Thankfully, the release of the Rude (All The Time) EP was quickly followed up by a new single.
26 September 2005. It’s a double-A sided single, with a cover version on one side and an original on the other:-
mp3: The Fall – I Can Hear The Grass Grow
mp3: The Fall – Clasp Hands
It was issued on yet another different and new label – Slogan Records – an imprint of Sanctuary Records, which at the time was a hugely successful operation in the UK and under whom, via various other imprints, The Fall had enjoyed the fruits of some excellent box sets/compilations, not least The Complete Peel Sessions in 2004.
It proved to be a lead-off single for the 24th studio album, Fall Heads Roll, which would be released exactly a week later.
I Can Hear The Grass Grow dated from 1967, by the psychedelia pop band, The Move, fronted by Roy Wood. It had been a #5 hit back in the day.
Clasp Hands was attributed to Mark E Smith and Steve Trafford, the latest in what was proving to be a long line of bassists in The Fall. He joined what had been an otherwise steady line-up alongside Elena Poulou and Ben Pritchard, while the drums on the album were played by a returning Spencer Birtwhistle, back in the fold for a second stint to take over from Dave Milner.
There were just 1,000 copies of the 7″ pressed up, and you can look to pay upwards of £30 these days is you fancy picking up a second-hand copy.
Incidentally, the reason I keep mentioning all the different and returning personnel, as well as the umpteen labels on which The Fall ended up being part of, is to illustrate just how chaotic it all was, with musicians not really knowing what was happening with each passing recording session while MES kept complete control in the manner he liked. I’ll return to that very subject again next week……
4 thoughts on “THE WONDERFUL AND FRIGHTENING SERIES FOR SUNDAYS (Part 44)”
A bit about MES’s love of ‘Grass Grow’ here: https://thequietus.com/articles/08568-the-fall-mark-e-smith-record-collection . I heard somewhere Roy Wood picked up the expression from someone commenting on their neighbourhood: “It’s so quiet you can hear the grass grow.”
‘Clasp Hands’ is the same as on Fall Heads Roll, minus a few seconds of background chatter at the start.
I have the 7″ of this, bought in the long gone HMV in the Trafford Centre.
A song that I didn’t encounter for a few years after it’s release, it’s another example of how The Fall excel at interpreting structured Pop and Rock songs. The Moog-y synth sounds are just perfect.
These are weird songs. MES increasingly shambolic and slurred but the band sound super tight and polished. And anonymous. It’s really Smith with whoever the fuck else at this point.