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10 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Fall, Grotesque, 12 Nov. 2010
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This was my first 'official' fall album purchase (at 54 years of age), I was listening to a Frank Skinner podcast and he mentioned that The Fall were his favourite band,it sparked an interest so i reviewed a few albums on Amazon and Spotify and shortly afterwards i found i was hopelessly addicted to the totally original sound. Grotesque was my first Amazon download (after carefully considering my options), absolutely fantastic album from start to finish, sadly i have now been 'hooked' and have been secretly downloading as many of their back catalogue as i can get away with, without incurring the wrath of my wife! If it was good enough for John Peel it's good enough for little old me!
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22 of 25 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars C 'n' N Music is born!, 16 Aug. 2004
This review is from: Grotesque - After The Gramme (Audio CD)
Right. Iam bored at home so im going to review every Fall album i own which is a fair few. so here we go with grotesque.
Definatly one of their best and the beginning of my favorite period for the Fall this is a must for any Fall FAN an a good starter for newbies. Classic Fall. The album you play to people who want to know what they sound like. Pay your rates is the perfect opener MES on top form. English scheme has great lyrics which go on and on over the catchy as hell keyboard melody. C'n'c's Mithering is one of Mark's best rants- all about the music biz and their recent tours of USA. one of my favorite tracks however which i didnt think much of first is Impression of J temperance which is i think, about a dog breeders fondness for his dogs and a birth- of something. Pure horror!
get this version with the reissue extra track malarky and u get the excellent How i wrote elastic man and other great tunes.
the sleevenotes are great too. Bah!
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Fall Will Rise Again, 15 Feb. 2010
By 
Dave Gilmour's cat (on Dave Gilmour's boat) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Grotesque - After The Gramme (Audio CD)
A masterpiece. Heard here in his youthful prime, Mark E. Smith is buzzing with ideas, with great torrents of inspired lyrics tumbling out of him over The Fall's perfectly judged angular, awkward, beautiful music. It's no exaggeration to say that at this point in time, Smith had more wit, intelligence and poetry in him than anyone else working in music.
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5.0 out of 5 stars 80's posterior punctured, 25 Mar. 2010
By 
Dr. Delvis Memphistopheles "FIST" (London) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)    (TOP 500 REVIEWER)   
This review is from: Grotesque - After The Gramme (Audio CD)
Wilfully peverse, the autodidact shows you do not need to be university trained to brim and buckle with ideas. All you need is zest and front. Spare yourself the expense.

Mark rooted himself in the north when it was seen as an alien land in the south. A world of shell suits, taches, unemployment cheques and lumpen moorlocks covered in tattoos. In the 70's/80's; rust, woodworm, damp and moroseness pervaded the north. The south headed by the conservative regime wreaked a cull of vitality, essence and culture. In the south the non stop erotic cabaret entailed stripey shirts and red braces to bob to the Human League, ABC, Spandau Ballet, Duran Duran and countless other pointless ablutions. There was a party going on and I wasn't invited. As it happened I gate crashed numerous May Balls where this undiluted effervescence was bubbling the night away. I can report back it was bahhrin dahhhlin.

In the north as work poured out, cheap lager/cider and heroin moved in. Football teams and music were the only flags waved in a desolate soulful land being culturally cleansed of pigeons, whippets, allotments, camaraderie and neighbours. All the old forms of collective identity bulldozed under the guise of modernity. In its wake shopping centre meccas arose to cater for John Quays; status, clothes, retail and narco.

Meanwhile in the south the arty deserted punk as the fighting broke out with pitched political battles on tubes, buses, street, clubs becoming the norm. Just as well they were all useless when it came to the ruck. Class alliance of the surreal shifted into a prole leather jacket mohican moorlock on one divide and an effete Bowie/Roxy Eloi on the other. Once again class divided and ruled the world.

Mark's take was to retreat from it all and affirm a northern identity based on the surreal. Ploughing his own lonely piece of allotment he had enough charisma and pizzaz to gather a group of like minded souls. Snubbing the synthesised non stop ennui of the southern party. He also steered away from the lumpen screams into the collective hardcore glue bag. He gazed at the world around him and articulated the peverse.

Harnessing white workng class outre sounds; country and western, rockablly, 60's punk he mangled them in the iron. This followed a tour with Lux and Ivy. He then produced this album, a northern musical. Drawing on surrealistic observations embedded within working class northern culture, blasted through the sieve of lysergic acid, pumped along with strong THC, bathed and matured with light and bitterness out it all pops at the end. Ramshackle rangalonga ding dong sapper sounds undermining, puncturing, posturing and pretence.

Comic, surreal, peverse, bitter, it's all there in the groove. Mark became a lone voice single handedly saving one aspect of northern culture from a drop into the abyss of disintegration and denigration. This is a frozen document of time, more chips on his shoulder than a McDonalds Awayday he transcends oblivion, production to root his vision at a time when everything he stood for was seen as outre darling.

Whilst all the make up has been cleansed and the faces of the effete have cracked and bloated you will never see Mark on an 80's revival tour along with Banarama, Spandau, Human League, Tears for Fears and ABC. For all of their spin of a new pop dream, ultimately strip the fakery, they were Thatchers cultural shock troops. In cahoots with greasy pole ascending journos they all weaved a collective lie. Now they herd together to recreate the non stop sugar sweet gut chundering pleasure for the middle aged socially autistic.

