Wednesday, 16 November 2011

Day 110: Bill Is Dead, but this blog is not.

I'm still doing this blog, albeit very very occasionally these days, 2 house moves in 6 months has left me with very little time for anything recently but here we are. I'm finding I've got more time now, so on with The Fall-uh!

In the time away, I've managed to see the Fall live for the first time, I was at Stylus in Leeds, absolutely brilliant, despite Mark spending only about half the time on stage, the band were incredible. I've read some reviews on the VISI forum, but honestly, for a first gig, I was entranced. When Mark was on it, he was incredible, Strychnine was a great moment, with him abbing his finger at the topless pillheads at the front and his antics were more intriuging than annoying. Myself and my friend there agreed we couldn't wait to see them again, the new stuff also sounded bang on, even a little more complex. I can see the heavy metal comments Mark made ages ago coming through, Taking Off I think will be a future favourite for everyone.

Anyway, bloggling along...

Song: Bill Is Dead
Album: Extricate
Year: 1990

So this was a weird one, but remains one of the most lucid moments MES has laid down, he sounds oddly contented, as I've said before, on this album I think people had written him off previously, Brix had left and he had nothing to prove. Apparently this was supposed to originally be a piss-take of The Smiths, surely too easy? (and I say that as a fan) but ended up being a weirdly personal song, with Mark intoning 'These are the greatest times, of my life' over and over. Now this could be a reference to anything, love, the band itself, life in general. What I'd like to think is it pre-empts what occured on last year's Your Future's Weather Report 2, where he states 'You gave me the best years of my life' I always this this should be called Bill Is Dead 2, he sings in such a similar way and reflects in such a strange, detatched way. You can easily compare lines like 'Last week, after Dynasty/I had crows feet under my eyes' from BID to 'I watched Murder She Wrote/At least five times/the cast deserved to die' the in-a-bubble way it is delivered and observed is so similar its uncanny.

Where the two songs differ is that Weather Report 2 has so much static and breakdowns it lacks the lacksadasical hippy whisfulness of BID. Apparently Smith thought Bramah's music for this song needed lyrics fitting to it and there are points where Smith is almost saccharine (this is rare, very, very rare) lines like 'Lately, I rise AM/Off pink sheets' its almost as if he has spent time in a rock star wilderness, not as bad as Kate Bush (writing her album Aerial about washing machines and toddlers after about 2 decades away from songwriting) but certainly in a artistic, reflective way and its probably why it made it to number one of Peely's festive fifty that year (by the way, for Peel nerds, check this out, a site where you can listen to every single entry into the fifties over the years, with options to exlcude certain artists too, amazing, I just turned it on, got a Hefner track, sweet).

I'll stop here as this song is just one to enjoy, good to be back peeps.

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