Alternative Ranking Project

Alternative Ranking Project

gappy tooth
Member
Joined: 13 Jun 2003, 11:23

17 Sep 2017, 16:24 #1

I’ve been quite intrigued by people revisiting all the LPs here recently, but I got to thinking that it might be more interesting to listen to the records in a different order, to shake up expectations and relationships the release schedule entails.  So, I thought I might listen to all the main records in alphabetical order.  I shall most likely post my thoughts here, but if anyone else wants to join in, feel free.  I’ve left 2 days for each one, because sometimes life gets in the way of important things like spinning records.

Some notes

1) I have included Slates and Remainderer.  I just think they’re interesting enough to be included.  You’ll note that I’ve not referred to “albums” above, but to “main records”, which term I retain the right to apply but not define, so please don’t embarrass yourself by complaining.  All taxonomy is ultimately arbitrary, and if you are upset, please ignore this, and/or create your own thread.
2) All titles appear as they do the discography on here, but definite articles have been ignored.
3) What constitutes the record for reviewing purposes?
a) If there are various global versions, the UK version is selected.
b ) The original release always trumps rereleases (in terms of tracklist, I don’t mind which master you listen to).
c) If some formats have extra tracks, the shortest version is considered the core record (eg “League Moon Monkey Mix” is not part of TIS; “Town & Country Hobgoblins” is not part of Bend Sinister).
d) Where different formats feature the same tracklist, but contain alternative versions/recordings/edits of the same compositions I shall leave it up to you which you choose.  I think that SLT is the only record where the versions are sufficiently different to actually affect the various listening experiences.

Are You Are Missing Winner 01-Oct
Bend Sinister 03-Oct
Cerebral Caustic 05-Oct
Code: Selfish 07-Oct
Dragnet 09-Oct
Ersatz GB 11-Oct
Extricate 13-Oct
Fall Heads Roll 15-Oct
Frenz Experiment 17-Oct
Grotesque 19-Oct
Hex Enduction Hour 21-Oct
I Am Kurious Oranj 23-Oct
Imperial Wax Solvent 25-Oct
Infotainment Scan 27-Oct
Levitate 29-Oct
Light User Syndrome 31-Oct
Live At The Witch Trials 02-Nov
Marshall Suite 04-Nov
Middle Class Revolt 06-Nov
New Facts Emerge 08-Nov
Perverted By Language 10-Nov
Real New Fall LP (Formerly Country On The Click) 12-Nov
Reformation! Post-TLC 14-Nov
Remainderer 16-Nov
Re-mit 18-Nov
Room To Live 20-Nov
Shift-work 22-Nov
Slates 24-Nov
Sublingual Tablet 26-Nov
This Nation's Saving Grace 28-Nov
Unutterable 30-Nov
Wonderful & Frightening World Of The Fall 02-Dec
Your Future Our Clutter 04-Dec
Good Vi-b-b-b-b-b-b-b-b-bratio-xx
Reply

Steve69
Member
Joined: 23 Feb 2017, 14:34

17 Sep 2017, 16:27 #2

Interesting idea. I might do this at some point in the future, but I'm currently only up to the mid-90s on my chronological journey.
Reply

gappy tooth
Member
Joined: 13 Jun 2003, 11:23

17 Sep 2017, 16:30 #3

I probably won't manage my own schedule, in all honesty, but I should get it down by Xmas.
Maybe. :rolleyes:
Good Vi-b-b-b-b-b-b-b-b-bratio-xx
Reply

tempertantrum
Member
Joined: 16 Mar 2015, 15:43

17 Sep 2017, 16:31 #4

I'm in, I think. I like that there are two days for each album. So easy to fall behind on an album a day.
We are not adults, we are crusty mystics
Reply

Steve69
Member
Joined: 23 Feb 2017, 14:34

17 Sep 2017, 16:37 #5

tempertantrum @ Sep 17 2017, 05:31 PM wrote: I'm in, I think. I like that there are two days for each album. So easy to fall behind on an album a day.
I don't think I'll ever manage the album a day thing - my days are too varied due to work & kids (work varies between home and hotels; kids are here for only part of the week). I went for the in the car thing because it's the only place I can concentrate on the music!
Reply

Pott
Member
Pott
Member
Joined: 21 Sep 2006, 13:48

17 Sep 2017, 18:29 #6

I don't think we can call Slates 'a record' :grrr:
I'm not that type of wanker.
Reply

Philh
Member
Joined: 07 Sep 2006, 22:38

17 Sep 2017, 20:00 #7

This is a bit daft. I'm definitely in. I don't think I'll rank them but I'll try and respond to each one.
He was the best man I never met.
Reply

