O! ZZTRRK Man (1)


1. There's actually some variety between iterations, but what the hell is he saying? The title is as close as anything, at times it comes across as sort of "O zirk man!"

Maldoror on the Fall online forum identifies the following possible lyrics; after reading his transcription, I can now hear just about all of them, but it may be auditory pareidolia (yes, this is what we have been reduced to!):


Hold your bets
Hold your breath
Joyous man
Old George Best
Oh, George Best
Joyous Mess
Oh, Judgement
Oh man, joyous man
the best
George knows best
Old George Best

In early setlists, this was called "Zaptrack" (and once "Zapatak").

And Rik has chimed in saying "All goes bad," and now I hear that too...

The chord changes are the same as the Gary Numan song "M.E.," to which this song bears a considerable resemblance. From Zack:

"MES once conducted a remarkably civil interview with his former Beggars Banquet labelmate and even sang about Numan in an unreleased collaboration with Elastica called 'We Want You.'"

Note MES on "Prole Art Threat," which (probably) goes "Get out the pink press threat file/And Um-brrrptzzap the subject" (thanks to Sean).


Comments (19)

  • 1. bzfgt (link) | 02/09/2017
Test--Martin cannot post. Try again Martin, maybe on a different browser...
  • 2. Zack | 02/09/2017
Multiple FOFers have noted the similarity between this song and "M.E." by Gary Numan.

MES once conducted a remarkably civil interview with his former Beggars Banquet labelmate ( https://kirstyallison.com/2013/11/21/the-fall-the-crane-and-biting-gary-numans-hand/ ) and even sang about Numan in an unreleased collaboration with Elastica called "We Want You" ( http://thefall.org/news/971203.html ).
  • 3. Rik | 03/09/2017
I hear..." All goes bad"
  • 4. bzfgt (link) | 07/10/2017
I can't read much of that interview, but what I can see of it looks remarkably civil, as you claim...he doesn't seem to be getting the Shane Macgowan treatment, anyway, does he?
  • 5. Sean | 26/02/2018
The title, at least, reminds me of the gibberish/“redacted” bits from Prole Art Threat - and accordingly makes me wonder if there’s even any lyric here to be deciphered or if it’s just, you know, folderol
  • 6. bzfgt (link) | 10/03/2018
Yeah, that's exactly what it always reminded me of, I am amazed, as sometimes happens, that this has not been noted.

As for doubts about whether there's anything to be deciphered, that's why the English bits are in the notes, not in the "Lyrics" bit...
  • 7. Steve | 28/03/2018
O!zztrrk reminds me of an instrumental by The Wedding Present, Dan Dare, from their album George Best.
Autolytic Enzyme
  • 8. Autolytic Enzyme | 21/04/2019
The title reminds me of SCRABrrRrraaNNG, a concrete poem by Marinetti or some sort of futurist/ dadaist poem where it is all sounds not words.
  • 9. Bob | 23/04/2019
Originally titled Zaptack with lyrics

"Oh joyous man,
Oh zaptrack man"

Plus lots of whhhhhhooooowhhhhhhohoooooooooohoo woohoohohohwooo.

Appears Oh Zaptrack has become O! ZZTRRK.

Don't know what a zap track is but it's a good word.

It does happen to be the name of an obscure GPS app, Zapptrack.
  • 10. bzfgt (link) | 28/06/2019
Do we have a reference for Zaptrack? Reformation! doesn't have it (and you have two entries for it, Martin)
Shamfull Wanker
  • 11. Shamfull Wanker (link) | 25/07/2019


  • 12. bzfgt (link) | 16/08/2019
OK, does anyone have a reference for the title "Zaptrack (Man)"? The word "Zaptrack" is anything but clear in either of those videos, to the extent where I'd even say it could be "ZZTRRK". Are there any setlists with "Zaptrack" written on them, or anything like that?
  • 13. bzfgt (link) | 16/08/2019
Sorry, Martin, I mean you have two entries for this song, and you don't have Zaptrack...you're still around, right?

Thank you, Shamfull Wanker
  • 14. bzfgt (link) | 16/08/2019
1:07 of the first video is the most "Zaptrack" I hear but even there it's not certain
  • 15. SW | 17/08/2019

Interestingly, it is listed on set lists originally as Zaptrack later as Zapatak, sometimes as Zaptrak, as if he is just fucking about with the sounds.
  • 16. bzfgt (link) | 23/08/2019
Thanks, S, I did wind up figuring it out! Yeah, I think that's what the process was sometimes...seemingly a lot of the time with song titles/title phrases...
  • 17. Wrayx8 | 01/02/2020
@ comment #8 – I tend to think of this tune in terms of something like Dadaism. The point of the lyric is to be empty or have very little definable semantic value. For me it’s a continuation of the “anti-lyric” of Sir William Wray etc.

(I’m still straining my ears to try and work out what he’s actually saying though!)
John Reardon
  • 18. John Reardon | 18/06/2020
The use of the word "joyous" (?) seems particularly apposite because whenever I play this song I feel a compulsion to play it 5 times in a row (minimum).
Michael Nath
  • 19. Michael Nath (link) | 03/07/2020
As John R says, it is joyous -- and very funny. It's also a kind of hymn (to GB), rather than a Dada effort.

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