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Most of this blog is related in some way to the music, books and films produced by Gonzo Multimedia, but the editor has a grasshopper mind and so also writes about all sorts of cultural issues which interest him, and which he hopes will interest you as well.

Friday, 14 June 2019

THE FALL: Interim

Genre: Pop/Rock Release Date: 22nd March 2019 Label: Cog Sinister Catalogue Number: COGGZ125CD

I always liked bootlegs, and official records like this that were never originally meant for release, because they gave a privileged look at the functioning of an artist that was never meant to be experienced outside the artist’s own privileged circle. It has been widely written that the rehearsal tapes from The Beatles’ Get Back sessions actually give the listener an insight into the band as it fell apart.
These recordings, by English post-punk mavericks, The Fall, give a valuable insight into the ethos of the band; how they prepared for live shows, how they composed their music, and above all, a glimpse of what it might have been like to work with their legendary, and abrasive frontman, Mark E. Smith.
Wikipedia tells us that Smith had “a difficult and complex personality,” which seems to me, having interviewed various people over the years who worked with, or were scarified by, Smith to be somewhat of an understatement. He was possessed of a bitingly acid wit, and was one of the most popular interviewees from the post-punk generation, and even people who didn’t like his music would read his interviews, often containing deadly put-downs of various music industry stalwarts, with great pleasure. His sardonic and vicious wit often fuelled his lyrics, and in this classic rehearsal tape, you can see how the process of fusing Smith’s lyrics and vocals with the rest of the music actually worked.

Often bitterly confrontational, Smith was one of rock music’s true originals, up there with Captain Beefheart, and I doubt whether we shall ever see his like again.
CURRENTLY AVAILABLE FROM GONZO
I Am As Pure As Oranj
SCD - £9.99

Live at TJs Newport 2001
CD - £7.99

Live at the Band on the Wall, Manchester 1982
CD - £7.99

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