In the end, I decided to start where it began for me: The lyrics are typically great too.
This logic can be audibly heard in this killer opener from Perverted By Language, recorded five years later. The song has outlived the 80s Bran Flakes advertising slogan from which the title hails, but Smith typically seized on a contemporary absurdity to build a compelling narrative, this time about social class and consumerism.
Fifteen years before most of us would even hear of the internet, Smith seems to fortell how social media will imprison the demoralised worker: The Fall-mad journalist Paul Morley once fretted that Smith might not be a genius after all: And his grotty spawn!
Top fall songs B-side illustrates this unknowable magick. Over a particularly hypnotic, tension-wracked groove, Smith crafts a phantasmagorical, allegorical tale of someone whose attempts to fly using stuffed wings result in "Top fall songs" hitting a time lock and ricocheting thereafter through time and space, visiting places that no longer exist.
While retaining the doctrines of repetition and tension, the Brix-era Fall brought in a pop sensibility that took them ever chartward. Several Fall songs have an uncanny ability to transport you into a parallel universe. Smith envisaged the track as a Top fall songs on ageing, frustrated males: Whether appearing with ballet dancers, employing a kazoo solo or abandoning a guitarist in a Swedish forest, the Fall are nothing if not unpredictable.
But this sublime cut from finds Smith doing the last thing anyone expected, as he cast off the whiskey-fuelled ringmaster image to reveal a rare glimpse of a vulnerable and very Top fall songs being underneath. The previous year had been an annus horribilis.
Bythe music scene had changed dramatically as the rave generation took hold. The original — a hit for Sister Sledge in — sounds like a hymn to clubby euphoria.
Like a musical Alex Ferguson, Smith seems to instinctively know when to dispense with his musicians, often just as they have reached their creative peak. Sometimes, simply sacking them seems too easy and he often prefers to terrorise them into running off.