that completely detracted from the original form. The best version was 'Interlude-Chilinism' which begins with a sort of dub intro before replaying track two minus the techno bit. It seems each and every group member had a part to play in each section, so there'd be one featuring MES on vox, another with Brix leading, one with Mike Bennett and MES curiously crooning a duet over a quiet electro-ambient moment, and finally a loud un-nerving ending with a huge drum and guitar finale. It was co-written by Craig Scanlon late in '95 before he was ousted, I don't know if he plays on the track and he's not credited, but I think the in fighting and disharmony bought about due to the length of time taken to record it went towards his dismissal. A shame because techno bit apart, it's excellent in a weird sort of way. :wtf:

'The Light User Syndrome' came out in June, featuring a dark sleeve with MES scowling over his band of troops all lined up behind him. Opening track 'DIY Meat' is a quick, upbeat, obviously MES/Brix penned number. MES' lyrics are deep in the mix and he sounds disinterested. It's about a handyman I think. Onto darker stuff, 'Das Vulture Ans Ein Nutter Wain' is, like 'Bremen Nacht', an attempt at cod-German which actually means nothing. Hanley's bass is brutal here, and Julia's keyboards displayed a strangeness probably a requisite following Dave Bush's sacking. Next up 'He Pep', featuring an angry MES literally shouting his way through a rant concerning drugs and traitorism. Brix's angst ridden cries of "You Pep" are equally ill tempered, and again Julia's keys are heavy. 'Hostile' follows, an incredibly dark piece, more or less spoken word from MES while Brix (or possibly Lucy, it's not always easy to tell) adds sombre "Ah ah ahs" and "der der der ders". It's like a funeral march complete with almost military style drumming to add to the despair. And jolly good it is too. To lighten things, next we have 'Stay Away Old White Train', a cover version of a Johnny Paycheck song with Karl Burns on vox! It's dreadful but that mood lightener was needed. 'Spinetrack' next, another Brix penned tune and another upbeat number, the guitar here harks back to the old 80s style I noticed. Following 'Interlude/Chilinism', 'Powder Keg' is very powerful, especially in it's aftermath. A straight enough song with mentions of Enniskillen and Manchester City Centre, it became a monster when a week after LUS was released, the IRA blew up the Arndale Centre. MES explained at the time he was "a fucking psychic". Another upbeat tune next, at odds with the subject matter it seems because 'Oleano' was a sinking ship in distress judging by the lyrics. Was this a nudge towards the idea The Fall may be that sinking ship? :shrug: Things get iffy now, 'Cheetham Hill' wasn't very good, not least due to the over reliance on Mike Bennett's vocal contributions. At least it was short but The Fall were never about Londoners and their flashy Mercs. I never liked Mike Bennett, I think he tried to manipulate too much. Finally 'The Coliseum', co-written with Kier Stewart of DOSE who MES had worked with on their 'Plug Myself In' single. And so it was a groovy number with some nice guitar chords thrown in, but suffered slightly by being too long at over 8 minutes. I said "finally" - there are four more tracks, but apart from 'Oxymoron' which is just a rehash of 'He Pep', they're complete and utter bollocks and not worth writing about. Why they were included is anyone's guess.


Favourite? Has to be Powder Keg, all the more forceful given the events mentioned above. :D
You better listen
It's thin
It's a powder keg.
You better listen to me.
Take me home.
I don't want to go.
Take me back to the safe....

Retreat from Enniskillen
I had a dream
Bruised it coloured
It going to hurt me
Manchester city centre
Caroline
Take me back
I can't get the bus.....

Don't you know, the town is a powder keg.


phpBB [video]


Following the album, (and I don't really want to get too much into this) the October tour was a disaster. MES drunk and violent a lot of the time, gigs cancelled and all round tensions running high. Steve Hanley said the Worthing gig (minus Brix) was the worst Fall gig ever, I think the one where MES literally collapsed and fell off the stage. Brix would play the final gig of the tour and then quit, along with Karl although he was back the following year.

Onwards then.... :)
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Post #162 - 17 Feb 2019, 15:47

Oh thank you routemaster, that's very good. :)
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Post #163 - 17 Feb 2019, 16:04

Amber » Sun Feb 17, 2019 3:47 pm wrote:Oh thank you routemaster, that's very good. :)

Glad you liked it Amber. :)
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Post #165 - 17 Feb 2019, 18:42

dannynomates » Sun Feb 17, 2019 6:25 pm wrote:Uninterested, not disinterested.

