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

Post #121 - 26 Dec 2018, 22:11

routemaster » Wed Dec 26, 2018 9:22 pm wrote:
Mushshrooms » Wed Dec 26, 2018 9:09 pm wrote:It's OK, I worked out what happened there.
I entered a parallel universe full of tin-eared cunts.
Going home now...........

Less of the 'tin-eared'. :angry:

Yes, it's fucking cloth-eared. :angry:
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Post #122 - 28 Dec 2018, 21:55

1991

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This is a difficult one for me, not least because of our visiting cat who insists on sitting at my desk waving her tail in my face, but more significantly because 1991 was a year I didn't care for as a Fall fan. The group were back to a five piece, Kenny Brady the violinist was in full time along with MES, Steve, Craig and Simon, keyboards were operated by guest Dave Bush. My issue with 1991 lies with the one release, the album 'Shift-Work'. Quite frankly it wasn't very good. OK it wasn't BAD as say a Take That or Alien Sex Fiend album is BAD, but by Fall standards it was poor, IMHO - others of course loved it. Opening track 'So What About It?' was OK, a bit of "Fall advice" from MES and a different to usual woozy guitar from Craig. 'Idiot Joy Showland' was similar but duller, and lines like "Show us your house and show us your cock" are not classic MES lyrics. 'Edinburgh Man' was worse, a hark back to the sentimental 'Bill Is Dead', it's not a style I appreciate The Fall for. Next up 'Pittsville Direkt' saved side one, a much darker sound with at least some balls, before 'Book Of Lies' with an unknown vocalist kicks in, a truly dire song deep in my bottom 10 Fall list. 'War Against Intelligence' is next, another tedium-fest with Brady's infernal violins high in the mix. Side two starts better, the title track simply rumbles along menacingly while MES describes the effects of shiftwork ruining a relationship. 'You Haven't Found It Yet' is just drab and pointless, but things pick up again with an ode to DJs in 'The Mixer', a sprightly almost techno number where the violins do work well. 'A Lot Of Wind' is a bit of light relief with lines like "Then they had Carl Lewis on, he's got a pony-tail and he's a vegan, he talks a lot of wind" adding a touch of much needed humour. That's about it, I can't bring myself to describe 'Rose' (written by Marcia and Martin from the previous line up) as it makes 'Edinburgh Man' sound like 'The Classical', and the final track 'Sinister Waltz' is just a dull attempt at The Stranglers' 'Waltzinblack' which wasn't much cop itself.

There was another piece of plastic issued to DJs - a promo 12" containing three remixes of 'So What About It', all of which sounded the same to my cloth ears and were basically generic techno. Orbital and 808 State weren't quaking in their trainers. :rolleyes:

What to pick? :( It's quite easy really, 'Pittsville Direkt' as I said had a pair of balls. As usual I don't know what it's about, but it's a full on MES rant about the place, spat out with the usual venom. Coupled with a glorious Hanley bassline, great guitar work (non-woozy) from Craig, and a busy bit of Funky Si drumming, there is also a lovely female backing vocal (Cassell Webb?) that pops in and out randomly and adds to the air of darkness. I do like this song very much. :clap:


phpBB [video]



As I started writing this review, I learned of the passing of a past Fall Online Forum member and music writer, David Cavanagh, AKA Zoot Horn Polo. He was one of the wittiest and amusing members I can recall there, and was a friend of Richard Smith/Elvischomsky who also sadly left us. His book about John Peel, 'Good Night And Good Riddance' was most enjoyed on my holiday a couple of years back. My thoughts and condolences to his family and friends. I will finish this with a comment he made at the FOF regarding the Shift-Work album, he was clearly a fan. It followed some disparaging remarks I had made, but as ever he put things right perfectly. B-)

"I also confirm that Shiftwork (or Shift-Work) is an excellent album. Those who disagree suffer from ineffable turpitude and smell of sardines."

