I African Mancunian
Unreleased in 1987, this eventually surfaced on Beggars Banquet's 2013 box set '5 Albums.' Basically, just MES chanting over some jungle drums and what sounds like didgeridoos and wooden flutes. He never actually says 'Mancunian' but plumps for 'Manuchian' instead, along with 'Mercurian' and possibly 'Nietszchean.' Sounds like a work in progress with some interesting snippets such as 'My system is fantastic and absolute.'
Video: I African Mancunian
posted @ 12.55 PM, October 30, 2013
Hit The North
Hark, the official press release: 'a definitely dance based choon packed to the gills with sax riffs, guitars, sub-disco drums... and amazing observation. I have been reliably informed that THE FALL thought it was time their "zany perspective" was brought to bear on the North/South Drone/Debate, diffusing and exploding it via a "racketty dance number...' Quite. V. entertaining lyrics include, 'Cops can't catch criminals/But what the heck, they're not too bad, they talk to God' - a reference to ex Chief Constable of Manchester, James Anderton's maniacal religious dribblings. Many remixes of this one, cynically cashing in on the remix fervour of the time. Frank Sidebottom does a good cover of it, though. Video: Hit The North
Hit The North (single, 1987)
Hit The North (live, Cambridge, 1988)
Hit The North (live, Vienna, 1988)
posted @ 13.20 PM, February 20, 2007
Kicks off with Glittery drums and a chant, the words of which ('Bazdad State Cog Analyst' anybody?) are the subject of much heated debate amongst The Fall cognoscenti. In this interview MES states: "It's about hotel paranoia, about incompetent hotel staff. They're always going on about how wonderful their hotel is, but they can't even keep your room locked. I tried to pass my suspicions about hotels on to the rest of the group." The studio versions have 'The miserable Scottish hotel' resembling a Genesis or Marillion LP cover whilst the live one compares its back garden to a Stevie Wonder album cover. The live version also has some nice cheesy organ in it. Hours of fun for all the family.
Guest Informant (Peel session, 1987)
Guest Informant (live, Vienna, 1989)
Guest Informant (The Frenz Experiment, 1988)
posted @ 14.10 PM, February 16, 2007
Old skool twangy/rockabilly Fall with appropriately twisted off kilter verse as Brix's repetitive manic vocal spirals upwards over MES on full background tannoy mode. MES obviously stuck on a train surrounded by fame crazed wannabes - another example of Smith noting early on a developing cultural phenomenon. 'Children tended by walkman'd parents/Cretins auditioning for non-existent parts on TV.' As ever, the Peel version is superb, especially the rattlesnake drums.
Twister(Peel session, 1987)
posted @ 13.20 PM, February 15, 2007
Australians In Europe (aka Northerns In Europ)
Has an eighties awfully polished production sheen, although retaining parodic Rottenesque long notes and some fine hyperactive "up up!"s. Even veers into soft rock territory with the overblown synths and 'Final Countdown' type guitars, especially on the Peel version. 'Why did Great Grandad leave?' Good question. 'He was consigned to a boat, after using a huge great cleaver.' The extended 12" version of 'Hit The North' has 'Northerns in Europ' on the b-side which is basically just odd snatches of 'Australians...' plus studio chat, including Brix shouting "Egg McMuffin!"
Australians In Europe (Peel session, 1987)
Australians In Europe (B-side, 1987)
Northerns In Europ (B-side, 1987)
posted @ 13.20 PM, February 14, 2007
Comedy gold. The bizarre story of an athlete's brother parking his car "willy-nilly in the driveway, usually the wrong way round, so that the exhaust fumes would flow upwards right through the open windows of the athletic star's upstairs bedroom." To add to the madness, the riff itself is ripped directly from Spinal Tap's "Tonight I'm Gonna Rock You Tonight." Truly, a masterclass in self-deprecation.
Athlete Cured (Peel session, 1987)
Athlete Cured (The Frenz Experiment, 1988)
posted @ 13.20 PM, February 13, 2007
Mark'll Sink Us
Possible wordplay on Archbishop Paul Marcinkus from David Yallop's book on the whole Pope murder plot business (see 'Hey Luciani!' 1986) or a self-reflective exploration of MES's own destructive personality traits? You decide. Distinctly Joy Division-y with a hint of prog rock at the faster 'Mark will sink us' bits. The piano veers between cheesy cocktail bar, stately and jazz fusion. Now, that's what I call eclectic. Live version is best.
Mark'll Sink Us (B-side, 1987)
Mark'll Sink Us (live, 1987)
posted @ 13.00 PM, February 12, 2007
Sleep Debt Snatches
'Grip the mind, kids, close the hatches.' A wee hidden treasure of a song - minimalist beginning before maturing into a lumbering barrage of industrial strength clanking, bass heavy rumblings, assorted mumblings and repetition of 'sleep debt snatches.' Hugely enjoyable, but ends too soon. The quickest 6 minutes twenty one seconds of my life.
Sleep Debt Snatches (B-side, 1987)
posted @ 13.15 PM, February 9, 2007
Haf Found Bormann
Originally featured in the 'Hey! Luciano' play (see 1986), this slice of electronic bleepery and suchlike backs Brix's spoken report in her guise as one of the Israeli commandos who unearth the Nazi fugitive. According to MartinM on the unofficial forum, 'The lyric's loosely based on George Steiner's short novel, "Portage of AH to San Cristobal," where Israeli commandos capture Hitler in the Amazon jungle. The "Nimrod" in the lyric is one commando's code name. The whole thing is linked with the Vatican's role in helping fascists escape after WW2, hence the reference to 'P2'. Controversial.
Video here: Haf Found Boorman
Haf Found Bormann (B-side, 1987)
posted @ 12.45 PM, February 8, 2007
There's A Ghost In My House
A cover of an old R Dean Taylor song which has a special place in my heart as it was covered by myself way back in 1977ish when I was in a punk band. I used to love playing it live, so imagine my surprise when, 10 years later The Fall gruppe covered it, co-incidentally utilising the same fuzz guitar style approach. I sung it better, though;) Anyway, good version, with some deft olde worlde lyric changes: 'I can't get over ye' and 'your spectre's in my heart.' Video: There's A Ghost In My House
There's A Ghost In My House (single, 1987)
posted @ 13.05 PM, February 7, 2007