Dan

It's a synonym, you tedious cunt. :angry:

disinterested
/dɪsˈɪnt(ə)rɪstɪd/Submit
adjective
1.
not influenced by considerations of personal advantage.
"a banker is under an obligation to give disinterested advice"
synonyms: unbiased, unprejudiced, impartial, neutral, non-partisan, non-discriminatory, detached, uninvolved, objective, dispassionate, impersonal, clinical; More
2.
having or feeling no interest in something; uninterested.
"her father was so disinterested in her progress that he only visited the school once"
synonyms: uninterested, indifferent, incurious, unconcerned, unmoved, unresponsive, impassive, passive, detached, unfeeling, uncaring, unenthusiastic, lukewarm, bored, apathetic, blasé, nonchalant; informal:couldn't-care-less
"he looked at her with disinterested eyes"
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Post #166 - 17 Feb 2019, 19:29

routemaster » Sun Feb 17, 2019 6:42 pm wrote:
dannynomates » Sun Feb 17, 2019 6:25 pm wrote:Uninterested, not disinterested.

Dan

It's a synonym, you tedious cunt. :angry:

disinterested
/dɪsˈɪnt(ə)rɪstɪd/Submit
adjective
1.
not influenced by considerations of personal advantage.
"a banker is under an obligation to give disinterested advice"
synonyms: unbiased, unprejudiced, impartial, neutral, non-partisan, non-discriminatory, detached, uninvolved, objective, dispassionate, impersonal, clinical; More
2.
having or feeling no interest in something; uninterested.
"her father was so disinterested in her progress that he only visited the school once"
synonyms: uninterested, indifferent, incurious, unconcerned, unmoved, unresponsive, impassive, passive, detached, unfeeling, uncaring, unenthusiastic, lukewarm, bored, apathetic, blasé, nonchalant; informal:couldn't-care-less
"he looked at her with disinterested eyes"

It wasn't a synonym when I went to school. :angry:
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Post #167 - 17 Feb 2019, 20:07

Greasy Roads » Sun Feb 17, 2019 7:29 pm wrote:
routemaster » Sun Feb 17, 2019 6:42 pm wrote:
dannynomates » Sun Feb 17, 2019 6:25 pm wrote:Uninterested, not disinterested.

Dan

It's a synonym, you tedious cunt. :angry:

disinterested
/dɪsˈɪnt(ə)rɪstɪd/Submit
adjective
1.
not influenced by considerations of personal advantage.
"a banker is under an obligation to give disinterested advice"
synonyms: unbiased, unprejudiced, impartial, neutral, non-partisan, non-discriminatory, detached, uninvolved, objective, dispassionate, impersonal, clinical; More
2.
having or feeling no interest in something; uninterested.
"her father was so disinterested in her progress that he only visited the school once"
synonyms: uninterested, indifferent, incurious, unconcerned, unmoved, unresponsive, impassive, passive, detached, unfeeling, uncaring, unenthusiastic, lukewarm, bored, apathetic, blasé, nonchalant; informal:couldn't-care-less
"he looked at her with disinterested eyes"

It wasn't a synonym when I went to school. :angry:

It was, you just couldn't care less. :huh:
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Post #168 - 24 Feb 2019, 23:40

routemaster » Sun Feb 10, 2019 10:21 pm wrote:'Don't Call Me Darling' follows a similar vein, Brix asserting her position back in the fold with a shrieking vocal line, while MES' vocal is relatively restrained. Is it 'Don't call me darling' as in not to call her that, or as in not to phone her again, darling? I dunno.


From another forum, a mod much like myself wrote this today.

Don't Call Me Darling - Brix's vocal means business. I like the double edged nature of the line: (don't call me) darling // don't (call me darling). I mean, you can hear it as "darling, don't call me" or "stop calling me 'darling' you patronising fuckwit".

Dan


He seems to be a most enlightening fellow.

Dan
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Post #169 - 24 Feb 2019, 23:42

dannynomates » Sun Feb 24, 2019 11:40 pm wrote:
routemaster » Sun Feb 10, 2019 10:21 pm wrote:'Don't Call Me Darling' follows a similar vein, Brix asserting her position back in the fold with a shrieking vocal line, while MES' vocal is relatively restrained. Is it 'Don't call me darling' as in not to call her that, or as in not to phone her again, darling? I dunno.


From another forum, a mod much like myself wrote this today.

Don't Call Me Darling - Brix's vocal means business. I like the double edged nature of the line: (don't call me) darling // don't (call me darling). I mean, you can hear it as "darling, don't call me" or "stop calling me 'darling' you patronising fuckwit".