RIP David.
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Post #123 - 28 Dec 2018, 22:02

You were rather too kind to Shiftwork but your appreciation of Zoot redeemed the article. :huh:
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Post #124 - 28 Dec 2018, 22:14

Greasy Roads » Fri Dec 28, 2018 10:02 pm wrote:You were rather too kind to Shiftwork but your appreciation of Zoot redeemed the article. :huh:

I never knew you were a fellow Shit-wank hater. :lol:
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Post #125 - 29 Dec 2018, 22:55

routemaster » Fri Dec 28, 2018 10:14 pm wrote:
Greasy Roads » Fri Dec 28, 2018 10:02 pm wrote:You were rather too kind to Shiftwork but your appreciation of Zoot redeemed the article. :huh:

I never knew you were a fellow Shit-wank hater. :lol:

John Peel bollocksed on about Lot Of Wind being a classic track when they did the session. I just thought he was talking out of his arse.
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Post #126 - 29 Dec 2018, 23:12

Greasy Roads » Sat Dec 29, 2018 10:55 pm wrote:
routemaster » Fri Dec 28, 2018 10:14 pm wrote:
Greasy Roads » Fri Dec 28, 2018 10:02 pm wrote:You were rather too kind to Shiftwork but your appreciation of Zoot redeemed the article. :huh:

I never knew you were a fellow Shit-wank hater. :lol:

John Peel bollocksed on about Lot Of Wind being a classic track when they did the session. I just thought he was talking out of his arse.

To be fair I picked it as one of the better tracks, but given it's company that's hardly praise. It was a bit of light relief from the tedium of Book Of Lies and You Haven't Found It Yet. :yawn:
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Post #127 - 30 Dec 2018, 09:09

routemaster » Fri Dec 28, 2018 9:55 pm wrote:1991

Image

he group were back to a five piece, Kenny Brady the violinist was in full time along with MES, Steve, Craig and Simon, keyboards were operated by guest Dave Bush. My issue with 1991 lies with the one release, the album 'Shift-Work'.


And you are talking out of your arse there.

Kenny Brady guested on a couple of tracks in the studio, sometimes in live performance. I checked with dad. :wanker:

Hardly a full time member, and none of the press at the time said so either.

I'm sure dannynomates can back that up. :wanker:
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Post #128 - 30 Dec 2018, 09:22

Sonofsmegma » Sun Dec 30, 2018 9:09 am wrote:
routemaster » Fri Dec 28, 2018 9:55 pm wrote:1991

Image

he group were back to a five piece, Kenny Brady the violinist was in full time along with MES, Steve, Craig and Simon, keyboards were operated by guest Dave Bush. My issue with 1991 lies with the one release, the album 'Shift-Work'.


And you are talking out of your arse there.

Kenny Brady guested on a couple of tracks in the studio, sometimes in live performance. I checked with dad. :wanker:

Hardly a full time member, and none of the press at the time said so either.

I'm sure dannynomates can back that up. :wanker:

Your dad's a cunt. Kenny Brady gets a full group member credit on Shift-Work - Dave Bush is in the 'additions' section.
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Post #129 - 30 Dec 2018, 09:56

Greasy Roads » Sun Dec 30, 2018 9:22 am wrote:
Sonofsmegma » Sun Dec 30, 2018 9:09 am wrote:
routemaster » Fri Dec 28, 2018 9:55 pm wrote:1991

Image

he group were back to a five piece, Kenny Brady the violinist was in full time along with MES, Steve, Craig and Simon, keyboards were operated by guest Dave Bush. My issue with 1991 lies with the one release, the album 'Shift-Work'.


And you are talking out of your arse there.

Kenny Brady guested on a couple of tracks in the studio, sometimes in live performance. I checked with dad. :wanker:

Hardly a full time member, and none of the press at the time said so either.

I'm sure dannynomates can back that up. :wanker:

Your dad's a cunt. Kenny Brady gets a full group member credit on Shift-Work - Dave Bush is in the 'additions' section.

My apologies, the lad was rattling on about something to do with Shift-Work and I just agreed to shut the little twat up. Routemaster is quite correct in his excellent review and dannynomates could indeed back me up by banning my cunt of a son on a permanent basis.
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Post #130 - 09 Jan 2019, 13:15

1992

phpBB [video]

A visit to the pub with MES. "It's like going to church really."


Following the disappointment, to my ears, of 1991, The Fall clearly took heed and decided on a slightly different approach this year. Gone was the dull Brit-pop, MES now wanted to try a more techno sound, probably first experimented with on 'Telephone Thing' a couple of years earlier. This required slight line up change, so Kenny Brady quite rightly got the boot and Dave Bush came in as a full time member on keyboards. As previously, Craig Leon and Cassell Webb appeared as extra help, and Simon Rogers returned to assist with production duties.