Philh
Member
Joined: 07 Sep 2006, 22:38

17 Sep 2017, 20:02 #8

Wise 'Ol Man?
He was the best man I never met.
Reply

Shrimper
Member
Joined: 05 Nov 2013, 18:43

17 Sep 2017, 20:51 #9

Good idea. Might partake. I'll certainly be following this fred.
'He's absolutely fucking crackers'
johncoan
Reply

delmore
Moderator
delmore
Moderator
Joined: 04 Feb 2009, 22:07

18 Sep 2017, 02:22 #10

I'll follow on, conditional upon my player once again recognizing the sd card on which my collection is parked. :banghead:

Hopefully that works out, I'd hate to miss out on such a well-ordered proposition.
MSGM3... Shombalor!

[img]http://i66.tinypic.com/16iic9l.jpg[img]

http://www.emoticons.online.fr/index.php?cat=Default

The cure was in no pill.
Reply

Joined: 06 Mar 2017, 20:22

18 Sep 2017, 13:26 #11

delmore @ Sep 18 2017, 02:22 PM wrote:I'll follow on, conditional upon my player once again recognizing the sd card on which my collection is parked. :banghead:

Hopefully that works out, I'd hate to miss out on such a well-ordered proposition.
Is the SD card the only location where you have the music? If so, what I'm about to say doesn't apply to you.
If you do have the music in another location e.g. on a computer's hard drive then formatting the SD card might help. If this is the case...
I don't know if you have a computer and if you do if it's a Windows operating system or maybe Apple OSX or Linux/BSD.
If you have a Windows computer/laptop and it has a SD card slot or you have one of those USB card readers which takes SD cards then you can format the card.
Now Windows itself has an option for formatting SD cards / USB sticks etc. Under My Computer / This PC (Windows 10) if you right-click the SD card there should be a format option.
But once before I had trouble with a SD card and formatting it didn't help using Windows. Then somebody in a forum asked if I'd tried the official SD Memory Card Formatter.

https://www.sdcard.org/downloads/formatter_4

SD Memory Card Formatter 5.0 for SD/SDHC/SDXC

The SD Memory Card Formatter formats SD Memory Card, SDHC Memory Card and SDXC Memory Card (respectively SD/SDHC/SDXC Cards) complying with the SD File System Specification created by the SD Association (SDA).

It is strongly recommended to use the SD Memory Card Formatter to format SD/SDHC/SDXC Cards rather than using formatting tools provided with individual operating systems. In general, formatting tools provided with operating systems can format various storage media including SD/SDHC/SDXC Cards, but it may not be optimized for SD/SDHC/SDXC Cards and it may result in lower performance.

SD/SDHC/SDXC Cards have a “Protected Area” for SD Card security purposes. The SD Memory Card Formatter does not format the protected area in the SD/SDHC/SDXC Cards. The protected area shall be formatted by an appropriate PC application or SD host devices that provide SD security function.

The SD Memory Card Formatter doesn't support SD/SDHC/SDXC Card encrypted by the “BitLocker To Go" functionality of Windows. Please format the SD/SDHC/SDXC Card after it has been unlocked.



I tried it and it worked. Just thought I'd mention it. Since I last looked they now have a Mac version as well as Windows.
"Well, no Jack, I never sit down and listen to lyrics,
because rock 'n' roll is not sit-down-and-listen-to-lyrics music!"
Sterling Morrison, circa 1980
Reply

delmore
Moderator
delmore
Moderator
Joined: 04 Feb 2009, 22:07

18 Sep 2017, 19:11 #12

Chubby Round Jowls @ Sep 18 2017, 09:26 AM wrote:
delmore @ Sep 18 2017, 02:22 PM wrote:I'll follow on, conditional upon my player once again recognizing the sd card on which my collection is parked. :banghead:

Hopefully that works out, I'd hate to miss out on such a well-ordered proposition.
Is the SD card the only location where you have the music? If so, what I'm about to say doesn't apply to you.
If you do have the music in another location e.g. on a computer's hard drive then formatting the SD card might help. If this is the case...
I don't know if you have a computer and if you do if it's a Windows operating system or maybe Apple OSX or Linux/BSD.
If you have a Windows computer/laptop and it has a SD card slot or you have one of those USB card readers which takes SD cards then you can format the card.
Now Windows itself has an option for formatting SD cards / USB sticks etc. Under My Computer / This PC (Windows 10) if you right-click the SD card there should be a format option.
But once before I had trouble with a SD card and formatting it didn't help using Windows. Then somebody in a forum asked if I'd tried the official SD Memory Card Formatter.

https://www.sdcard.org/downloads/formatter_4

SD Memory Card Formatter 5.0 for SD/SDHC/SDXC

The SD Memory Card Formatter formats SD Memory Card, SDHC Memory Card and SDXC Memory Card (respectively SD/SDHC/SDXC Cards) complying with the SD File System Specification created by the SD Association (SDA).

