You’ll hopefully recall the end of last week’s posting referring to the American release of The Real New Fall LP, on 15 June 2004 in which I mentioned it contained alternate versions of the tracks issued on the UK version of the album some seven months previously.
One such alternate was released as a single in the UK on 28 June.
mp3: The Fall – Theme From Sparta F.C. #2
I mentioned a few weeks ago on the fact that Touch Sensitive is probably the best known song by The Fall here in the UK, thanks to its use in a car advert. It is probably matched by Theme From Sparta F.C. #2 as it would be used as the theme music to the football results section on Saturday afternoons on the main BBC1 channel.
The track, as its title indicates, is a re-take of the version originally included on the UK version of The Real New Fall. The version issued as the 45 had no trace of Jim Watts on it, despite him being one of the co-writers of the song, with the bass parts played by Simon Archer, who also co-produced it along with MES.
It’s no real surprise that the song was, eventually and belatedly, issued as a single. The original version had been voted in at #2 the previous year in the Peel Festive Fifty, and most reviews of the album referred to it as being a standout track. The new version actually made the UK singles chart, entering at #66, and in doing so would be the fifteenth and final time that a Fall 45 managed to break into the Top 75 of the official singles chart. It would also be voted in at #1 in the Peel Festive Fifty at the end of 2005 and, as mentioned above, would be used as a theme tune on BBC1 for four years until 2009.
It was issued on 7″ vinyl and CD. The vinyl now fetches upwards of £50 on the few occasions it comes up on the second-hand markets.
The b-sides have stories.
mp3: The Fall – My Ex-Classmates Kids (live, Cologne 2001)
The original version had been released on the much-maligned album, Are You Missing Winner?, and has been described as a sister song to I Wake Up In The City, (the b-side to Rude (All The Time, given that it shares the same basic riff.
mp3: The Fall – Portugal
The initial pressing of the CD also contained a hidden track, Portugal (aka Debacle (For The Record) which was only playable on a computer. It was, however, available on the US version of The Real New Fall. It’s seemingly all to do with an incident at a gig in Lisbon in September 2003 after which locally employed road managers and crew had a huge falling out with MES, resigning mid-show and making off with some of the takings, seemingly as payment not previously forthcoming for services rendered. The lyrics are not the work of MES, but are sung by Dave Milner, with a couple of lines added by Ben Pritchard.
As an overall package of three songs, it makes for a strange release, with the a-side offering as big a contrast to its b-sides as at any point in the band’s long history.