This Nation's Saving Grace is the eighth studio album by English post-punk band the Fall, released in 1985 by Beggars Banquet. The lyrics and singing melodies were written by vocalist Mark E. Smith, with a portion of the music composed by his newly wed wife American Brix Smith, who joined the band just before their previous album The Wonderful and Frightening World Of... (1984). The album emphasises Brix's pop sensibilities and guitar hooks, emphasised by Leckie's accessible production, and stands in contrast with the band's earlier recording. TNSG was produced by John Leckie and promoted by the singles "Couldn't Get Ahead" and "Cruiser's Creek" and tours of Europe and America. It is widely considered one of the Fall's best albums, both by critics and by Brix and bassist Steve Hanley. According to The Guardian, it shows the band "operating just on the edge of the mainstream and at the peak of their accessibility and yet strangeness". In 2002, Pitchfork ranked it as the 13th best album of the 1980s.Wikipedia
What a lovely drunkard. Such grooves.
I've always skirted around The Fall, never truly getting into them or learning about them. Very glad I'm getting the chance to- only a few songs in and I can tell I really like it. It feels like hypnotic, half-obscene punky ramblings. "Spoilt Victorian Child", "LA", were fantastic.
Mark E. Smith sounds like he's on the wrong end of a radio for much of the runtime. A radio somewhere with thick, poisonous air, a shot out of a horror film. The difficulty doesn't come from that, however. It comes from the complexity of the texture. My ear was frustrated at first, and even after latching onto the guitars the rest of the music evaded simple recognition. In an ideal world, I'd prefer more and stickier bass and drum grooves: The guitar lines are too subtle to hook me. The samples (?) and occasional instruments are used deftly, on the other hand, and there is clearly precedent here for Sleaford Mods and Viagra Boys, very different bands which I am more familiar with. L.A. is a highlight, denser than the rest of the tracks and operating as a sonic and geographic escape. There's a horn-like tone on one of the early tracks which truly sounds wrathful. Damo Suzuki annoyed me a little bit. It's a meandering project, not quite as discursive as I prefer. The music feels litanic at times, but there are enough excursions from that space to keep things fresh.
Surprisingly excellent. I’m a big punk fan but I’d never heard of The Fall and I’m so glad I did. Really cool kinda droning art-rock take on punk music. Reminds me of Velvet Underground or like a pre-LCD Soundsystem
Definitely cool, but a bit cacophonous for me
Wonder if it's better than Live at the Witch Trials. The worst album yet. Yea this sucks.
The missing link for me for so many bands that I like
I know few of The Fall's albums but this is fantastic. Looking forward to wading through their other 31 albums for anything approaching TNSG. I love the sequence of 'My New House', 'Paintwork', 'Damo Suzuki', and 'To Nk'.
Mark Eeeee Smith at his scathing best. Floats in and out like a drunken tide. These are brilliant songs full of repetitive rhythms and melody. Ace!
Ok, I think I love The Fall. Where the fuck do I go next?
i had a beer with Mark E Smith once at some sort of "After Party" for a gig they did where my friends band supported them. he was exactly as everyone has ever said he is. i've met countless regulars in pubs with a vicious tongue and you never have a clue if they're being serious or not and that is the overall vibe Mark E gave off about the fall. it's like he found out a scam where he could spend all his time in the pub by being in a band and he didn't want anyone else to find out his secret, which is probably why he sacked people so often, they got too close to his secret. That they kept coming up with music that is so unique is absolutely mystifying. you expect this type of avant garde spiky post punk to come from an uber hipster not someone who looks and behaves like an accountant who's fallen on hard times that carries his stuff around in plastic carrier bags. I probably should have tried a bit harder as he might have recruited me as another willing participant of the fall army.
IT'S THE FALL INNIT
Extremely idiosyncratic and hard to get into, but memorable in a good way.
Wasn't expecting to enjoy this, but there are some real gems on there... especially paintwork.
