THERE’S A PARTY GOING ON DOWN AROUND HERE

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The blog, for the best part of a year, was turned over to The Fall every Sunday so that all their UK singles and b-sides could be looked at.  It was 3 October 2021 for the turn of Cruiser’s Creek.

For those who don’t recall that particular post, here’s a repeat of what was said.

Cruiser’s Creek is brilliant.  It’s also bonkers.

Putting the backstory together nowadays is much easier, thanks to the internet and the various fan sites devoted to The Fall, but trying to work it all out back in 1985 was a very tough task. Mark E Smith, in a contemporary interview with one of the music weeklies, said ‘it’s a party lyric with a party twist’.  I’m thinking he was referring to the utter danceability of the song, with a pacey riff and sing-along-chorus, albeit so many of the words in the verses are hard to pick out or fathom.  Reading them written down many years later and there’s confirmation that MES is having a sly dig at two of the year’s biggest happenings in the music world – Red Wedge and ZTT Records.

One of the most astonishing things to emerge in later years is that Cruiser’s Creek was the name of a library on a ship on which MES had spent time with Brix’s family after her grandparents had taken all the relatives on a fiftieth wedding anniversary cruise.  It seems that MES, in trying to escape all the fuss that was happening throughout, retreated to Cruiser’s Creek where he did some writing, seemingly using the location for the title but making the narrative about an office party.  Whether he was comparing the agonies of an office party at one of his former places of employment on Salford Docks with having to spend days at sea with the extended Salenger family, we can only make an assumption……”

The thing is, the version of the song which appeared with the post came from the compilation album The Fall 45 84 89. I’ve since, quite recently, picked up a second hand copy of the 7″ single, thanks to stumbling across it unexpectedly in a shop that mainly sells new vinyl.

If you’re not careful, it’s possible to have a John Peel moment with the single as it spins at 33.33rpm and not the traditional 45.  In other words, that’s me confessing I got caught out the first time I put it on the turntable.  The reason for using the slower speed is that the song actually extends to more than six minutes, as opposed to the album version’s running time of a bit more than four minutes.  As such, this is a debut appearance on TVV:-

mp3: The Fall – Cruiser’s Creek (7″ version)

The b-side is the largely instrumental track written by Brix Smith in homage to her home city.

mp3: The Fall – L.A.

The Fall’s line-up on these two tracks?  Mark E Smith (vocals), Brix Smith (guitar, vocals), Craig Scanlon (guitar), Steve Hanley (bass), Simon Rogers (bass, guitar, keyboards) and Karl Burns (drums).

Cruiser’s Creek reached the giddy heights of #96 in the UK singles chart.

I’ll sign off today with a little bit of housekeeping.

As in previous years, I’m going to take a bit of a break from the blog over the Festive period, but there will still be something posted every day….it’s just that, unsurprisingly, the visitor numbers fall away at this time of year and I prefer to come up with some sort of series or theme to tide things over.

Tomorrow, being a Saturday, will see the usual Scottish song posted.  I have also got something lined up for Christmas Day, (and for once, it’s not Xmas Bubblegum Machine by The Sultans of Ping F.C.), and then Monday will see the first of what will be an 18-part series on a particular theme, that will take us all the way through to almost the middle of January at which time I’ll get things back to normal.  Oh, and if I get my act together, there might be a bonus post on New Year’s Day.

My thanks, as ever, to everyone who has dropped by this year, whether to read, comment or offer up a guest contribution.  I couldn’t keep things going without you.

JC

11 thoughts on “THERE’S A PARTY GOING ON DOWN AROUND HERE

  1. Thanks for everything this year JC, lots of great posts – best wishes for your break. As an aside, I get that The Fall are not for everyone, and the charts are pretty meaningless in relation to their progress over the years, but did you know (according to the Guardian) “The Fall have had more top 40 hits that haven’t entered the top 20 than any other group”.

  2. Tune.
    Thanks for all the posts this year JC, excellence as standard.
    Spoilt Victorian Child- hello! One of the first music blogs (along with this one and a few others) I began visiting.

  3. Merry Christmas, thanks for all your posts, The new Vinyl Villain blog is my first port of call everyday ;

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