It is strongly recommended to use the SD Memory Card Formatter to format SD/SDHC/SDXC Cards rather than using formatting tools provided with individual operating systems. In general, formatting tools provided with operating systems can format various storage media including SD/SDHC/SDXC Cards, but it may not be optimized for SD/SDHC/SDXC Cards and it may result in lower performance.

SD/SDHC/SDXC Cards have a “Protected Area” for SD Card security purposes. The SD Memory Card Formatter does not format the protected area in the SD/SDHC/SDXC Cards. The protected area shall be formatted by an appropriate PC application or SD host devices that provide SD security function.

The SD Memory Card Formatter doesn't support SD/SDHC/SDXC Card encrypted by the “BitLocker To Go" functionality of Windows. Please format the SD/SDHC/SDXC Card after it has been unlocked.



I tried it and it worked. Just thought I'd mention it. Since I last looked they now have a Mac version as well as Windows.
I'll look that up, though I suspect it's problem with the device. The card opened fine on a computer.
MSGM3... Shombalor!

[img]http://i66.tinypic.com/16iic9l.jpg[img]

http://www.emoticons.online.fr/index.php?cat=Default

The cure was in no pill.
Reply

Country Folk
Member
Joined: 20 Jan 2004, 21:29

18 Sep 2017, 20:15 #13

gappy tooth @ Sep 18 2017, 04:24 AM wrote: Some notes

1) I have included Slates
Translation; "I have (re)opened a giant can of worms."

Doesn't matter how well-reasoned your logic - you, Gappy, have opened a GIANT can of worms.

That aside, I'm up for this. :thumbsup:
Reply

gappy tooth
Member
Joined: 13 Jun 2003, 11:23

01 Oct 2017, 14:32 #14

So, here we are at the start of an alphabetical survey of Fall records which I may live to regret. Are You Are Missing Winner is a great one to start with, because I have a lot of baggage tied up with my judgement of this record – when it came out I felt disappointed that the group had released a record that was clearly barely finished, and it’s hard to shake that residual feeling I was being ripped off (“Does it look like I have on my forehead...”). It is good to try to listen to this on its own merits, ignoring the fact that it was released straight after a true favourite (subject to review later in the month, of course!).

Of course, the evidence points to the fact that The Fall was absolutely skint at this time, so perhaps releasing a half-arsed LP might be more forgivable, though it won’t make it any better an album. Shall we begin?

The opening trio of tracks is absolutely great, full fat and layered – if all the record had sounded like this, it would be a killer (and, if anyone is wondering what AYWAMW would have sounded like had the group had the time/money/inclination to finish it, you don’t need to, it’s called New facts Emerge). The question that comes to me now is, in what sense is this a “new Fall”, is this a turning point? At the time I didn;t think so at all, but now I sort of think it might be. It’s certainly the earliest record to be so clearly influenced by classic rock. Of course, the band had been clearly connected to psych, early RnR and the golden age of novelty singles for a long time, but this is the start of the Fall sound we know today, I’d argue. Yes, there was that Zep reference 2 albums before, but I always felt that stuck out like a sore thumb (again, we shall see in the near future what I feel now).

Anyway, awesome opening trio. Classmates is a bit thin and demo-ey, but it is bouncy and fun. Kick The Can is...alright. An album track is OK by me, in fact I think it’s often good that an LP isn’t 12 tracks of astounding genius, to keep things digestible, but it only works if there’s an album for it to fit into. The A section really sounds like Oasis to me, though.

Afro Man I don’t really like, but I shall chalk it up as a failed experiment – certainly in the gig I saw about 6 months before the LP’s release this was brilliant, a stand-out moment (or rather 8 minutes).

The Acute and Hollow Mind are simply shit. They’re just without value, so far as I can judge. Barely any musical substance to get hold of, bashed out in demo style, and with cringeworthy lyrics. The cute is an interesting example of how writers who rail against society, and are able to twist and reflect it in grotesque ways, sometimes resort to petty whinging. Mark’s beloved Wyndham Lewis sometimes fell into this trap too. Whilst we’re at it, “Endless outstretched hands are the result of all you’ve given” sounds like a Daily Mail editorial. Hmmmm.

