Sunday, 2 October 2011

Day 108: You can never go home!

This is an interesting one, how many bands can you name influenced by this one?

Song: Marquis Cha-Cha
Album: Room To Live!
Year: 1982

The music for this one is just fabulous, considering this was a rush-job release, there's enough ideas on it, let alone this track standing on its own to provide most bands with two LPs-worth of stuff. This particular slice of Fall has elements in it most bands influenced by the band would kill for, especially in 1982 (!!!) Witness the lilting guitar lines that reek of modern bands doing it for money these days such as Friendly Fires even down to the unusual percussion and high-pitched vocal style.

I suppose the tribal drum style could also be compared to stuff that the Stone Roses curled out in 89 and could even stretch to The Happy Mondays if you ignore Shaun Ryder (a similar style of 'singing' to Mark E, but with none of the class). I imagine Marquis Cha-Cha was amazing to hear live, if they got the percussion and the dreamy singing parts right AND the grinding halts correct, the version on ...In A Hole is a more frenetic, chaotic and harmonica-ridden mess, but still translates well.

The lyrical intricacies of this one remain a mystery to me, it seems to be spoken from the perspective of a deposed dictator or a politcal exile, talk of radios being jammed and a native country not being any good to the narrator. The various voices MES employs through the song mean it is a dizzying, uneven beast, but makes up for this in invention in spades. Just listening to the live version, it sounds like several tracks bound together with some sort of loose narrative thread, as if several characters are having their say.

The old idea that the title easily translates as 'Mark E Cha-Cha' is something I endorse, it's never pronounced 'Mar-kwiss' is it? I'd like to think this is MES's own creation of a dance step, but of course, MES does not dance...


  1. This album is such an overlooked gem from the golden Fall-years. My version has the "Lie Dream of Casino Soul" single, one of my 5 favorite Fall songs ever. Oh, and this song is so unbelievable - I dare anyone to find a single Fall-track from '81-'85 that is not stellar.

  2. One of my faves. Great LP this one. Agree with above comment about it being a bit overlooked. Maybe it's because it's more like a mini-LP compared to other albums. I love the bordering on sloppy sound that it has throughout. The rhythm section especially is worthy of note. Some astounding patterns courtesy of the Hanley brothers & Karl Burns. I could listen to the bass drum from Marquis Cha Cha all day long. The verse part of the bass guitar is lifted from a Stooges song called She Creatures Of Hollywood Hills.
    Is it me or does it sound like your listening to it on a tape machine thats speeding up & slowing down slightly at times?

  3. Oh, you resurrected this blog, good stuff! Joker Hysterical Face is my favourite on this album, or Solicitor in Studio.