Detective Instinct

Lyrics

(1)

You can tell by his fashion
That boy's been in prison
Detective instinct
Detective instinct
Always do it
Two thugs knocked down an old tree for an old lady's whim
Detective instinct
They were reasonable at first, it seemed
Detective instinct
Detective instinct
A riptide of integrity  (2)
He was a blubbering heap
He should have served himself up
Preferably in a restaurant with meat (3)
And wit goes with
Detective instinct
Sticks some paper under the door at 8 p.m. (4)
And my razor blades will cut down your entrance
Detective instinct
Detective instinct
The man at the bar had a v-neck vest on
No, it was a v-neck waistcoat.
Accurate!
Detective instinct
That's detective instinct
Always got it
Sticks some paper under the door at 8 p.m.
My razor blades will cut down your entrance
Detective instinct
Always got it
Always got it
Always got it
Detective instinct

Notes

1. In which MES, or the narrator if you prefer to be more "accurate!", brags about his powers of observation. A typically low-key [i]Room To Live[/i] number, this requires a kind of relxed concentration to appreciate its subtle intensity. Also like some of the other songs on that album, live recordings suggest that it could slow the band's momentum a bit in that setting. Karl Burns may have played guitar on this song; some one on the talk page of the Wikipedia entry suggests that he did on the basis of the fact that there sounds like there are three guitars on the song. 

Rex on the Fall online forum makes the following insightful remarks about the song:

This song is so minimal -- and I really love minimal. It's a change of pace from the "Look at our big band!" feeling of Hex and the singles at this time. Fans of Hanley's bass really should love this one -- it's a simple bass line, but it dominates everything, and never really sounds like it's repeating itself even though it constantly does. As the song progresses, more additional sounds are occasionally thrown into the mix (you can hear the bloody space invader for a bit at about the 3:30 mark), the guitar and the percussion both sound like they are trying to mold the bassline like clay, to change its shape, and they often succeed. Mark's lyrics aren't all that important here. It's a beautiful change of pace, and the only moment on the record, for me, that sounds like nothing else the Fall ever did. A whole album of *this* kind of song would have been cool, because the Fall have never really done minimal and quiet, a sculpting of space.

^

2.Dan:

"Riptide of integrity".

On 10 April 1982, at a gig at Paard Van Troje, The Hague, The Netherlands, MES announced:


"Good evening, this is MES and a riptide of integrity... and his go-go men... monkeys... (...). We are The Fall."


(during "Look Know")

Similar sentiments were aired at at least 5 other gigs the same year.

^

3. From one perspective this seems to miss the mark by a hair--surely the "retired" [i]is[/i] the meat, so MES should have said "carrots" or something. On second thought, however, I think this probably works as another twist in the insult: the person in question is somehow insubstantial, and only worthy of being a side dish.

^

4. The following note is provided by the Lyrics Parade. I assume the typos are from the Lough book, so I left them in:

Note: The following are some notes from MES's diary dated January 26 (1982?) from the Lough book that bear on this song:

A necklace fur coated poodle over

Black burnt flesh\
Hark hark
Crack unit species
Who makes the Nazis?
I'd put a finger on the
weird. This was real Irish
know. Joe was then good
as gold + told of the rapist
in the Spa Motel
The real mould.
Remember when I used to follow you
home from school babe?
Stick some paper under
the door at 8 pm.
Rest room.
Motels like 3 split mirages who makes the Nazis?
Benny's cobweb eyes
Met some eyes in a dirty goods
shop/mutual recognition of
hard man crack/bllur
blur retreat
Who makes the Nazis?

^

Comments (7)

Martin
  • 1. Martin | 21/02/2015

The first live performance of this song: 29 July 1982: Geelong, Australia contains the following departure from the final recorded version:

"that steak house looks...the steak house looks pretty above board..."

I leave it for others to analyse this nugget of infor!

Antoine
  • 2. Antoine | 04/04/2016

Could it be "a riptide of intergrity?" That's what I've always heard. I think you can hear the P more clearly in this version.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XHx7ppwUdXc

bzfgt
  • 3. bzfgt | 19/05/2016

"A retired of integrity" sucks so I hope you're right. I'm going to listen to it now and, if it isn't "riptide," I hope I'll at least get something closer than "retired." There are five live versions of this too, I don't know offhand if I have any but someone could check those.

bzfgt
  • 4. bzfgt | 19/05/2016

Sorry, I'm loopy tonight, I see that's a live one you sent. Listening now.

bzfgt
  • 5. bzfgt | 19/05/2016

Definitely "riptide" on the live version, we're running with it since "retired" is one of those artifacts of the Lyrics Parade, it's said it for so long we forget to raise an eyebrow and say "surely not!" That's a great version, much more bludgeoning than the studio version which is killer but not really reproducible live...

dannyno
  • 6. dannyno | 17/02/2017

"Riptide of integrity".

On 10 April 1982, at a gig at Paard Van Troje, The Hague, The Netherlands, MES announced:


"Good evening, this is MES and a riptide of integrity... and his go-go men... monkeys... (...). We are The Fall."

(during "Look Know")

Similar sentiments were aired at other gigs the same year:
http://thefall.org/gigography/gig82.html

Martin
  • 7. Martin | 23/03/2017

Referring to MES's mentions of "riptide": mentioned in at least 5 gigs in 1982.

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