Label: Beggars Banquet (BEG 176T)
Price paid: $8
Purchased at: The Bop Shop, Rochester NY
They made out you were are an ultra nut
And had no time for your Christianity
You paid with your life for their treachery
I’ve only known of the Fall in the abstract- a mere name that came up now and again- until recently. Brix Smith, Adult Net, and the Beggars Banquet pedigree finally caught up with me and I gave them a listen.
I liked what I heard. To my still mostly ignorant and unrefined ear Mark E. Smith’s voice is a gravely rambling mess… but that’s part of the allure. From what I’ve discerned so far the typical Fall song is a chugging free-form behemoth that meanders from point A to point B with the force of a bile-filled wheel-less street car. That’s a compliment BTW. I find their stuff delightfully experimental in the best Robert Fripp sense of the word.
Highly influential but all of unheard of in the US, the Fall have a long rich history with more than a few modest hits that fall just south of the top 50. ‘Hey! Luciani’ reached #59 on the UK charts in 1986. The song’s theme is that of the death of Pope John Paul I in 1978, who died after only 33 days in office; bubblegum pop this is not.
The sleeve art is horrid- no two ways about it. It fails completely to capture the spirit of the song or the tone of the band; eye-candy this is not. I could find little information on the painter Suzanne Smith, other than she is responsible for the artwork on several Fall releases of the period.