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The Real New Fall LP (Formerly Country on the Click)

The Real New Fall LP (Formerly Country on the Click) is an album by The Fall. It was released on Action Records in the United Kingdom in 2003, and then on Narnack Records in the United States, with a slightly altered tracklisting, in 2004.

The subtitle is explained by the fact that the tracks were originally scheduled for release under the title Country on the Click. The tracks were recorded between December 2002 and January 2003, and mixed, by Grant Showbiz and Jim Watts, in February 2003. Promos were sent out and three of the new songs were previewed in the band's 23rd Peel Session, recorded 19 February and broadcast 13 March 2003. The release was delayed after a mix appeared on the internet, prompting Mark E. Smith to partially remix, re-record and re-sequence the album. The original title still appears on the CD spine.

The album features the song "Theme from Sparta F.C.", which, since 2005, has been used as the theme music to the Final Score section of BBC television's Saturday afternoon sports coverage. In 2006, Smith was also invited to read out the classified football results on the BBCi interactive service "Score"; this performance was in turn released by the Sonic Arts Network on their Stewart Lee compiled album The Topography of Chance. An alternative version of the tune, "Theme from Sparta F.C. #2", was released as a UK single in 2004, and this version also appears on the U.S. formats of the album. A further version appeared on Interim.

Comparison between original and released UK versions

Of the twelve tracks on the album, many were altered drastically. Some songs were rewritten substantially, whilst others were rerecordings of essentially the same material. Songs rewritten were:

Mike's Love Xexagon: This song underwent the most major change, from what was a fairly normal bass-drums-guitar-keyboard arrangement to something more avant garde. The lyrics from the second verse onwards were rewritten, and the previously two-part chorus (featuring a solo lead vocal in the first and a group chorus-vocal in the second) was condensed to one, the two vocal parts now doing call-and-response. The bass was all but mixed out of this version, making for a more tribal sound.

Boxoctosis: The new version was simplified, and what in the original was a basic 4 chord preamble to the winding chorus riff, now supplanted the latter as the main riff of the song. The backing vocals also played a more prominent role.

Mountain Energei: Whereas the original version had a very dense sound, with layered vocals in the chorus and shorter verses, the new version was very sparse, mainly driven by bass and drums with minimal interjection from guitar and keyboard. In the chorus, the backing vocal harmony from the old version becomes the solo lead-vocal in the new version. There were also some lyrical changes.

Janet, Johnny + James: On the released version of the album, this song replaced the single A-side Susan Vs Youthclub from the previous year. An earlier version had appeared as the B-side to that single, under the name Janet vs Johnny. This is version is a faster, more assured run through than slower, more ethereal early version.

Other songs were partially or completely rerecorded, whilst the material remained essentially the same:

Green Eyed Loco-Man: The vocals were rerecorded in a manner closer to the Peel version, the group vocals were removed from the chorus, and the keyboards were lowered in the mix.

Theme From Sparta F.C.: Rerecorded from scratch, this version was faster and more guitar centered. The keyboard arrangements were removed leaving a sparser sound, and a portion of the bassline (which used to precede the group-chant) was dropped.

Contraflow: Another slightly faster version, with a sung section removed from the vocals, and most of the keyboards taken out.

The Past: Seemingly the most obtuse reworking - what was previously a fully fleshed out punk song featuring the whole band now has bass and guitar removed, leaving only drums, keyboards and vocals. There is a persistent theme of self-sabotage running through the Fall's career and the mutation here can be seen to symbolise this. Additionally the vocals are rerecorded, and the original lyrical hook ('Only humans carry their past around') is now just a one-off aside.

Recovery Kit: Layered vocals are removed, the keyboards are less to the forefront, and the lyrics are altered. In particular the phrase 'Oh father', which originally played a key role, is absent here.

The remaining songs - Houston, Proteinprotection and Last Commands of Xyralothep Via M.E.S. - are the only tracks to remain essentially the same. In addition to the noted changes, there also appear to be sarcastic references on the album to the leaking of the album on the internet, most obviously in the new title, but also in various lyrical asides (The song The Past was incorrectly titled The Fast on the file-sharing networks. In the new version he sings 'Only humans carry their fast around, their past around'. Mikes Love Xexagon originally started with the line 'The room was a hexagon'. Fans speculated online that he could be referring to the hexagonal studio at Maida Vale where bands - including the Fall - recorded for John Peel. The released version starts with 'Studio was a hexagon').