Dan


He seems to be a most enlightening fellow.

Dan

He seems to be a plagiarising cunt. :angry:
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Post #170 - 25 Feb 2019, 07:01

routemaster » Sun Feb 24, 2019 11:42 pm wrote:
dannynomates » Sun Feb 24, 2019 11:40 pm wrote:
routemaster » Sun Feb 10, 2019 10:21 pm wrote:'Don't Call Me Darling' follows a similar vein, Brix asserting her position back in the fold with a shrieking vocal line, while MES' vocal is relatively restrained. Is it 'Don't call me darling' as in not to call her that, or as in not to phone her again, darling? I dunno.


From another forum, a mod much like myself wrote this today.

Don't Call Me Darling - Brix's vocal means business. I like the double edged nature of the line: (don't call me) darling // don't (call me darling). I mean, you can hear it as "darling, don't call me" or "stop calling me 'darling' you patronising fuckwit".

Dan


He seems to be a most enlightening fellow.

Dan

He seems to be a plagiarising cunt. :angry:

Maybe you and this mod on another forum are just very similar and thus have similar opinions. :huh:
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Post #171 - 25 Feb 2019, 09:21

Greasy Roads » Mon Feb 25, 2019 7:01 am wrote:
routemaster » Sun Feb 24, 2019 11:42 pm wrote:
dannynomates » Sun Feb 24, 2019 11:40 pm wrote:
routemaster » Sun Feb 10, 2019 10:21 pm wrote:'Don't Call Me Darling' follows a similar vein, Brix asserting her position back in the fold with a shrieking vocal line, while MES' vocal is relatively restrained. Is it 'Don't call me darling' as in not to call her that, or as in not to phone her again, darling? I dunno.


From another forum, a mod much like myself wrote this today.

Don't Call Me Darling - Brix's vocal means business. I like the double edged nature of the line: (don't call me) darling // don't (call me darling). I mean, you can hear it as "darling, don't call me" or "stop calling me 'darling' you patronising fuckwit".

Dan


He seems to be a most enlightening fellow.

Dan

He seems to be a plagiarising cunt. :angry:

Maybe you and this mod on another forum are just very similar and thus have similar opinions. :huh:

No, he's a plagiarising cunt. I'd not seen that theory about the song before I wrote it. :grrr:
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Post #172 - 25 Feb 2019, 17:07

1997

Image
Julia and MES share a Stella joke. © Basil Nagle, December 1997.


1997 was to be a very strange year, but first some line up changes. Early on Adrian Flanagan replaced Brix, soon to be replaced himself by Tommy Crook. Lucy had also departed. By July, Funky Si had gone, some disagreement over a new song was the reason I read, whatever, it was a sad day. Of course Karl Burns was never far away so he rejoined the group for the 79th time. :)