The Fall really were the workhorses of post punk, weren't they? They just plowed along, releasing an amazing body of work over decades, while different styles and their flashier peers came and went. The musicianship here is fantastic, with standout performances across the board. The band maintains the looseness and off-the-cuff aspects of punk, but with an ear to moderation that reveals their method to be much more artful than you would expect. Their ability to judiciously use noise as if it's another instrument works great here. They also drift in and out of different genres and moods pretty seamlessly, which makes for an album that's really full of pleasant surprises, beginning to end. Fave Songs (CD and cassette version): Paint Work, Petty Thief Lout, My New House, Barmy, Bombast, I Am Damo Suzuki, Couldn't Get Ahead, Spoilt Victorian Child
A chaotic postpunk entry that, just like many of The Fall's albums, requires several listens to either understand or shrug off. Production is lofi but full of intense energy and humor. Wild instrumentation and atonal devices demonstrate the peak of their creativity. Songs are fully fleshed out, with most of them running for 4-6 minutes, yet you never know where a song is headed. It's unpredictable to the point where many songs are intentionally repetitive but then travel in a sudden and unexpected direction. Few tracks I still find annoying, and I think an hour is too much to process. Thoroughly enjoyed Brix's contributions, who apparently wrote many of the songs. Favorites: Barmy, Spoilt Victorian Child, LA, Paintwork, I Am Damo Suzuki
Post-punk poets? Post-poetry punks? Punk-poet posties? If you're gonna make approximately 5 squillion albums in your band's lifetime, looseness has to be some kind of categorical imperative. That's certainly true of this mob, in which case something as restricting as genre is for the birds. But poetry in music isn't just about diddling words. It's about tone and feel too. And seeing as looseness as categorical imperative borders on "all art is useless" and some kind of poet said that, we may have our answer after all: all of the above.
Bad Talking Heads? Not my thing.
I don’t like it. The British punk thing is cool, but it sounds like they were writing these songs while they were recording them. They found a two-bar lick they liked, stuck it on repeat, and mumbled over top of it.
90% of time I can't tell what they're saying. The production value is among the worst I've ever heard. Additionally, and it might be intentional, but sometimes it seems like the band isn't playing the same song as the vocalist or the other musicians. Best song on the album was Rollin' Dany. Then I looked it up and it's a fucking cover. The original sounds so much better too. Best thing I can say about them is the album artwork is nice and the song titles are interesting. To their credit, the songs don't all sound the same.
Love the funky bass. Guitars could have been Johnny Marr. Perfect mix of early madchester-sound and more depressing post-punk. Best: Barmby, Spoilt Victorian Child, Cruisers Creek och My New House.
Punk rock it’s good
Production: 16/20 Songwriting: 15/20 Innovation: 17/20 Bangers: 20/20 Emotional response: 17/20 =85 Syooooooperbo
Never heard of this before but will listen again
Love the fall!
Haven't heard it before, love it.
Something a bit different - I like it
This is exactly what I imagine a 1980s arts college in northern England would sound like. Amazing in its own way; it almost verges into hip-hop in places. RIP MES.
This was my first introduction to The Fall back in '85. It was tentative steps from Billy Bragg to The Smiths and then THIS. Impossible to categorise, apart from saying This is The Fall. You know what you're getting, but then again you never really do. It's a frightening album in places, yet full of optimism in others. But mostly it's just bonkers. Spoilt Victorian Child is the obvious highlight. But the riff on Barmy is Eurovision worthy. Cruiser's Creek is classic Fall. A brilliant, brilliant album.
It grows on you
Naar mijn mening een essentieel album. Toen ik the Fall voor het eerst hoorde, dat was ook dit album, voelde het als een soort missende schakel tussen alle andere muziek die ik al luisterde. Zo veel bands, vooral in de UK scene, die deze sound meer dan 30 jaar nog steeds proberen te maken (ook succesvol!), maar dit is de kers op de taart. Het gaat van toegankelijke nummers als Barmy vlekkeloos over naar een nummer als I Am Damo Suzuki, een scherp eerbetoon aan Can en een van de meest unieke zangers die er ooit geweest.
A bloody good record by The Fall. I've never heard Cologne pronounced like that before.
My relationship with Mark E Smith has changed over the years. At the moment we're going through a good patch. This is refreshing post-Punk although quite late for '85. Good melodies with the usual Fall sneer.
closer to 3.5
This album was really good! I know that I've listened to it before, but This was definitely the first time unpaid attention, well worth it.
i really liked some of it. some poo
Bon album de punk/rock/grunge anglais, doux et bien monté
I really enjoyed this album, had some bangers
A fun, interesting mix of genres. Kind of a post-punk vibe throughout, but sometimes it goes full Stooges-style punk. Other times we get Rockabilly. A real treat from start to stop.
V good added most to the playlist. Favourite track Couldn't Get Ahead
My 2nd favourite Fall album out of the 10 or so I've heard. It probably just sounds like an old man rambling which to be fair it is
love this genre, this was good but not one of the best of them
Post punk y Psycho rock se abrazan a ritmo motorik,se acercan a la melodía pop con Can en la cabeza como obsesión y espejo. Contundente y áspero. Muy bueno.
Brilliant stuff - will be back for more
I like it. Unique sounds
Never listened to The Fall before. I can see mclusky getting some inspiration from here.