I have a theory that, whilst mucking about with the Insult Song style jam that is Bastardo, Mark suddenly remembered Gotta See Jane, and realised the lyrics fit (this is why he gets them a little wrong). The actual recording of Jane is, I reckon, pretty much the first run through, which is why it’s so moribund. The end of Bastardo hints at what an interesting version of this (very good) song they could have made, but the fact is they never did. Sotry of the album all over, if you ask me.

And, err, that’s it. An album is more than the sum of its parts, but sometimes it’s less too – there’s great material here, but the overall effect is lacklustre. Another few sessions in the studio and this could have produced a wonderful Slates-esque mini-LP, but as it is it feels both flabby and unsatisfyingly short (“And such small portions!”, as Woody Allen would say).

I’m looking forward myself to comparing this to records I’ve always been a bit unconvinced by, but which are more crafted. Anyway, at least at the moment it’s top of the results table 

Best track: Crop Dust
Worst track: Hollow Mind
Good Vi-b-b-b-b-b-b-b-b-bratio-xx
Reply

gappy tooth
Member
Joined: 13 Jun 2003, 11:23

01 Oct 2017, 14:48 #15

Interesting note, I've just been listening to the reissue bonus tracks (not included in review above or ranking, naturally), and have noticed for the first time that the towering genius that is Taxi features a metion of the Jude The Obscure, a pub in Oxford I know well. It used to be quite nice, probably still was when this was recorded; it's pretty crappy now, though.
:beer:
Good Vi-b-b-b-b-b-b-b-b-bratio-xx
Reply

Pott
Member
Pott
Member
Joined: 21 Sep 2006, 13:48

01 Oct 2017, 15:20 #16

You're reviewing the expanded/remastered version? It's one of my favourites, even The Acute and Hollow Mind, but I agree with you about Ibis-Afro Man.

I've never even heard the original 2001 release.
I'm not that type of wanker.
Reply

gappy tooth
Member
Joined: 13 Jun 2003, 11:23

01 Oct 2017, 15:23 #17

Pott @ Oct 2 2017, 03:20 AM wrote: You're reviewing the expanded/remastered version? It's one of my favourites, even The Acute and Hollow Mind, but I agree with you about Ibis-Afro Man.

I've never even heard the original 2001 release.
I listened to the remastered reissue, but I only reviewed the original LP tracks.

To be honest, the mastering really makes this souind different - as in, it was actually mastered :lol:. I don't generally care about different masters and stuff, but in this instance I wish I'd never got rid of my original copy. I'm sure I'll stumble across one in a chairty shop soon enough.
Good Vi-b-b-b-b-b-b-b-b-bratio-xx
Reply

dannyno
Moderator
dannyno
Moderator
Joined: 11 May 2004, 15:28

01 Oct 2017, 15:33 #18

gappy tooth @ Oct 1 2017, 03:32 PM wrote: Whilst we’re at it, “Endless outstretched hands are the result of all you’ve given” sounds like a Daily Mail editorial. Hmmmm.
Lord of the Flies:
Simon found for them the fruit they could not reach, pulled off the choicest from up in the foliage, passed them back down to the endless, outstretched hands. When he had satisfied them he paused and looked round.  The littluns watched him inscrutably over double handfuls of ripe fruit.
Dan
Reply

Philh
Member
Joined: 07 Sep 2006, 22:38

02 Oct 2017, 14:16 #19

ARE YOU ARE MISSING WINNER

Listened on Spotify so I don't know if they were the re-mastered tracks or not. It's hard to be sure through PC speakers.
This one was disappointing when it came out and I've never warmed to it.

Best track: Cropdust (CFT*). Jim's The Fall is the best of the rest.

CFT = Classic Fall Track.
He was the best man I never met.
Reply

Country Folk
Member
Joined: 20 Jan 2004, 21:29

02 Oct 2017, 17:24 #20

This isn't one I listen to often and, giving it another spin, I understand why. Jim's The Fall isn't a bad starter - there's energy to the performance and ecording has a rough'n'ready charm - but it's not a classic and there's a feeling the album could go either way from here.

Unfortunately, it's straight downhill. There's no reason Bourgeois Town shouldn't be great. It's got the potential to be a relentless Fall riff-monster but a tentative performance puts paid to that, and the recording sounds like a demo.

The lo-fi nature of recording actually works really well for Cropdust and it's here you realise how good the album could've been if only the ideas elsewhere had been better.

My Ex-Classmates' Kids - great title, though MES doesn't have much else to say and it ends up sounding like a thin take on Sister Ray. Gotta See Jane sounds like a one-take vocal and it's not that MES nailed it so well the first time there was no need for another go, more like no-one could really be arsed.

