We’ve reached 2002.  The Fall have yet another new label, this time it’s Action Records, based out of an indie record store in Preston, Lancashire.

The first studio recording for the label appears as a 7″ and CD single in December 2002 under the heading of The Fall vs 2003. Quite incredibly, given how rarely any of the 45s made into the UK singles charts, this one enters at #64, albeit it drops back down again the following week.

mp3: The Fall – Susan vs. Youthclub
mp3: The Fall – Janet vs Johnny
mp3: The Fall – Susan vs. Youthclub (remix)

The music is made by a five-piece line-up, consisting of MES (vocals), Ben Pritchard (guitar, vocals), Jim Watts (bass, guitar, programming), Dave Milner (drums, vocals, keyboards) and
Elena Poulou (keyboards, vocals).

Worth mentioning that MES and Elena would, in due course, get married and that her eventual 14-year stint in the band (2002-2016) would see her become the third-longest other serving member of The Fall, behind the double legends of Steve Hanley (1979-1998) and Craig Scanlon (1979-1995)

Susan vs. Youthclub is yet another huge shift in direction, soundwise. Yes, there are guitars on it, but it’s very much in the genre of electronica. Janet vs Johnny, a much slower number than usual from The Fall, is quite hypnotic in nature. The remix of the single, which was only made available on the CD version, can be presented as evidence against anyone who tried to claim all songs by The Fall sound the same.

I’ve mentioned before that I had more or less stopped having any interest in The Fall at this point in time, so it would be a few years before I picked up anything at all about this particular single. I have to admit that was my loss, particularly when it comes to the remix version, which is a tremendous listen.



  1. We may well have discovered this song the same way, via The Fall compilations that followed a couple of years later. I like the remix.

    I’d not heard Janet vs Johnny before, but as the title suggests, it’s an earlier version of the song Janet, Johnny + James that appeared on 2003’s The Real New Fall LP (Formerly ‘Country On The Click’). Again, I like this version.

    On the whole, a good EP by comparison with what immediately went before, but a shadow of The Fall at their peak.

  2. “Susan vs. Youthclub is yet another huge shift in direction”
    The Fall, always different, always the same

  3. “A startling vision of a future that didn’t happen.”. Kinda sums up what The Fall were about. Sometimes.

  4. First time I hear Susan vs. Youthclub was absolutely on the 50,000 Fall Fans… compilation.
    I prefer the album version of Janet, Johnny and James, it seems more immediate. But if you want to know just how great the song really is, you MUST hear PJ Harvey’s live take – something you can find with ease on YouTube.

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