Great Post-punk band from UK. The music in general was very good and I enjoyed it.
Often imitated, never duplicated; no one does sprechgesang as well as Mark E. Smith. He was a cantankerous lad and his attitude sure bled into his work--and to its benefit. Fundamental piece of post-punk right here. Standouts include: "Spoilt Victorian Child", "I Am Damo Suzuki", and "Gut Of The Quantifier". Brix's vocals adds a pop element that's missing from some of their more inaccessible tunes. Loving her voice and the harmonica on "Couldn't Get Ahead" and that pop groove on "paintwork" is hella infectious. That said, it's a long album and it takes a couple songs to ramp up speed at the beginning. 🌟🌟🌟🌟 (4.5 if I could)
Kinda digging it.
a touch freeform for my taste but obviously a pillar of punk and other inspiration
The one shifted around a lot while listening to it but I ended up on a 4. It got unusual enough while still staying within the realm of dang good.
This album was a blast
Seriously thought this was a Hot Topic "mallpunk" band based on the name. Like a band that would open for My Chemical Romance. Nope. This is old and good. But I can see this band having influenced a lot of those bands. This was a totally unexpected treat and I'll definitely listen again and explore their discography.
J’ai bine aime, u; bon vibe et une belle struture. Punk rock a son mielleur. 4.10
The Fall is a great band and this is another one of their great albums
Mark E. Smith's singing is garbled, the instruments sound out of tune and it sounds like it was recorded in a toilet block, with a cheap cassette player. Yet it is a brilliant, unique and exciting album that has served as an inspiration for so many acts that followed (yes I am looking at you Pavement). I don't listen to the Fall nearly enough
Definitely a keeper, I have to let this one soak in for a bit before I'm ready for the final rating
Good solid punk, have been exposed to a bit of the Mark E Smith lore via Adam Buxton so was kind of familiar with the context.
The first time listening to the fall. And wow these are the albums we love on this list, not a huge post punk fan so the vocal style does take a bit of getting used to, but feel this is just one of those albums you can keep coming back to and getting so much more from each time. Interesting that this music is the in thing for so many new bands in the U.K. at the moment, (As seen this week with Yard Act debut album getting no2 in the charts) the Fall clearly a huge influence for all these bands.
Surprisingly good. Had heard of this band, but this was a first time hearing them. I like.
Fáránlega gott post-punk.
Manchester stvarno je glazbeni capital of the world.
Vjerujem da nije baš lako njih slušati i da ti bude ono nešta wow, ali meni imaju. Mark E. Smith je gospon (počivaj u miru), koji nije pjevao, već je non stopno pričao kroz svaku pjesmu, ali na svoj način da ne ispadne skroz monotono jer u kombinaciji njegove priče koje znaju biti satiričine, realne, čudne i imati repetecije s ciljem naglašavanja nekih dijelova (gdje se meni čini da taj repetativni dio ne mora predstavljati neke veoma važne riječi) ide i ritmični, jači i ponekad dost' glasni instrumentali što oboja ono što žele opisati. Osjeti se dosta utjecaja na današnji post-punk - hladni zvukovi gitare i basa, glasovi - taj način izvođenja pjesama koje me podsjećaju upravo na našeg Markića i samim time vjerujem da su kao grupa napravili jako jako veliki posao u ostavljanju utjecaja u glazbi. Gle, Sonic Youthu su bili jedni od utjecaja, šta imam više za reć. Pjesme sa ovog albuma koje bih izdvojio su: Barmy, Spoilt Victorian Child, L.A., My New House, Couldn't Get Ahead (iako nije na original izdanju, nego na kazetnom) i Paintwork. Mark je volio derat po pivu, pa eto Mark, danas ću popit jedno pivo u tvoje ime. Cheers.
I should really listen to more post punk
Very cool! certainly deserving of more listens. I look forward to getting to know it better. Favorite Tracks: Vixen, Barmy
Really enjoyed this one, I'm a sucker for this genre and this era so I knew pretty quickly I was doing to like it.
Echt wel goeie rock muziek. Vrij experimenteel met clash achtige (stem) en interessante basslijnen die voor wiegende bewegingen zorgen.
Lotta cool stuff here. So many songs that just have really hypnotic, catchy riffs that are calm yet also ominous. Simple but effective. And then there’s I Am Damo Suzuki which caught me really off guard with the polyrhythms
This album is a wonderfully cohesive mix of post-punk/new wave with a healthy dose of 60s garage rock in the style of MC5, rockabilly, and surf rock. The mixture of these more diy genres fits in well with the Fall’s post-punk ethos. Despite the genres involved, the production is very slick and precise. I was disappointed by some of the Fall’s later work, but this album captures their essence at its peak and I understand now why they’re important.
