Not all about Manchest-uh!

It’s odd, the Fall are often seen as being quite Caustic-sounding (well, I suppose they are, at times) and always associated with Manchester.

But Mark E. Smith called Edinburgh his home for a time, around the time of Extricate, for reasons that even the re-issue notes don’t seem to explain.

It did produce what is arguably the most summery-sounding hymn to my adopted home city, though, and the no.4 entry in 1991’s Festive Fifty (or Phantom Fifty, if you prefer).

The Fall -‘Edinburgh Man.’ mp3

Still reckon you don’t like the Fall?


Hooray…after a lot of help, from my own record collection, 17 Seconds’ readers, eMusic, iTunes and the USB turntable, I have finally managed to complete one year of Festive Fifty for the iPod. And these final tracks were what completed it:

Much as I like 1984’s The Wonderful and Frightening World Of The Fall, I wasn’t always convinced by this track. But get past the first few seconds, and it’s bloody amazing.

The Fall -‘Lay Of The Land.’ mp3 (1984 Festive Fifty no.9).

The most famous track from This Mortal Coil ‘Song To The Siren’ had already made the Festive Fifty the previous year. But covers of Big Star and Roy Harper deservedly made it the following year:

This Mortal Coil -‘Kangaroo.’ mp3 (1984 Festive Fifty no.21)

This Mortal Coil -‘Another Day.’ mp3 (1984 Festive Fifty no.33)

Finally, a great early Pogues track from their debut Red Roses For Me:

The Pogues -‘The Dark Streets Of London.’ mp3 (1984 Festive Fifty no.45)

Keep it tuned, as it were, to 17 Seconds, there’ll be more music to come this weekend…

(They were John Peel’s favourite band, you know!)

‘There are apparently some people out there who don’t like The Fall. I spurn them with my toe.’ John Peel

I’m two days away from the school term finishing. I’m currently more upbeat and optimistic about both my working life and my profession than I have been for a long time. The blog is apparently still being read by people, and I’m also getting a lot of people contacting me about featuring bands (I haven’t stopped doing this, you understand, but it reached the stage where I had thirty band wanting to be friends with me on MySpace and I was trying to give them the benefit of the doubt). I’m still trying to wake people up to older stuff too.

Anyway, here’s three tracks from the legendary Mark E. Smith, one with last year’s collaboration with Mouse On Mars as Von Sudenfed, one a collaboration with the Inspiral Carpets (and his second Festive Fifty no.1) and a classic from The Fall:

Von Sudenfed -‘That Sound Wiped.’ mp3

Inspiral Carpets featuring Mark E. Smith -‘I Want You.’ mp3

The Fall -‘Spoilt Victorian Child.’ mp3

If you have never bought a Fall album, shame on you, I recommend This Nation’s Saving Grace for a studio album, and 50,000 Fall Fans Can’t Be Wrong as an introductory compilation. In the words of Mr. Smith himself ‘Noteboks Out, Plagiarists!’

More Peel, anyone?

John Peel engaging in one of his and my favourite activities

OK, some more from Peelie’s Festive Fifty…

Mo-Dettes -‘White Mice.’ mp3
(1980 Festive Fifty no.56)

Shop Assistants -‘Safety net. ‘ mp3 (1986 Festive Fifty, no.8) (For AJ!)

Inspiral Carpets featuring Mark E. Smith -‘I Want You.’ mp3 (1994 Festive Fifty no.1)

Prince -‘Sign O’ The Times.’ mp3 (1987 Festive Fifty no.32)

Sluts Of Trust -‘Leave You Wanting More.’ mp3 (2004 Festive Fifty no.5)

The Fall -‘Don’t Call Me Darling.’ mp3 (1995 Festive Fifty no.24)

M/A/R/R/S/ -‘Pump Up The Volume.’ mp3 (1987 Festive Fifty no.46)

10,000 Maniacs -‘Can’t Ignore The Train. ‘ mp3 (1985 Festive Fifty no.59)

Ride -‘Dreams Burn Down.’ mp3 (1990 Festive Fifty no.3)

Aphex Twin -‘Girl/Boy.’ mp3 (1996 Festive Fifty no.29)

More vinyl goodness will be appearing here later today…watch this space…

Another Festive Fifty themed post thingy

Sorry for the lack of posts over the last few days, things have been rather busy. Anyway…how about some more Peel-related posts, eh?

The Delgados -‘American Trilogy.’ mp3 (2000 Festive Fifty no.10)

Aphex Twin – Windowlicker.’ mp3 (1999 Festive Fifty no.42) (How the hell did this only get to no.42 and the Cuban Boys were no.1?! Go figure…)

Clinic -‘The Second Line.’ mp3 (2000 Festive Fifty no.28)

Hole -‘Beautiful Son.’ mp3 (1993 Festive Fifty no.47)

The Fall -‘Dr. Buck’s Letter.’ mp3 (2000 Festive Fifty no.3)

Melys -‘Chinese Whispers.’ mp3 (2001 Festive Fifty no.1)

…And You Will Know Us By The Trail Of Dead -‘Mistakes And Regrets.’ mp3 (2000 Festive Fifty no.4)

Age Of Chance -‘Kiss.’ mp3 (1986 Festive Fifty no.2)

Calexico -‘Ballad Of Cable Hogue.’ mp3 (2000 Festive Fifty no.22)

Frankie Goes To Hollywood -‘Two Tribes.’ mp3 (1984 Festive Fifty no.25)

It’s funny, I felt in 2000 that I felt increasingly rmeoved from the music scene, as I failed to really love 2-step garage or nu-metal. Maybe there was much better stuff than I appreciated…



Yet Another Festive Fifty-themed post

Here are ten songs today from the legendary Festive Fifty compiled by John Peel. As yesterday’s entry focused on the eighties, it seemed only fair to do the nineties today. Some of the records were obscure, but other artists went on to do massively well. Much like the eighties, in fact.