No single this year, just the album 'Levitate', and it was fucking mental. In a good way (mostly) that is, though many fans at the time must have wondered if MES had finally lost the plot, such was the madness of it all. Opening proceedings was a drum 'n' bass stomper 'The Ten Houses Of Eve'. Drum 'n' bass was the flavour of the month in clubland back in '97 and The Fall made a fantastic job of it here. Unlike Goldie or LTJ Bukem though, MES would add an ambient middle section of pleading vocals and gentle piano, before the beats came back in harder and with a big Hanley bass kick. A good start then. Track two 'Masquerade' was OK, a bit lumpy for what could have been another dance track, but it did begin with a brief vocal from Brix's final gig the year before, "This is new...". Also onboard and worth a mention was a short speech about the Masquerade by Basil Nagle, Julia's ten year old lad. Next up was 'Hurricane Edward' and here is where the first suspicions of plot losing really take hold. Pounding drums depict the oncoming storm, growing faster as the hurricane gets closer, MES providing random lyrics while synths swirl and bleep manically all around. It eases up before a return with a Scottish vocalist (Crooks?). Mr Hughes was right in retrospect. No, me neither, but this is a crazy track that actually works. And talking of crazy, 'I'm A Mummy' follows, a cover version done with Egyptian style guitar work. The poor mummy wants to be loved but everyone runs away from him. His parents were born one thousand and sixty six nine hundred years ago. It sounds like the group had a lot of fun making this one and always reminds me of the B-52's for some reason. :) Track 5 is 'The Quartet Of Doc Shanley' which I imagine to be Steve Hanley, MES, Julia and Karl? It's a bass and drum extravaganza this time (not drum 'n' bass). Lyrically as is becoming normal it's simply MES rambling again, but Julia adds her bit, "If like me you are a complete and utter pranny, you'll know what I mean when I say recipe". That clears things up then, but it is another brilliantly wayward track. 'Jap Kid' is simply a short piano solo by Julia, pleasant enough but it really doesn't fit in here. On then to '4 1/2 Inch', co written with half of D.O.S.E. (Keir Stewart) who MES had worked with the year before ('Plug Myself In' was the result, and was fab), it was a breakbeat style wall of noise not unlike The Chemical Brothers, and lyrically seemed to concern another violent storm, this time resulting in the house falling in. The midges were ecstatic. It also contained the filthiest Hanley bassline heard since possibly that bit in 'Deer Park' where his amp shoots up to full whack, one of those hair on the back of the neck moments. Things are calmed next with a swingbeat tune 'Spencer Must Die'. It's presumably about the other half of D.O.S.E. (Spencer Smith) and a disagreement over royalties or something, D.O.S.E were to have produced the whole album I think, but backed out. MES subsequently nicked the tapes from them to keep this track as his own. Something like that anyway, and in typical pre-cog fashion, Spencer did die some time afterwards. :( I disliked this song for ages, but it was grown on me a lot of late, Julia's delicate and slinky keyboard work being of particular note. Nothing delicate about 'Jungle Rock', another cover that isn't much to write home about, some novelty tracks don't work so two on one album is pushing things a bit. Lastly* we have 'Ol' Gang', possibly the most insane yet glorious racket The Fall had ever produced. Completely barking this one, it kicks off with MES seemingly having instructed the group to play whatever the fuck they like as long as it's out of tune - this they managed magnificently. It powers along all hell let loose with a piano line the late great Les Dawson would have been proud of. Synths swoop and soar from top to bottom of the scale, before it grinds to a brief stop, only to come back slightly quieter. This allows MES to add a vocal line or two way too high in the mix, and depicts a story of bumping into a gang (Ol' Gang) who are mid fight as he walks down the street. It's bloody scary stuff, it really is. :lol:

* Once again, as with LUS, I say "lastly" - there were four more tracks but none are really worth bothering with, and once again they should have left it at that. Without those closing tracks it would have been a great piece of work, but no matter. I'm going with 'Ol' Gang' for my choice, it could equally have been '10 Houses' or '4 1/2 Inch', but for the sheer audacity of it all it gets my vote. :clap:

phpBB [video]



Sadly Fall fans weren't so forgiving and the album sales were very poor, Levitate was the first since PBL that failed to crack the Top 100, probably not helped by live shows becoming ever more erratic. At the Belfast gig, MES sacked the entire group before they went on, so technically there was no Fall gruppe for almost a week, but they regrupped again and finished the next batch of shows. Surely after two years of friction, normal service would resume? Would it fuck.... :wtf:


Oh and for CD2 of the four, for that one is now complete, here's the tracklist:
Athlete Cured
H.O.W.
Blood Outta Stone
Pittsville Direkt
Free Range (single mix)
Lost In Music
You're Not Up To Much
Bonkers In Phoenix (alternative version)
Powder Keg
Ol' Gang
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Post #173 - 25 Feb 2019, 18:35

Regrupped.... :clap:
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Post #174 - 25 Feb 2019, 18:58

Greasy Roads » Mon Feb 25, 2019 7:01 am wrote:
routemaster » Sun Feb 24, 2019 11:42 pm wrote:
dannynomates » Sun Feb 24, 2019 11:40 pm wrote:
routemaster » Sun Feb 10, 2019 10:21 pm wrote:'Don't Call Me Darling' follows a similar vein, Brix asserting her position back in the fold with a shrieking vocal line, while MES' vocal is relatively restrained. Is it 'Don't call me darling' as in not to call her that, or as in not to phone her again, darling? I dunno.


From another forum, a mod much like myself wrote this today.

Don't Call Me Darling - Brix's vocal means business. I like the double edged nature of the line: (don't call me) darling // don't (call me darling). I mean, you can hear it as "darling, don't call me" or "stop calling me 'darling' you patronising fuckwit".

Dan


He seems to be a most enlightening fellow.

Dan

He seems to be a plagiarising cunt. :angry:

Maybe you and this mod on another forum are just very similar and thus have similar opinions. :huh:


Yes, this is the correct diagnosis here.

