It's The New Thing

Lyrics

My boys take what I say
Do it the studio way
New equipment all clean
New gear 
Clothes mean
I answer and take the calls
No trouble with the law
Turn it up for interviewers
Oh yeah prime movers 
I wonder what is next year's thing?
Crash smash crash ring (1)

They've got another side
Pop heroes of the mind
While you suckers queue or work
Money for us and play it up
We have never sold out (2)
Spent hours on a clever act
Phoney advertising quotes that make you buy some raise your hopes
That it's the new leather thing
Crash smash crash ring

The broken backs of the real bands
A million closed minds
Weep for the old glam
Year of the average man
The Worst died because of you (3)
Along with some others too
Erasing off our rainbows
We are men, we have big toes!
It's the new leather thing
Crash smash crash ring

 

Houdini believed his tricks
That is why he died
Oh I'm not coming out
There may be a film on tonight
Or Eliot's Untouchables (4)
As for new hotels
Look like science fiction films or revival gothic pigswill
Watch the skies, what to think  (5)
Crash smash crash ring

[Bramah:] "Rock it!"

 

It's the new leather thing
Ba ba ba doo...        (6)
New leather thing

Yow!

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Notes

1. The first verse is from the perspective of a would-be manager or promoter, and one imagines the refrain as either his cynical take on the music, or the genuinely tone-deaf way he hears it.

Dan: "MES was well disposed towards Buzzcocks/Devoto, so not I'm sure that he would do this, but the cover of Melody Maker for 21 January 1978 features Devoto, described as "One of the prime movers in the first stirrings of the punk revolution..."

^

2. If this sounds like juvenile braggadocio, that's because it is: the line isn't sung from MES's perspective, but from that of the self-important young band who begins to believe their own hype that they're "the new thing."

^

3. The Worst were a Manchester band of the late 70s who are legendary for their obscurity, if such a thing is possible. They were known for not being able to play, for being sincere, and for a lack of ambition so total that nobody seems to have ever recorded them, and nobody noticed until it was too late. Manchester music journalist Pail Morley has said that they "made the Clash seem like Rush."

^

4. The Untouchables were American Prohibition-era federal agents rooting out bootleggers as part of the Prohibition Bureau, and were led by a man named Eliot Ness. They were romanticized in the television show The Untouchables, starring Robert Stack as Ness.

^

5.Watch the Skies was the original title of the film Close Encounters of the Third Kind, according to Dan.

^

6. From Zack:

The "ba ba ba doo..." thing comes from "Brand New Beat" by Gene Vincent, from the album Gene Vincent Rocks and the Blue Caps Roll (same album as "Rollin' Dan(n)y"). It should be noted that griping about the music biz is something of a cliché in rock lyrics, and The Fall fell into this trope on only their second single.

^

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Comments (10)

Ben
  • 1. Ben (link) | 27/11/2015

The use of the word 'leather' reminds me of the Goon Show, the absurdist British radio comedy show from the 50s (precursor to Monty Python), which was frequently introduced, nonsensically, as "the new all-leather Goon Show". Could be the inspiration for these lyrics; I don't know if MES is a fan but their scripts and his lyrics share some things in common (i.e. surreal/absurd humour). Or he could be talking about leather jackets, which I believe came back into fasion in the punk era (e.g. The Ramones).

bzzy
  • 2. bzzy | 06/12/2015

Yeah, I sometimes wonder about "the new leather thing." Surely leather is a staple of rock and roll, but what would be sufficient for something to be called a "leather thing"? I agree that the Ramones come to mind, as they were pretty devoted to the stuff. And he certainly does have a goofy/surreal sense of humor, of the type that reminds me of James Joyce, Walt Kelly and John Lennon (in his books), although I don't necessarily think any of those are touchstones for him....

dannyno
  • 3. dannyno | 06/01/2016

"Oh yeah prime movers"

MES was well disposed towards Buzzcocks/Devoto, so not sure that he would do this, but the cover of Melody Maker for 21 January 1978 features Devoto, described as "One of the prime movers in the first stirrings of the punk revolution..."

Zack
  • 4. Zack | 09/01/2017

The "ba ba ba doo..." thing comes from "Brand New Beat" by Gene Vincent, from the album Gene Vincent Rocks and the Blue Caps Roll (same album as "Rollin' Dan(n)y").

It should be noted that griping about the music biz is something of a cliché in rock lyrics, and The Fall fell into this trope on only their second single.

dannyno
  • 5. dannyno | 04/02/2017

Note 5 should be attributed to Zack, not me.

bzfgt
  • 6. bzfgt | 11/02/2017

I did it for you, Dan....he's overtaking you!

Just kidding, Zack, I fixed it.

Zack
  • 7. Zack | 11/02/2017

Thanks D and B.

The reason I've been so prolific lately is I've been listening to my Fall collection in chronological order for the last few weeks and posting my remarks here as they occur to me. Today was Light User. Tomorrow, probably Live Various Years and Levitate. I'm enjoying it. Sometimes I go for months without listening to The Fall; right now I'm as energized by their music as I was at the height of my Fall fandom in the early to mid 2000s.

My comments will taper off after a couple more weeks, leaving Dannyno as the undisputed Lord and Master of Arcane Fall Knowledge.

dannyno
  • 8. dannyno | 11/02/2017

Thank Christ for that.

bzfgt
  • 9. bzfgt | 18/02/2017

Yeah I wax and wane too but one thing keeping this site up does is make me never go too long without listening to at least a little Fall.

dannyno
  • 10. dannyno | 07/03/2017

"Watch the skies"

This was the original title of the film "Close Encounters of the Third Time" (1977).

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