The Disposable Heroes Of Hiphoprisy -‘Television: The Drug Of The Nation.’ mp3 (1992 Festive Fifty No.38)

Dawn Of the Replicants -‘Science Fiction Freak.’ mp3 (1999 Festive Fifty No.29)

The Orb -‘The Box.’ mp3 (1996 Festive Fifty No.7)

The Fall -‘Bill Is Dead.’ mp3 (1990 Festive Fifty No.1)

Nirvana -‘Where Did You Sleep Last Night?’ mp3 (1994 Festive Fifty no.27)

Hefner -‘The Hymn For the Cigarettes.’ mp3 (1999 Festive Fifty no.2)

Orbital -‘Blue Room.’ mp3 (1992 Festive Fifty No. 20)

AC Acoustics -‘I Messiah Am Jailer.’ mp3 (1997 Festive Fifty no.19)*

Slowdive -‘Catch the Breeze.’ mp3 (1991 Festive Fifty No.20)

Paris Angels -‘All On You(Perfume).’ mp3 (1990 Festive Fifty no.6)

* OK, I’m aware that there were only thirty-one records in the chart that year due to restrictions on John Peel’s time. But you get the point, yes?

Songs For Christmas X

Hello again.

School holidays just cannot come soon enough. The kids are bouncing off the walls and dragging myself out of bed is getting harder. Nine days to go, not that I’m counting, or anything…

oh yes, songs for Christmas:

First up, today, legendary Japanese 3-piece band Shonen Knife:

Shonen Knife -‘Space Christmas.’ mp3

And a Fall song, not yet featured over at I Wish It Could Be Christmas Everyday (which is an excellent blog, btw, if you haven’t checked it out:)

The Fall -‘(We Wish You) A Protein Christmas.’ mp3 RE-POSTED BY POPULAR REQUEST 19/12/07

More to come… : )

Covers for the weekend: The Fall

I seem to have got into the habit of doing artist related cover posts of late. Why not, eh? Following on from Sonic Youth and Placebo, how about a mini one on The Fall?

This one was originally recorded for the Sergeant Pepper Knew My Father compilation for Childline organised by NME in 1988. Smith sounds like he’s almost singing, I swear!

The Fall -‘A Day In The Life.’ mp3

I know I’ve posted this before, but this, from 1993’s The Infotainment Scan is a cover of a Sister Sledge song. (The same album also has them covering Lee Peery’s Why Are People Grudgeful? but I cannot put my hand on it at the moment)

The Fall -‘Lost In Music.’ mp3

In the late 1980s, The Fall actually started troubling the national charts, though Mark E. Smith wouldn’t end up appearing on Top Of the Pops until he provided vocals on the Inspiral Carpets’ ‘I Want You’ single, in 1994 (later no.1 that year in John Peel’s Festive Fifty). It may have helped that some of these were covers, but as you would expect, done in the Fall’s own style, and certainly not ‘obvious’ songs:

This song was originally by The Kinks:

The Fall -‘Victoria.’ mp3

This was a soul song, by R. Dean Taylor:

The Fall -‘There’s A Ghost In My House.’ mp3

This was by a band called The Other Half, and was The first single to make the top 75:

The Fall -‘Mr. Pharmacist.’ mp3

Finally, this Gene Vincent cover was a Double a-side with the single of ‘Couldn’t Get Ahead’, taken from This Nation’s Saving Grace, still my favourite Fall album.

The Fall -‘Rollin’ Dany.’ mp3 (there is only one ‘n’ I have checked the sleeve)

I did consider posting their cover of ‘Hark! The Herald Angels Sing!’ but decided to keep that for a Christmas post. Can’t believe it’s already November 10…


Seven Songs Selected At Random

(Roddy Frame of Aztec Camera)

These seven songs have indeed been selected at random!

Enjoy. And as always, if you like what you hear GO AND SUPPORT THE ARTISTS INVOLVED!!

Aztec Camera -‘Jump (Van Halen cover).’ mp3

Talking Heads -‘Memories Can’t Wait.’ mp3

Pretty Girls make Graves -‘This Is Our Emergency.’ mp3

Danger Mouse and Gemini -‘Ghetto Pop Life.’ mp3

The Fall -‘Spoilt Victorian Child.’ mp3

Goldie -‘Inner City Life.’ mp3

Disposable Heroes of Hiphoprisy -‘Television, The Drug Of the Nation.’ mp3

Happy Listening, wherever you may be…


If I had to pick a favourite era for music, it would be 1977-1982.

Of course, I was too young to know what it meant at the time, but it’s the era that I have spent time tracking down the most sounds from.

There was just so much great stuff: The original UK punks finally getting the chance to make records, Roots reggae from Jamaica, the beginning of Hip-Hop, Bowie’s Berlin period, the beginning of indie, Post-punk, New Wave, No Wave, Disco, New Romantics (before it got silly), Marvin Gaye’s ‘Sexual Healing’, Siouxsie, the arrival of Madonna, Michael Jackson’s Off The Walland Thriller.

OK, so i’m sure people could write long lists about all the crap they had to live through musically, socially and personally and they’d be right too.

But -and it’s hard to do it justice -my view of six great tracks from the period.

Human League -‘Being Boiled.’ mp3

Scritti politti -‘Skank Bloc Bologna.’ mp3

James Chance -‘Contort Yourself.’ mp3

The Cramps -‘Human Fly.’ mp3

Wire -‘Three girl Rhumba.’ mp3

The Fall -‘Bingo Master’s Breakout!’ mp3

as always, if you like what you hear, support the artists involved!