Saturday, 21 May 2011

Day 66: He is not apprieciated...

This would have been Thursday's song this week, apologies they are all coming at once, but better than not coming at all I presume!

Here's one I've had to think about for a long time as its a song that has followed the group around since they released it, its been reworked several times into new songs, there must be a million live versions of it, but I still rate the original over anything else. It appears in 90s thriller Silence Of The Lambs, its unhinged dynamics suit the unusual subject of that film well. Who knows if the director wanted a song about a deluded genius and thought of MES?

Song: Hip Priest
Album: Hex Enduction Hour
Year: 1982

So, perhaps one of the most minimal songs by the Fall musically, but one of the most atmospheric in terms of lyrics, I've seen someone, can't remember who, saying this is MES's most self-reverential song, that it is about their lack of commerical success. Bollocks to that I say, since when did the Fall care about commercial success? Why would they record obscure covers, release singles with no backing, constantly switch labels and be deliberately difficult if they wanted chart positions? I think the brief hits they had were pleasant bonuses, but MES and co have always treated the band like a job, while not compromising their artistic integrity once to my mind.

Anyway, the song, that drum beat that fills the song with an air of menace, the casually picked guitar line, Mark's now-famous 'heeee-eee iiii-iiiisss nooo-ooo-oot, eeeerr-preeciaTED' and the fact it jumps in and out of intensity with the dynamics gives it the air of an improvised jam, with MES in total focus with his vocals.

The lyrics are baffling, the line 'drink the long draught Dan' has always puzzled me, can anyone tell me what it means? It's delivered with such feeling and comic brevity that it must mean something, whether its an in-joke, a reference to someone in particular or just a throwaway line, I've been wondering for years.

I like the part where it picks up in volume and the guitar skitters maniacally, this is where MES delivers some of my favourite lines 'I picked my last clean dirty shirt out of the wardrobe' being particularly good, but my personal favourite is 'People only need me/when they're old and gone to seed' again, as I mentioned this morning in my Disney's Dream Debased entry, this sounds so olde-English it could almost be Shakespearian, brilliant.

The cries of 'Hip, hip, hip, hip' are also amazing, it follows the stab of the music perfectly.

I won't talk about the rework for I Am Kurious Oranj now, I'll cover that when I do that song, if anyone has anything to add to this particular entry, let me know as I know it is a song heavy with history throughout their career, are there any particular live versions people enjoy for example?

1 comment:

  1. What i like about the version on the Perverted By Language Bis dvd, which is from Leeds University 1981 I think, and indeed the Peel Sessions version, is that it doesn't even feel like music. It's just abstract incantatory noise. Remarkable.