This year produced an album and two singles. The first single was 'Free Range', backed with (on the 12" and CD) 'Everything Hurtz', 'Return' and 'Dangerous'. All four songs were bright and techno inspired classics, though of course not techno in the true sense, The Fall still relied on traditional instrumentation. The title track was the pick of the four, I don't know what it's all about as usual but it seems to be highlighting the need to watch who you're talking to in a world of corruption - "It pays to talk to no one...". 'Everything Hurtz' is easier to decipher, still upbeat with that techno edge, but describing the apparent effects of indulgence, presumably from over-use of certain substances and drinks. 'Return' and 'Dangerous' are similarly styled, the former seems to be one of lost love but thankfully not done in a 'Rose' or 'Bill Is Dead' way. Following 'Shift-Work', I had decided to give The Fall a break from there on, but on hearing this new single in a record shop, I grabbed a copy there and then and was very pleased with it.

A week or two later the album 'Code Selfish' was released. I didn't rush out as it struck me with slight annoyance that all four of the songs on my single appeared on the album, meaning I already owned a third of the record already. Then on hearing on (probably) the Peel show some of the new tracks, I was quite disappointed. I was listening to a lot of Underworld and Orbital, that sort of thing at the time, so I sort of left The Fall to it. I wouldn't return for quite a number of years, so reviews from this point are in hindsight. CS begins with the lengthy 'Birmingham School Of Business School', opening with a curious mash up of techno beats and church bells, before the more traditional sounds of Hanley bass and Scanlon guitar take over. MES sounds grumpy, as he does on most of CS tbh, this time ranting about business schemes doomed to failure in places like Birmingham - the promise of so much and the result of so little. At almost 7 minutes long, it's not a bad song but outstays it's welcome a bit. 'Time Enough At Last' is I'm afraid boring, the repeated refrain of the title over and over again in both verse and chorus is not one of MES' better lyrical compositions. 'Immortality' is better, an attempt at trip-hop possibly, with the usual cool bassline and chattering guitars, although they made it more meaty on the Peel session. I don't want to get into Peel sessions if possible, but over the next few years especially, Peel versions were often much better stabs at the originals. Side 2 begins with 'Two Face', another angry rant about himself presumably being branded two faced. The vocal line here is odd, MES tries to sing a touch higher pitched than normal, are are we witnessing the start of an embryonic growly style? Decent song though. Unlike 'Just Waiting', this album's cover version, it's a throwaway (country?) number originally by Hank Williams that ambles along without really going anywhere. 'Gentleman's Agreement' next reminds me of 'Mark'll Sink Us' from a few years back, a melancholy tale of lost faith in a broken friendship, MES gets more annoyed as the song goes on, and the line "Your brain is like Game Boy, it's full of excretement" [sic] obviously infers his ex-buddy is full of shit. :lol: Finally 'Married 2 Kids' is another song of distress, pointing out the bitterness of an ordinary bloke in a dead end job (leave it!) with little or no prospects. I do like this one, it's got a nice bluesy feel to it that a lot of people seem to dismiss in a Fall song. I said "finally" for the last track - there is one more, 'Crew Filth'. It's utter crap, starting with a sample from the remix of 'So What About It', before descending into a lo-fi 5 minute ramble featuring MES slagging off his road crew in a curious American/Asian accent over some obscure music lifted from elsewhere. I wasn't going to bother writing about it but I think I just have.

The third release this year was the 'Ed's Babe' EP, featuring four more songs. The title track isn't bad, it sounds very un-Fall like as does the whole EP. There's a line which I thought was "DIY...DIY" but I'm sure it's actually "Be my wife...be my wife" - was Ed a reference to MES' middle name? Is his babe Saffron Prior who did indeed marry him around that time? I've literally just thought this idea up, it's probably nonsense. :) Next up, 'Pumpkin Head Xscapes' is more technoey, perhaps a bit too much so for their own good. Mentions The KLF. 'The Knight, The Devil and Death' is most odd, a sort of acoustic number with added wind instruments, and the bloody violins are back. Cassell Webb on vox I think, sorry I don't care for it at all. Finally (again) 'Free Ranger' is simply a remix of 'Free Range', a bit heavier in the Funky Si drumming department, but it's his song so fair do's.


