Before The Fall Various Artists (Heard It Here First)

£11.50

Availablity:
World
Genre:
Rock'n'Roll
Label:
Ace Records
Format:
CD
Catalogue Id:
CDCHD 1299

If evidence were needed that all music is connected, this collection could well be it. You might think Australian punk, proto-Krautrock and Sister Sledge could only co-exist on a compilation called “Now That’s What I Call Utterly Unrelated”, but actually, beyond “Before The Fall”’s basic conceit, a few fragile connections start to present themselves. Henry Cow acted as support on a Captain Beefheart tour. Beefheart’s style was significantly influenced by bluesmen such as Leadbelly. Leadbelly and Pete Seeger hung out in 40s New York.

What else? ‘There’s A Ghost in My House’ and ‘Jungle Rock’ were both hits years after their original release. Fall fans wouldn’t automatically associate ‘The Mummy’ and ‘Transfusion’, yet listening to the originals reveals both as satire at the expense of the beatniks. ‘Transfusion’, like ‘Kimble’, owes much of its uniqueness to the innovative use of sound effects. ‘Kimble’ and ‘People Grudgeful’ are connected thanks to the fractious relationship between the artists concerned. ‘Grudgeful’ and ‘$ F--oldin’ Money $’ both play parts in stories of apparently unscrupulous label bosses. ‘$ F--oldin’ Money $’, ‘Rollin’ Danny’, ‘Transfusion’ and ‘Pinball Machine’ were all the work of artists who died before their time, some a little more before their time than others.

It’s fun to spot these connections but, as a Fall fan, I wouldn’t pin too much significance on them. Mark E Smith covered Monks’ tracks without even knowing their titles. He’s covered others without, by his own admission, being able to track down the publishing rights, knowing all the lyrics, or in the case of ‘War’, even remembering the tune. So while in some cases these originals will seem very familiar to Fall fans – the relative commercial success of ‘There’s a Ghost In My House’ and ‘Victoria’ is probably attributable to the fact the Fall didn’t muck about with the originals too much, while Smith’s vocal on ‘Mr Pharmacist’ is remarkably similar to Jeff Nowlen’s original – others are interesting as starting points for very different Fall readings.

These originals also demonstrate a lack of Smith snobbery towards music to which other contemporary bands would rapidly turn up their noses. Pop, blues, prog and daft novelties are all accorded the same respect, or lack of it.

As a fan of 60s garage, the Monks, Other Half and Sonics cuts on this collection were very familiar to me, but the journey into other genres has been a bit of a revelation. The habit of lifting rocksteady/reggae melody lines for retooling on other tracks led to a diverting trip which started with ‘People Grudgeful’ and took in related tracks such as ‘Longshot’, ‘Jackpot’ and ‘People Funny Boy’. Comparing versions of ‘Bourgeois Blues’, dipping a toe into the ocean of trucking music – all of this I would never have found myself doing had it not been for the cross-genre nature of Mark E Smith’s eclectic tastes.

By Dan Maier

Track listing

Side 1

  • 01
    Rollin' Danny - Gene Vincent & The Blue Caps

  • 02
    Mr Pharmacist - The Other Half

  • 03
    There's A Ghost In My House - R Dean Taylor

  • 04
    Victoria - The Kinks

  • 05
    Pinball Machine - Lonnie Irving

  • 06
    Popcorn Double Feature - The Searchers

  • 07
    Kimble - The Creators

  • 08
    Lost In Music - Sister Sledge

  • 09
    I'm Going To Spain - Steve Bent

  • 10
    Strychnine - The Sonics

  • 11
    People Grudgeful - Sir Gibbs

  • 12
    War - Henry Cow

  • 13
    Shut Up - The Monks

  • 14
    Beatle Bones 'N' Smokin' Stones - Captain Beefheart & His Magic Band

  • 15
    The Mummy - Bob McFadden & Dor

  • 16
    Jungle Rock - Hank Mizell

  • 17
    I Come And Stand At Every Door - Pete Seeger

  • 18
    $ F--oldin' Money $ - Tommy Blake

  • 19
    This Perfect Day - The Saints

  • 20
    The Bourgeois Blues - Leadbelly

  • 21
    African Man - Iggy Pop

  • 22
    Strange Town - The Groundhogs

  • 23
    Transfusion - Nervous Norvus

  • 24
    Funnel Of Love - Wanda Jackson

Delivery & Returns

We offer free P&P to UK addresses. For all other territories packaging is free and postage is charged on a weight basis.

We use Royal Mail First Class for UK deliveries and standard Air Mail for all other territories, very large orders will usually be sent via parcelforce. You may cancel your order at any time prior to your order being dispatched by emailing us at orders@acerecords.com ensuring that you quote your name, address and order reference number or by telephoning +44 (0) 208 453 1311 between 9am and 5pm GMT/BST, Monday to Friday. Please note: As music downloads are dispatched immediately after purchase, there is no possibility of cancelling these orders.

In the event that any products supplied to you by us are damaged or defective, we agree to replace or repair the damaged or defective products or refund the amount you paid for such goods (including postage & packaging) providing you notify us (either via post at or e-mail: orders@acerecords.com ) and return the goods within 28 days of purchase. Physical goods should be sent back to us in the same condition you received them to: “Returns” Bus Stop Mail Order Ltd, 42-50 Steele Road, London, NW10 7AS. Music downloads should be returned to us via the e-mail address above including a copy of your notification.

You have the right to cancel your order within seven days of purchase, or seven days of receipt of the goods (whichever is the longer). If you choose to cancel your order, full payment will be returned to you. Returned items should be sent to: “Returns” c/o Bus Stop Mail Order Ltd, 42-50 Steele Road, London, NW10 7AS. Music downloads should be returned to us via the email address: orders@acerecords.com including a copy of your notice of cancellation and order number.

Customer reviews

comments powered by Disqus

Press quotes

★★★★

Mojo

★★★★

Record Collector

Related products

Customers who bought this item also bought

© Ace records 2012