Wednesday, 25 January 2012

Day 114: I'm telling you man, he was outta sight...

Not technically on the original release, but on the re-release on CD, this is an amazing cover.

Song: Rollin' Danny
Album: This Nation's Saving Grace/458489 A Sides.
Year: I have no idea, I'd guess around 1985?

Yeah so this is a Gene Vincent cover, you can see the original is actually faster overall here. This is what I imagine MES listens to at home on a crackly record player while he smokes endless cigs. It's also the kind of song you hear on terrible Heartbeat-style shows, the only reason you'd actually keep that sort of tripe on the telly. There'd be a portly policeman chasing some dude with a flat cap and moustache through a village street with it all ending in a slapstick manner, perhaps a herd of sheep block him off and he has to take his cap off and stamp on it, fuming. Either that or he'd climb a ladder and fall off, for added effect getting wet in a stream or tin bath full of rainwater, what a to-do!

I'm getting sidelined, but I do like a decent Fall cover, Mark sounds really comfortable on this and the band are incredibly tight and it works really well. This could actually pass for the original, the vocals are bang on. I think I prefer the cover to the original as Gene sounds like he's phoning it in. I imagine if MES has his way (even more) he'd have recorded a whole LP's worth of 50s/60s hits, just for a laugh, he still might. Has he ever had a quiff?

It's strange to think that this would have been recorded around the same time as mad songs like Paintwork, LA and I Am Damo Suzuki, maybe it was a bit of a break from all that, either way, it's a pleasing diversion.

By the way, buying a Fall best of, why the hell would you do that to yourself? Surely each album has a different lineup (odds on) and each therefore has a different feel. I can enjoy songs ojut of context, but not knowing them in their original order on the albums they come from just seems wrong when you think of the order of Hex, YFOC or TNSG. Madness.

As an aside, I got an intriuging email today from a guy called Simon Barrington (hello) and he has come up with an exhaustive list of Fall albums ranked in order, it apparently took him three weeks with two friends (who he must have forced) to come up with it. I think I'm going to attempt the same in a few weeks' time and will post the results here in an extended post. If anyone else wants to join in this gargantuan task and email me their lists, I will also come up with a cumulative result, just for extra nerd points. Think this may be opening the floodgates, but that's why I do this blog.

Tuesday, 24 January 2012

Day 113: Don't look at me that way!

Hello all, I hope you are all still out there, I have been utterly rubbish, end of January so back after about 6 weeks of slackness.

I've changed the actual outlook of this blog, from a daily thing to a twice-weekly promise, if I break it you can email me and complain.

Anyway, happy 2012, hope people are still ragging Ersatz GB to death, I still am and I picked up Slates on CD at last over Christmas (HMV had an offer on) great stuff, got a version with some live stuff and some session stuff on, well worth the fiver.

Today's offering is off The Wonderful and Frightening World... and is a nice bit of lighter-end Fall.

Song: Oh! Brother
Album: The Wonderful and Frightening World of The Fall
Year: 1984

So this is a bouncy little number, and appears to have an almost Roxy Music feel to it, Mark is squealing in parts and it sounds like his vocals are either heavily reverbed or more likely, multi-tracked (big 80s production). The drums are equally big and cut through the very lofty sounding guitars. The refrain almost sounds a bit Smiths, which of course is a sin when it comes to MES, wrong side of the tracks and all that. The music is underpinned with what sounds like multiple glasses being smashed, what are we talking here, bottles, pint glasses or something a bit more decadent, might even be a studio window for all I know and who knows when it's The Fall.

The lyrics could be taken at face value (boring I know) and could indeed be about an older sibling talking about his little brother and apparently his descent into communism (he dissapeared through a red door) and the pleading lines like "Won't you give me one more chance?/I'm not a communist" have this almost theatrical feel to them, like a last chance stand-off, which jars with the jaunty music, giving it that old Fall feel, nice music, sinister subject matter.

I also appreciate the not-so-serious backing vocals, makes this one of the rare occassions of this period where The Fall sound is cluttered, which is a good thing.