Kick The Can, Hollow Mind (Jerusalem without the good bits), The Acute... nothing to write home about but nothing offensively bad either. Ibis-Afro Man IS offensively bad. I get the feeling that's the whole point, and that's what elevates it to greatness!

The long jokey track at the end is long and not particularly funny.

Bit uninspired overall. MES doesn't have much to say, the band haven't really gelled with each other. If it was the only Fall I'd ever heard, I wouldn't bother checking out anything else. At the time, it seemed like this could be the end. In 2017, it just sounds like the a slightly below-par Fall album. Hell, everyone's allowed an off-day now and then.
Reply

Pott
Member
Pott
Member
Joined: 21 Sep 2006, 13:48

02 Oct 2017, 18:47 #21

Philh @ Oct 2 2017, 03:16 PM wrote: ARE YOU ARE MISSING WINNER

Listened on Spotify so I don't know if they were the re-mastered tracks or not. It's hard to be sure through PC speakers.
This one was disappointing when it came out and I've never warmed to it.

Best track: Cropdust (CFT*). Jim's The Fall is the best of the rest.

CFT = Classic Fall Track.
This is another CFT from AYAMW :wub:
I'm not that type of wanker.
Reply

gappy tooth
Member
Joined: 13 Jun 2003, 11:23

02 Oct 2017, 18:53 #22

Whilst I will admit that that is a surprisingly interesting track, I simply cannot agree that it is on AYAMW.
Good Vi-b-b-b-b-b-b-b-b-bratio-xx
Reply

Philh
Member
Joined: 07 Sep 2006, 22:38

02 Oct 2017, 20:50 #23

Country Folk @ Oct 2 2017, 05:24 PM wrote: This isn't one I listen to often and, giving it another spin, I understand why. Jim's The Fall isn't a bad starter - there's energy to the performance and ecording has a rough'n'ready charm - but it's not a classic and there's a feeling the album could go either way from here.

Unfortunately, it's straight downhill. There's no reason Bourgeois Town shouldn't be great. It's got the potential to be a relentless Fall riff-monster but a tentative performance puts paid to that, and the recording sounds like a demo.

The lo-fi nature of recording actually works really well for Cropdust and it's here you realise how good the album could've been if only the ideas elsewhere had been better.

My Ex-Classmates' Kids - great title, though MES doesn't have much else to say and it ends up sounding like a thin take on Sister Ray. Gotta See Jane sounds like a one-take vocal and it's not that MES nailed it so well the first time there was no need for another go, more like no-one could really be arsed.

Kick The Can, Hollow Mind (Jerusalem without the good bits), The Acute... nothing to write home about but nothing offensively bad either. Ibis-Afro Man IS offensively bad. I get the feeling that's the whole point, and that's what elevates it to greatness!

The long jokey track at the end is long and not particularly funny.

Bit uninspired overall. MES doesn't have much to say, the band haven't really gelled with each other. If it was the only Fall I'd ever heard, I wouldn't bother checking out anything else. At the time, it seemed like this could be the end. In 2017, it just sounds like the a slightly below-par Fall album. Hell, everyone's allowed an off-day now and then.
I pretty much agree with everything you say here.
He was the best man I never met.
Reply

Philh
Member
Joined: 07 Sep 2006, 22:38

02 Oct 2017, 22:21 #24

BEND SINISTER

A magnificent album. Of the ten tracks, less than half achieve CFT status, but many others are knocking on the door and there are no duds. It clearly holds together as more than the sum of its parts. John Leckie.

I listened to an original vinyl copy I bought a year or two back. Best track is Gross Chapel - British Grenadiers. Other CFTs are R.O.D., U.S. 80's -90's and Riddler!

Apologies for cheating and posting early, it's gotta be 3rd October somewhere.
He was the best man I never met.
Reply

Steve69
Member
Joined: 23 Feb 2017, 14:34

03 Oct 2017, 03:49 #25

Philh @ Oct 2 2017, 11:21 PM wrote: BEND SINISTER

A magnificent album. Of the ten tracks, less than half achieve CFT status, but many others are knocking on the door and there are no duds. It clearly holds together as more than the sum of its parts. John Leckie.

I listened to an original vinyl copy I bought a year or two back. Best track is Gross Chapel - British Grenadiers. Other CFTs are R.O.D., U.S. 80's -90's and Riddler!

Apologies for cheating and posting early, it's gotta be 3rd October somewhere.
I was really disappointed in it when I listened recently; I don't think it's aged well at all. Appreciate I'm in the minority, but I'd far rather listen to AYAMW, which I found really enjoyable.
Reply