Pick of the year then. For once I'm going for a single, I try to avoid this because I want an alternative compilation, and Greasy Roads is doing his 45s reviews. But the fact remains 'Free Range' is the very best track here, especially the single mix which just adds a bit more of a kick to the LP version. Also for pop pickers, this was the only Fall penned single to go top 40 in the hit parade, albeit at #40. :clap:

phpBB [video]


Dave Bush looks lovely @2m 43s. :wub:
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Post #131 - 09 Jan 2019, 14:18

Still not a very good year, non?
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Post #132 - 09 Jan 2019, 14:24

Greasy Roads » Wed Jan 09, 2019 2:18 pm wrote:Still not a very good year, non?

Better than '91, and I still love the single, but not quite back on form. Transitional period maybe...
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Post #133 - 09 Jan 2019, 15:05

routemaster » Wed Jan 09, 2019 2:24 pm wrote:
Greasy Roads » Wed Jan 09, 2019 2:18 pm wrote:Still not a very good year, non?

Better than '91, and I still love the single, but not quite back on form. Transitional period maybe...

I never thought Dave Bush was all that, particularly live.
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Post #134 - 09 Jan 2019, 15:21

Greasy Roads » Wed Jan 09, 2019 3:05 pm wrote:
routemaster » Wed Jan 09, 2019 2:24 pm wrote:
Greasy Roads » Wed Jan 09, 2019 2:18 pm wrote:Still not a very good year, non?

Better than '91, and I still love the single, but not quite back on form. Transitional period maybe...

I never thought Dave Bush was all that, particularly live.

He seemed OK (didn't see him live) but I suspect him and possibly Simon Rogers had ideas above The Fall's station with the keyboards. I prefer simple Una / Yvonne / Marcia / Julia / Eleni bleeps from Fall keyboards, they weren't looking for fucking Rick Wakeman.
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Post #135 - 09 Jan 2019, 16:20

routemaster » Wed Jan 09, 2019 3:21 pm wrote:
Greasy Roads » Wed Jan 09, 2019 3:05 pm wrote:
routemaster » Wed Jan 09, 2019 2:24 pm wrote:
Greasy Roads » Wed Jan 09, 2019 2:18 pm wrote:Still not a very good year, non?

Better than '91, and I still love the single, but not quite back on form. Transitional period maybe...

I never thought Dave Bush was all that, particularly live.

He seemed OK (didn't see him live) but I suspect him and possibly Simon Rogers had ideas above The Fall's station with the keyboards. I prefer simple Una / Yvonne / Marcia / Julia / Eleni bleeps from Fall keyboards, they weren't looking for fucking Rick Wakeman.

I'd rather liked to have seen Rick Wakeman with The Fall. I suspect he'd have drunk them under the table. :)
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Post #136 - 20 Jan 2019, 22:13

1993

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1993 heralded a change of record label for The Fall, Fontana were out and the ironically named Permanent were in. Line up wise it was the same group, at least for the vast majority of the year, and production was now handed over mainly to Rex Sergeant with a last few tracks by Simon Rogers. Another steady stream of material was forthcoming, the usual album and two singles.

First up was a most curious single/EP, containing four quite un-Fall like tunes. 'Why Are People Grudgeful?' was the title track, a frantically fast cover, or rather re-make of two old reggae songs by Joe Gibbs and Lee Perry. It's difficult to catagorise what genre they turned it into, but it wasn't reggae. It was very good though. More oddness next, a glam rock stomper straight from the Glitter Band, 'Glam Racket' wasn't a cover thank god but it was an awesome stab at glam rock. Funky Si was having a field day. Track 3 was a rather pointless remix of 'The Mixer', called 'The Re-Mixer', it began with another snippet of the 'So What About It?' techno mix before launching into a new version of the song which sadly highlighted the overuse of those pesky violins. Finally the biggest shock, and I'd read about this at the time - The Fall had covered the old Sister Sledge disco classic 'Lost In Music'. I recall thinking at the time, having recently given up on the group, I'd definitely made the right decision. :D