Mark sells out venues by himself having stuck to his own vision contained in this album. Whilst they may have turned up their collective noises at the pringle jumpered snarl of the whippet man, ther art is mass remaindered in the collective bargain bin boot sales up and down the land, at 50p per copy. Early Fall singles however are treated as works of art.

There lies a lesson in essence Dr. Faustus.
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5 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars This Album = Classic, 11 Jan. 2006
This review is from: Grotesque - After The Gramme (Audio CD)
I first got into The Fall (or F All) listening to the Rough Trade compilation "Totally Wired", and thinking "Oh my God, where has this been all my life!!???". I loved the raw, home grown feel of that album, and love this equally as much. This album is good old fashioned "have a go" rock and roll. Buy it now!
Mark E Smith, the last of the great English poets.
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17 of 25 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars If hope springs eternal here's proof!!!!!!!!!!, 10 May 2004
This review is from: Grotesque - After The Gramme (Audio CD)
The re-release of the deluxe version of "Grotesque" is a non-Fall fans and a avis Fall fans wet dream.The album is culled from their early output.It comes in the original packaging(jazzed up ever so slightly) and the album is full of classics, I'am talking about "New Face In Hell" , "English Scheme" , " The Impressions Of J. Temperence" and "The N.W.R.A." . As well as an album brimming with brilliance you get 5(thats Five) versions of "Rowche Rumble" (Mega-single) and 2 versions of the B-side (Just as Mega) "In My Area". Their is only one problem, a good problem for you first time buyers, once you buy this you'll want to own everything The Fall have produced over the years and they've been a hard-working band which means a lot of albums both studio and live, I'm not telling you how many, see how many you can find. Their still performing today, they have changed line-ups numerous times and their last release was a 5-star release if their ever was one. They tour regularly, even with the enigmatic leader of the band Mark E. Smith in a wheel chair from a recent accident on a U.K. tour, he still went off and toured the U.S.A. until another member of the band suffered with food poisoning. So you have a lot to look forward too, further studio work, more live material both tours and releases on CD. I wish it was me starting all over again.Get the faith, as none other than John Peel stated, "The Fall are how all other bands are to be judged."
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The English Poet Talks Back, 18 Dec. 2014
By 
Keith M - See all my reviews
(TOP 500 REVIEWER)   
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This review is from: Grotesque - After The Gramme (Audio CD)
To anyone who has managed to keep track of The Fall over their entire 35 year career I offer my heartfelt congratulations. I am afraid I can’t possibly count myself as a member of that exclusive club since I lost contact shortly after this, their fourth album (if you include the mostly live Totale’s Turns released earlier in 1980), and have only dipped back in every now and then. In fact, it was hearing them again recently (on the radio show of their illustrious bass player) that prompted me to replace my vinyl version of Grotesque with the CD which gave me, in addition to the album’s nine catchy pop ditties (plus the gossiping interlude WMC-Blob 59), the two band singles (plus b-sides) released in the same year, How I Wrote 'Elastic Man’ (with its Pictures Of Matchstick Men-like opening riff)/City Hobgoblins and Totally Wired/Putta Block, plus a seven minute self-interview with MES – all-in-all a bumper package to enjoy!

Throughout, not only does MES assume his rightful place as natural successor to Ray Davies (and precursor of Morrissey and Luke Haines) as most perceptive Englishman lyricist with his witty, outspoken tales of the lot of the (northern) working man – sex, drugs and rock n’ roll (the latter parodied in the MES rant C’n’C-S Mithering) with a touch of mythology thrown in – but the band’s sound is now a long way removed from the 'slick’ sounding debut Live At The Witch Trials (and Karl Burns’ extravagant playing), instead exuding raw, in-your-face passion. If it’s 'straightahead punk’ you’re after then any of Pay Your Rates, The Container Drivers or In The Park should suffice, whilst the Smith sociology study is again presented in the unusually tuneful English Scheme and the Velvets (What Goes On-live era) get a nod (sound-wise) on the conspiratorial New Face In Hell. Then MES spoken monotone and quirky rhythms are the order of the day for Impression Of J Temperance and Gramme Friday, before the album concludes with more 'white rap’ courtesy of the nine minute magnum opus of The North Will Rise Again in which Smith resurrects his creation Joe Totale in something sounding (musically) like Sister Ray and (lyrically) as if it had been written by David Peace (and with some fancy kazoo playing thrown in for good measure).

Certainly a key, highly influential album of the period and one that set MES on what was to become a prolific career and a harmonious relationship with the listening public.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars, 22 Dec. 2014
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This review is from: Grotesque - After The Gramme (Audio CD)
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1 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars It takes grace to play the second fiddle well., 15 Jan. 2011
This review is from: Grotesque - After The Gramme (Audio CD)
Cut to the chase: I've been a Fall fan since the beginning and have the 70s vinyl and t-shirts to prove it. This is the best Fall album there is and that's that. It's also the best album ever, but then it would be.
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0 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Container drivers, 9 Sept. 2013
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This review is from: Grotesque - After The Gramme (Audio CD)
This is a great example of this fantastic pre-Brix Fall LP. The CD album arrived by post, promptly and in good condition.
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Grotesque - After The Gramme
Grotesque - After The Gramme by The Fall (Audio CD - 2008)
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