Overall, the effect of Smith's reworking is to give the album a sparser, less 'pop' sound. The unreleased version has a very dense wall-of-sound approach and relies heavily on sequencing and synth arrangements, evoking at some points such various genres as industrial, techno and space-rock. Most of this is removed in the final version, where the focus tends to be more on the guitars. Both versions have their champions, but most people contend that the released version is truer to the Fall in spirit.

Track listing

UK version

  1. "Green Eyed Loco-Man" (Mark E. Smith, Jim Watts) – 3:47
  2. "Mountain Energei" (Dave Milner, Smith) – 3:22
  3. "Theme From Sparta F.C." (Ben Pritchard, Smith, Watts) – 3:43
  4. "Contraflow" (Smith, Watts) – 4:06
  5. "Last Commands of Xyralothep Via M.E.S." (Milner, Smith) – 3:20
  6. "Open the Boxoctosis #2" (Smith, Watts) – 3:46
  7. "Janet, Johnny + James" (Pritchard, Smith) – 4:15
  8. "The Past #2" (Smith, Watts) – 2:20
  9. "Loop41 `Houston" (Lee Hazlewood) – 3:20
  10. "Mike's Love Xexagon" (Smith, Watts) – 4:59
  11. "Proteinprotection" (Milner, Pritchard, Smith, Watts) – 3:19
  12. "Recovery Kit" (Pritchard, Smith) – 3:58

US version

The American release has a different cover and abbreviates the titles of several tracks, although most are identical to their UK conterparts. "Sparta 2#" and "Recovery Kit 2#" are alternate recordings, while "Mod Mock Goth" and "Portugal" were not included on the UK version of the LP but did feature on UK singles.

  1. "Green Eyed" (Mark E. Smith, Jim Watts) – 3:46
  2. "Mountain" (Dave Milner, Smith) – 3:22
  3. "Sparta 2#" (Ben Pritchard, Smith, Watts) – 3:49
  4. "Contraflow" (Smith, Watts) – 4:05
  5. "Xralothep" (Milner, Smith) – 3:20
  6. "Janet vs. Johnny" (Pritchard, Smith) – 4:15
  7. "Boxoctosis" (Smith, Watts) – 3:45
  8. "The Past" (Smith, Watts) – 2:19
  9. "Mod Mock Goth" (Smith, Elenor Poulou) – 4:12
  10. "Protein Protection" (Milner, Pritchard, Smith, Watts) – 3:17
  11. "Mike's Love Hexagon" (Smith, Watts) – 4:59
  12. "41.Loop / Houston" (Lee Hazlewood) – 3:28
  13. "Portugal" (Smith, Simon Archer, Milner, Poulou, Pritchard) – 3:37
  14. "Recovery Kit 2#" (Pritchard, Smith, S. Beswick [uncredited], Rob Lally [uncredited]) – 4:03

Unreleased Original Version

  1. "Theme From Sparta F.C." (Ben Pritchard, Smith, Watts) – 3:48
  2. "Proteinprotection" (Milner, Pritchard, Smith, Watts) – 3:19
  3. "Mountain Energei" (Dave Milner, Smith) – 3:29
  4. "Contraflow" (Smith, Watts) – 4:41
  5. "Green Eyed Loco-Man" (Smith, Watts) – 3:57
  6. "Last Commands of Xyralothep Via M.E.S." (Milner, Smith) – 3:20
  7. "Boxoctosis" (Smith, Watts) – 3:40
  8. "Ho(e)uston" (Lee Hazlewood) – 3:20
  9. "The Past" (Smith, Watts) – 2:20
  10. "Mike's Love Xexagon" (Smith, Watts) – 5:15
  11. "Recovery Kit" (Pritchard, Smith) – 4:10
  12. "Susan Vs Youthclub" (Dave Milner, Smith) - 3.40

Personnel

  • The Fall:
  • S. Beswick - keyboards on "Recovery Kit"
  • Ed Blaney - backing vocals

External links

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