Shortly after the single, the new album 'The Infotainment Scan' was released. It kicked off with a stonker, 'Ladybird (Green Grass)' opened with loud crashing drums and deep rumbling bassline before Craig and MES piled in for a glorious almost back to Brix style Fall sound, a belting start. Hanley's bass in particular was allowed to reign free again, a style that I think had been missing for a couple of albums. 'Lost In Music' and 'Glam Racket' next, followed by another cover. 'I'm Going To Spain' was an unknown song by Steve Bent(?) that was supposed to be a spoof, but just came across as a bit crap. 'It's A Curse' was much better, and a nod to what the album was all about I think - Look Back Bores. I think it's aimed at music journalists and their constant harking back to older material rather than embracing the new, it was a theme for other tracks here as well as an annoyance for MES for many years to come. Good song, references to Spangles, Vimto and Balti were among the gripes, I can't see the issue with the Balti myself. Next up 'Paranoia Man In Cheap Sh*t Room' was along the same lines, thematically. If there's one thing I have trouble with on this album, it's the production. On this track especially, while it's undoubtedly a good song played well by each member, the wall of sound effect grates. I like to hear a more open sound where I can hear Hanley's bass, Craig's guitar, Simon's drums do their own thing, not thrown together with an overdose of synth which drowns each other's performance out. Another mention of Spangles was included however so all was not lost. 'Service' was less in your face, a more downbeat affair, I think the same subject matter - ie further paranoia - was MES beginning some sort of mid-life crisis on this album? Nice Italia-house style keyboards provided a bit of alternative relief. More promising still was 'The League Of Bald Headed Men', a nod back to 'Ladybird' where as I just complained about losing, the respective instruments were mixed much more freely, and again some classic Hanley bass work shone through. Maybe MES' lyric "Every day it's my pleasure to meet, the great league of bald headed men" was a hat tip to the bald headed older types still in touch with The Fall rather than the LBBs? Maybe I'm talking bollocks. 'A Past Gone Mad' was another wall of sound noise, the keyboards becoming even more over-present. Similar tales of disillusion including more Spangles, although a rant against Ian McShane and U2 is always a joy to hear. Last track 'Light/Fireworks' is, like the closing track on Code Selfish, a bit of nonsense involving a song playing backwards to give an effect of fireworks going off, followed by MES muttering words about fireworks over a weird buzzing backdrop, culminating with a minute or so of 'The Legend Of Xanadu', a song the group had covered for a charity compilation previously. Oh and there were two bonus CD tracks, versions of 'Grudgeful' and 'Bald Headed' both of which were inferior so I won't ramble on. I will add though that any complaints I might have had were not necessarily shared by the record buying public - The Infotainment Scan soared to the highest place a Fall record ventured to ever - a magnificent #9 in the hit parade! :D

Just before the end of the year, a new single was presented. 'Behind The Counter' was business as usual, a great tune with MES venting his dislike of rock reviewers. 'M5' was similar, not sure what it's about but a decent tune all the same, and in both cases the keyboards are up there but don't quite overpower things. 'Cab Driver' was very synth heavy, but not as to become an annoyance so maybe lessons were being learned, and 'War' was another cover. A great stomping one too - one of those where I had never heard the original, so it was just a new Fall song. An absolute bastard of a Hanley bassline can be heard here, and I mean that in the best possible way. There was one more thing to note with this single - a line up change. Or rather an addition, no one was out but a second drummer was in - a welcome back to Karl Burns. :clap:

What's it to be? It goes against the grain because I really ought to stick with self-penned Fall songs, but my reservations at the time were unfounded - 'Lost In Music' is an absolute corker. There's no way it should work, it should be an complete travesty of a disco classic, but they pull it off brilliantly, dead straight, no fucking about. Even the terribly amateur edit in the middle where it seems to switch from one mix to another doesn't affect the sheer joyousness of the thing. Enjoy. :banana:

phpBB [video]


There is a "live" version on Youtube with them playing the song completely deadpan, it's hilarious to watch but the sound quality is abysmal. Look it up. :)
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Post #138 - 21 Jan 2019, 08:16

It's always hard to know to blame for production. There are tales of MES taking a perfectly good mix, recording it on a cassette machine, then playing it back into the studio mikes and making it sound shit.
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Post #139 - 21 Jan 2019, 08:38

dannynomates » Mon Jan 21, 2019 8:13 am wrote:It's 'categorise'.

Dan

Spellchecker was telling me something was wrong - I tried a 'z' instead of an 's' but that didn't work.

It would be better if spellchecker gave the right spelling at the time rather than alerting a smug little prick of a moderator to the error. :angry:
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Post #140 - 21 Jan 2019, 08:42

routemaster » Mon Jan 21, 2019 8:38 am wrote:
dannynomates » Mon Jan 21, 2019 8:13 am wrote:It's 'categorise'.

Dan

Spellchecker was telling me something was wrong - I tried a 'z' instead of an 's' but that didn't work.

It would be better if spellchecker gave the right spelling at the time rather than alerting a smug little prick of a moderator to the error. :angry:

If you right-click the word it will tell you the correct spelling. :huh:
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