Wednesday, October 29, 2014

I'm Telling You This, And I'm Telling You Now...


Far cooler Fall fans that myself would probably opt for "Witch Trials" or "Slates" as the best album by the band. Much as I do love those albums and "Perverted By Language" and "The Wonderful and Frightening", my own personal favourite Fall album and Number Seven in my Top Ten album rundown is 1985's "This Nation's Saving Grace".

For me, this album shows the band at the height of their creative powers and is the closest they got to making a mainstream album. Yes, the influence of Brix Smith is stamped all over the album but that is part of what makes this such a great album. Brix brings along a pop sensibility but this is still very much a Fall album, with Mark E Smith's wit and twisted take on the everyday in overdrive. Although operating at the peak of their accessibility, this is by no means an easy listen, with the album running the gamut from pop to avant garde to electronica to rockabilly to krautrock, sometimes in the space of one song. It is more focussed and consistent than most of their other albums, while at the same time being simultaneously experimental. There is not a bad song on the album, from the opening relentless swagger of "Bombast" right through to the tribute to Can lead singer of "I Am Damo Suzuki". Not a sound or second is wasted on an album that thrillingly subverts what pop music is, with The Fall managing to create something truly unique and special.

Bombast
Couldn't Get Ahead  

13 comments:

  1. Prior to reading this post, I'd never really stopped to consider what my favourite Fall album might be. I can usually be relied upon to trot out a good argument for a particular Stones, T.Rex, Clash or Miles Davis LP, but The Fall? It's a tricky one. 'This Nation's Saving Grace' is definitely up there though.

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  2. I'm in the grips of a full blown Fall outbreak...Hex seems to be the best salve for this one but, there have been others...many others.

    If you pushed me to the wall, Perverted By Language is my favorite...Neighborhood of Infinity (that groove cuts so deep I hyperventilated the first time I heard it...and a Link Wray reference), Smile...rocks your assssss off...Garden, Tempo House (Mark E Smith is a genius...deal with it), Hotel Blodel...Eat Y'rself Fitter...***** it Man.

    I could spend hours making the case for it but, to say it is a Truth that Perverted is better than Hex or This Nations Saving Grace is impossible.

    Now I'm off to listen to Paintwork 100 times in a row.

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  3. The Swede - I had managed to get it down to about 6 choices for fave Fall album but "This Nation's.." just shades it for me. Brings back a lot of memories of good times in '85 which certainly helps.
    Erik - really hard to pick one, could have went for "Hex", "Perverted", "Bend Sinister" amongst others but that's what happens when you are trying dealing with genius. I'm sure some of there other albums are "better" albums but "This Nation's.." is the one I go back to time after time. Hope you are enjoying "Paintwork"

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  4. For me it would be the Complete Peel Sessions, if someone said to me you need to get rid of everything apart from one record, cd or compilation I would have that and could probably see out the rest of my days with just that. What do you mean that doesn't count? alright then, Hex.

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  5. No one has mentioned Grotesque...what is wrong with us?

    Drew...I've hit repeat on Who Makes the Nazis from Peel...10 or 15 times since yesterday.

    I have issues.

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  6. It could be, as Erik said, Perverted By Language. Or Possibly the follow-ip, The Wonderful and Frightening World. Then again it could be Extricate. Or The Unutterable. AT the moment I'll say it's The Unuterrable. Which is not say, Scott, that This Nation's Saving Grace is a bad album, far far from it.

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  7. Let's face it, your life is incomplete without all of the studio albums and the Peel sessions.

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  8. Drew, you are not far wrong there/

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  9. Completely agree Drew. The Peel Sessions box in particular is absolutely essential. I think you are right George, it could have been pretty much any of their albums. For most of my choice so far it was fairly self evident what album it was going to be but with The Fall and the next two choices it was hard to choose one album. Have a feeling you may not be a fan of one of next choices George.

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  10. ....oh no I fear it's an American first name B***e and a band that made a double album called L****n C*****G (I have that, by the way)

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  11. You are right on one of them George, the other one nearly made the Top 10 but just missed out...

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  12. Tune into CCM George and you may well get both!

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  13. ....that's just a wind-up Mr CC

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