After all, Routemaster :wanker: :angry:

1) often is pedantic in the extreme, as if he needs to prove his worth as a man.
2) in doing so, he just proves he is a cunt
3) is very annoying, and you wish he'd just go away.

Like two peas in a pod, really.
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Post #175 - 25 Feb 2019, 19:26


Thank you. :grin:
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Post #176 - 25 Feb 2019, 19:27


You're still a cunt. :angry:
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Post #177 - 25 Feb 2019, 19:42

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Post #178 - 26 Feb 2019, 20:07

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Post #179 - 26 Feb 2019, 20:19


Stop spamming my thread you cloister creeping cunt. :grrr:
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Post #180 - 06 Mar 2019, 14:10

Disc 3

1998

Image

And so we reach the year it all fell apart. I'm not going to go into the devastating events of the ill fated American tour, it's documented many times elsewhere and is not what this thread is about. Suffice to say major line up changes were to take place which I'll deal with at the end. :mellow:

To the music then. Well there wasn't much, just the single 'Masquerade' this year but spread across two CDs and a 10" vinyl, so a few tracks to explore. Of CD1, the single mix of the title track is a rework of last years LP version, pepped up a notch. There is no Brix intro here, but the song seems a bit sleeker, a bit less lumpy, and MES slightly less disinterested. I'm afraid it still wouldn't have been my choice as a single but there you go. Track two 'Ivanhoe's Two Pence' is a gentle strum along, I suspect relating to money worries and looking after the dough. There's a cute synth line that crops up now and then and sounds for all the world like Una or Yvonne's old Snoopy, I don't know if that was the intention but it's nice to hear. Also Steve Hanley said (I think) that this song was his 100th and final Fall credit, though there is another song on disc two also credited to him. It's also referred to by Starsky-Jalfrezi of this parish as "Our song" referring to herself and me. :) Next up a live 'Spencer Must Die', not unlike the LP version so a swingbeat and Julia synth ditty, but the guitars are whacked up a notch and this makes it darker and more ominous. A shame it's barely 2 minutes long. Last track on disc one is a remix of '10 Houses Of Eve'. It takes a bit of a muso to hear the difference, but Hanley's bass shines through a lot more which of course is most agreeable. On disc two we have the same 'Masquerade' as before, then 'Calendar', a collaberation with Damon Gough AKA Badly Drawn Boy. Legend has it MES jumped into Gough's car thinking it was a taxi and one thing lead to another. He should have caught the bus. :rolleyes: 'Scareball' next, the other Hanley credited song I mentioned. Like 'Ivanhoe' it's a another quiet strummer, but a touch more up-tempo. Can't fathom the lyrical meaning but Julia cuts in with "Never heard a story quite so tall before..." every so often, and adds some more Snoopy style keys to the fun. MES finishes it with "Round it up...round it up..." which is a line he's used many times since when it's time for the group to stop, usually they ignore him for a few bars longer. :grin: Finally on CD2 is a live 'Ol' Gang', equally as mad as the studio version but this time a semblance of a guitar riff comes in after much pissing about. It's often slagged off by Fall fans but I can't see why, it's another glorious uproar. Of the 10" vinyl, we have a new remix of 'Masquerade' - the Mr Natural mix sounds like the Chemical Brothers have been knob twiddling, but it isn't them. It is a great version though, the first section begins with a Chem Bros style breakbeat noise and adds spliced up bits of MES' vocals, then Basil Nagle gets his part with a special voice effect before MES comes back with similar vocal treatments and recognisable lyrics. Bangin'! :banana: Sadly side two is a total con - a third time we hear the single mix, then the 'PWL mix' which is identical to the single mix (so that's 4 now) but adds the full Brix intro, "This is new, fresh...fresh from the womb...". Bit of a waste of vinyl that b-side. :rolleyes:

My choice? I love the 10 Houses and the Mr Natural remixes, but they're so 1997. No, it's got to be 'Scareball'. I picked that one when I first heard the CD and it's never disappointed. Simple but effective, and possibly Hanley's 101st credit? :clap:

phpBB [video]



That lot was released in early '98 before the disintegration. Following Hanley, Burns and Crooks' departures, three more UK gigs had to be honoured. MES and Julia roped in Kate Themen for drum duties and with the inclusion of some backing tapes, the shows went quite well - I have a copy of one somewhere. A proper re-gruppe was required though, so gradually throughout the rest of the year Tom Head (drums), Neville Wilding (guitar) and Adam Halal (bass) were recruited. And so The Fall would survive another trauma, but now with completely new staff. :mellow:
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