Tuesday, 5 April 2011

Day 22: The whole world's a funny farm.

Another day, another Fall cover? Why not?

Thanks to everyone who has emailed me about the blog, your encouragement makes me want to carry it on for as long as I can, had quite a few views the last few days, so thanks if you've mentioned it anywhere, keep it up, it means I'm not speaking to myself!

For other Fall-related musings as well as some nice creative writing, check out this chap's site here: http://daaanlewis.com

Anyway, back to the task in hand, this is another cover from the 60s, and weirdly, both performances are very much of their time, The Fall's version crackles with 80s drum production, we're talking big, brash and impressive, a bit like the fashion at the time, whereas the 60s version is quirky and a bit Beatles-esque, but the lyrics are the main crux for me.

Song: Popcorn Double Feature
Album: Extricate

Year: 1990

Like a lot of 60s pop, the words sometimes get buried in the jaunty nature of the music, there was still a hangover of songs being background music for dances and the like, but if you look carefully, it's all a bit Orwellian.

Take the lines: "Coffee each mornin'/Don't park is the warnin'/ They'll tow your machine away/ There's so much confusion/That's built on illusion/What's makin' the music play?"
now to me that sounds a bit anti-capitalist, breaking free from the chains of oppression etc.

To be fair, the Fall version is pretty faithful to the original, apart from the strange line (which I get would be a big deal back in the 60s) "Black man is your teacher/Don't be alarmed" has been changed to what sounds like "Blind man is your teacher" no problem there, could be a comment on politicians or society there, but I like the fact a group in the 60s was saying "Hey, it's ok you know, the world is changing."

The chorus in the original actually has some semblance of melancholy, but the rest of the song is quite jerky and upbeat, the Fall version is (of course) a bit reserved and Mark's vocals sound a bit despondent, but they match the lyrics, so that's great. I should probably try and crowbar in that this is the first album recorded without Brix after their divorce, some people say her backing vocals and guitar parts are notably missing, but I'd disagree, this is obviously an album made by Mark alone and it sounds great in the way that every Fall album is different, if she had been in the band I can't imagine we'd have got an album so inventive as Extricate, its actually one of my favourites.

Interesting note, the Fall version features Mike Edwards of rockers Jesus Jones, you learn something new every day hmm?

Just a note to my readers, would you mind if I put ads on this blog? I hate them normally but if there's money to be made (in minuscule amounts) should I bother?

I've ranted enough, just enjoy the song, I've included the original below for comparison, enjoy.

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