Tuesday, 2 August 2011

Post 100: It's taken me too long.

Hello all, this is number 100, seems stupid doing it this long after posts 1-99, but here we are, actually going to keep it up now, apologies for being totally shit.

So this is, ahem...


So here's my idea, there seem to be too many people who haven't heard The Fall, or who have just heard the odd song and not thought of investigating further, these people need help, there's a whole wonderful and frightening world of music out there and Mark E Smith wrote most of it. I'd include garish sparkles if I could, but I'm no good at html.

Post 101 tomorrow will return to the format of a song a day, can't wait to get back into it!

So here are 10 songs you should play AT people in the hope they somehow get the bug:

1. Couldn't Get Ahead.

This has it all, fast, repetitive, but with enough unhinged ideas in there to make people sit up and take notice, the harmonica flapping away in the background, the lyrics about buses, cabbage patches and ET. it's all wrapped up in an amazing 3-minute microcosm. Also, a song about drinking, always a hit, just ask Chumbawumba.

2. Eat Y'Self Fitter.

This is one of the songs where The Fall clicked for me, the endless riff, the bass sound, the insane lyrics, the complete uniqueness of MES and his northern-tinged vocal delivery. This one could be one that breaks people, it's almost like giving someone a big slice of chocolate fudge cake and a dollop of cream when they've been surviving on beans and water. Almost like a litmus test for music fans really, love it or hate it, it's a song you need to hear before you write off MES and his witterings.

3. Hey Student!

Even when I was a student, I hated students and I think all students see themselves as second class citezens at the time as well. This is the equivalent of a Fall anthem, I think I would as Mark puts it 'flip my lid' if I heard them play it live these days. Anyone who likes indie music or has any inkling of an alternative music taste must surely rate this.

4. Hip Priest

This may already be in people's heads already through osmosis, I've not picked this one to be obvious, rather to illustrate a point, this song is one of the most enduring of The Fall canon. From the lone drumbeat that opens it to the mad crescendo, its iconic and is completly different from any other Fall song, perhaps also the most dynamically structured too. If people can't stick the repetition of other MES classics, then this is surely one to challenge their notion of the band with.

5. M5

One of the best songs to showcase MES at his lyrical best, he sounds forthright, defiant and overall coherent. This is as close to britpop I think The Fall ever strayed, but its still skewed and joyously surreal. The lines about tramps roaming the city in particular. It also has what could be termed as a 'chorus' something lacking in other Fall tunes.

6. British People In Hot Weather.

I know its an unusual one to pick, but this one sums up the balance between the pop and humourous side the Fall have in droves. This one is still making me laugh, I don't think I've heard it since starting this blog and its still a great example of The Fall taking their foot off the gas. Could well be a contentious one for some as its 'silly Fall'.

7. Mexico Wax Solvent

Here's one that will test the mettle of anyone new to The Fall, I'm still working out the lyrics, completly surreal after constant listens. Included are references to ex-pats, chocolate, cooking chicken and rice with tools, tramadol, barbiturates, discount prices and clicky shoulders. The music also shifts like a bad dream, lurching from one layer of paranoia to another, still think a good year on that this is perhaps one of the best songs the band have recorded.

8. Free Range

The clash of dance music (that now sounds like a Mega Drive soundtrack) and The Fall's unique stylings still sounds great now. The keyboards sound very much of their time, but I know some people who rate this as their favourite tune. This would also introduce new fans to the harsh reality of The Fall's sound and creativity in full flow.

9. US 80s-90s

This is an excellent one to start with, brutalist and unrelenting but still just there musically, Mark is on excellent form here. The timing of the 'chorus' (another one) is fantastic and I never tire of the riff, it has one of the most subtle changes throughout that makes this a deceptively complex song. Sounds both cool and distant at the same time, and isn't that The Fall through and through?

10. Blindness

Surely needs no explanation.

It does? The bassline then, simple.

1 comment:

  1. on top form as ever, mike.
    can't fault the choices, though i reckon 'theme from sparta fc' is a great intro to the band; it's relatively well known, catchy as anything they've done, and viciously brilliant.

    oh, and the blindness peel session over the original, any day...