There is definitely something catchy in it. Anyway, it's more like background music.
Better 80’s punk album. No hits though but a nice listen
Nice stuff from Mark E Smith and the gang. Bleak post punk sounds that I love so.
I enjoyed this - not heard anything from The Fall before and will explore more.
4 for me. Had heard of The Fall (almost entirely due to the big fanfare of publicity they got when Mark Smith died), but never knowingly listened to any of their stuff. I started out thinking that it wasn't really my thing, it's almost a bit too noisy and jarring, but after a few tracks I started to get properly into it. Really solid quality all the way through, I thought, didn't really tail off in any way. It's all a bit weirk, dark, and quirky, but it fits together really well and I like it a lot.
Really strong move compared to other albums by them, but too bloated to get the 5.
this is a solid post punk gem
Good as fuck will listen to this again
Based on the album art art, title and first song I was not interested in this. Really good album afterwards though. Going to be listening to this more.
I generally like what The Fall is doing, but unfortunately the album as a whole fell a little flat for me, not a lot of tracks stuck out except for Bombast and My New House (very Talking Heads). 3.5 to 4 since I am generally a fan of the sound.
I like quite a bit of this. Loose and fun. Sounds like some our jams at different points. Very catchy in its own odd way. I'd go as far as to say I feel a sort of musical kinship with this. Reminds me a bit of a rougher/looser Robyn Hitchcock at times.
Absolutely rock solid Fall album, full of that spiky, angular humour and some terrific tunes behind the muffled vocals.
Really great and entertaining post-punk album. The instrumentation is extremely good and the vocals to compliment it are so clever and on point.
There were a few songs here I quite liked, but some of it just had far too much going on for me to understand or want to listen to. Definitely can see the British post-punk oozing from this whole album though. Favourite: Spoilt Victorian Child
I enjoy this album, but I'm not really sure it is a must hear. This is my 3rd album from The Fall and I haven't even been doing this a full year. It's a solid band, but there really could've been some superior albums in their place.
Finally, an album by The Fall makes the list. Not their finest album by any stretch, but still a great piece of work. This album was the start of their stint at trying to be more ‘commercial’, and sadly the lyrics suffered somewhat in comparison to other albums. The album before this - Wonderful and Frightening - is just as polished but with much better songs, both lyrically and musically. There’s a lot of repetitive phrases here that pass for lyrics - I Am Damo Suzuki, My New House - but still enough pithy humour to stop this sounding like any other band. The group sound tight, if not at their most inspired, and lines like "I'm not saying they're really thick / But all the groups who've hit it big…” tell you Mark Smith is not your usual rock lyricist. Parts of this are great (Paintwork, What You Need, Quantifier); others not so much. Not even in my top 10 albums by The Fall, but is definitely in my top 10 of albums in the 1001 Albums list (so far).
I only really knew The Fall by name- they’re another punk band who didn’t quite crossover to the states- so hearing this was kind of eye (or I guess ear)-opening. I think the best ideas are used early on and the pacing isn’t strong, but I generally like their sound and I appreciate their lyrics and performances. Will check out more. B
Like this. I listened through it twice and both times were good. 3.75/5
Positiivinen yllätys! Suosikit ensimmäisen kuuntelukerran jälkeen: Barmy, Gut Of The Quantifier
Even though postpunk seems to be the music I am attracted to more than others, this album took a few listens before the penny dropped. And when it did, it really did. There's a rawness and sometimes a bit of brutality to the songs but still with a poppy edge to it. Channeled energy that hardly ever goes to plain noise and shows how artful most of these songs are made. I enjoyed this a lot. Even with Vixen being a pure ripoff of 'Run, Run, Run' by the Velvet Underground
OK, not very exciting, but fun
I only ever see people who aren't fans of the Fall calling this their best album. It's quite good, but every studio album they released before it is better and so are a few later albums. As Ian McCann later wrote of Middle Class Revolt, This Nation's Saving Grace is "7/10 by their own standards, 8/10 by everyone else's."
Originally thought it was a bit strange but was really getting into it by the last track, which was great ! Generous 4*
Album in 3 etappes geluisterd waardoor ik er elke keer een beetje uit was. Goed album doet me inderdaad aan veel andere artiesten uit die tijd denken maar toch klinkt het tijdloos. favorieten: barmy petty (thief) lout rollin danny
I feel like I fell because I missed out on this album.
extremely based I love the fall now. lots of great instrumentation, silly vocals at times, good riffs. love the energy. Best tracks: spoilt Victorian child, rollin dany, barmy