back to home page

discography: albums

previous  index  next


Original UK release
First released 17 November 1980 on Rough Trade LP: ROUGH18

01. Pay Your Rates (Smith) 2:58  Lyrics

Pay your rates
Pay your water rates
Pay your rates
Pay your water rates

If your rates too high
Write a snotty letter
If your rates too high
Put your life on this bit of paper

Advice on rates
Advice on rates

Pay your rates
Pay your water rates
Pay your rates
Pay your water rates

If your rates too high
You'd better sign this letter
If you don't pay your rates
You're gonna end up here

Or end up on debtors' retreat estate [1]
Or debtors' retreat escape
Debtors' escape estate

Debtors' escape
Debtors' retreat escape
Debtors' retreat estate
Neuroticred landscape
A socialist state invention
The old government bones working

Note: [1] In Michael Parkinson's autobiography "Parky" he says on the second page: "I was born on a council estate in Cudworth, a mining village in the South Yorkshire coalfield. In those days it was nicknamed "Debtors' Retreat" and my Dad told me the rent collectors walked around in pairs."

Hide Lyrics

02. English Scheme (Smith/Riley/Scanlon) 2:06  Lyrics

O'er grassy dale, and lowland scene
Come see, come hear, the English Scheme
The lower-class, want brass, bad chests, scrounge fags
The clever ones tend to emigrate
Like your psychotic big brother, who left home
For jobs in Holland, Munich, Rome
He's thick but he struck it rich, switch
The commune crap, camp bop, middle-class, flip-flop
Guess that's why they end up in bands
He's the green piece in us all
He's the creep-creep in us all
Condescends to black men
Very nice to them
They talk of Chile while driving through Haslingden
You got sixty hour weeks, and stone stone toilet back-gardens
Peter Cook's jokes, bad dope, check shirts, lousy groups
Point their fingers at America
Down pokey quaint streets in Cambridge
Cycles our distant spastic heritage
Its a gay red, roundhead, army career, grim head
If we was smart we'd emigrate

Hide Lyrics

03. New Face In Hell (Smith/Riley/Scanlon) 5:40  Lyrics

Wireless enthusiast intercepts government secret radio band and
uncovers secrets and scandals of deceitful type proportions.

Aghast goes next door to his neighbor, secretly excited, as
aforementioned was a hunter whom radio enthusiast wanted
friendship and favor of.

A new face in hell
Nearly a new face in hell!

A muscular, thick-skinned, slit-eyed neighbor is at the table
poisoned just thirty seconds before by parties who knew of
wireless operator's forthcoming revelation.

A new face in hell!

A prickly line of sweat covers enthusiast's forehead as the
realization hits him that the same government him and his now
dead neighbor voted for and backed and talked of on cream porches
have tricked him into their war against the people who enthusiast
and dead hunter would have wished torture on. A servant of
government walks in and arrests wireless fan in
kitchen for murder of his neighbor

A new face in hell!

The dead cannot contradict
Sometimes the living cannot

A new face in hell!

Hide Lyrics

04. C'n'C-S Mithering (Smith/Hanley, S/Riley/Scanlon) 7:35  Lyrics

Three days
Three months
Three days
Three months
A treatise
A treatise
To explain these
First was cash 'n' carry house dance
In Lancashire they're A
In King Nat Ltd. empire [1]
Kwik Save is there
The scene started here
Then was America

Then was America
We went there
Big A&M Herb was there [2]
His offices had fresh air
But his roster was mediocre
US dirge, rock 'n' pop filth
Their material's filched
And the secret of their lives

All the English groups
Act like peasants with free milk
On a route
On a route to the loot
To candy mountain
Five wacky English proletariat idiots
Californians always think of sex
Or think of death
Five hundred girl deaths
A Mexico revenge, it's stolen land
They really get it off on
"Don't hurt me please"
Rapist fill the TVs
And the secret of their lives
Is S.E.X..

I have dreams, I can see
Carloads of negro Nazis
Like Faust with beards
Hydrochloric shaved weirds

[Applause from audience at Cyprus Tavern]

This was going to be called crap rap fourteen,
but it's now Stop Mithering.
The things that drain you off and drive you off the hinge.
Boils, dirty socks, the ceilings collapse.
The Sunday morning loud lawn mower,
the upstairs Jewish girl damn hoovering every thirty minutes,
from valium cig withdrawal.
She wants communal, fluent flat household.
I want privacy.
The bastard dentist doctors surgery,
Clip, clop, ring, knock, ring
Stop mithering [3]

The estates stick up like stacks
The estates stick up like stacks
The residents keep wild dogs
And on that father's bedroom closet top,
electric blanket boxes
Surplus jonnies, demob pictures
To their children they sing
Stop mithering

You think you've got it bad with thin ties,
miserable songs synthesized, or circles with A in the middle.
Make joke records, hang out with Gary Bushell,
Join round table. "I like your single yer great!"
A circle of low IQ's.
There are three rules of audience.
My journalist acquaintances, go soft, go places,
on record company expenses.
I lose humor, manners become bog writers, don't know it.
The smart hedonists, same as last verse, allusions with
H in electronics, on stage false histrionics,
Corpse mauling dicks, pose through a good film, him, him
Stop mithering

I'm not joining conventional rock band.
The conventional is experimental, the conventional is now
And is no way noble, and I'm no chock stock thing.
So stop mithering.
Engineers save up for cars.
I try to let down their tyres with matches to make them molten.
Ouch! Ouch!
They say I rip off Johnny Rotten
They always strike for more pay.
They say "See yer mate..Yeh...see yer mate"
To their mothers they sing
Stop mithering

He even did fail the penile tissue test.
He hangs out for sex.
He enters magazine contest.
White tan horror in the mirror.
Spotty exterior hides a spotty interior.
He's not your enemy.
He's not your enemy, his name is not Harry.
The secret of Cash and Carry.

[1] MES writes this about C'n'C in the Lough Press book: "C'N'C Stop Mithering contains references to i.e. free adverts for Kwik Save and King Nat Ltd, an area of cash and carry warehouses near Manchester town centre--see we advertise free for these, so don't try the anti-commercial crap bit on us, sonny boy. It's post-Hollywood, a place described by actor Robert Donat as one big Ideal Home Exhibition."
[2] "Big A&M Herb" is a reference to Herb Albert
[3] "Mithering" is northern British slang for whining

Hide Lyrics

05. The Container Drivers (Smith/Riley/Scanlon/Hanley, S) 3:08  Lyrics

Net cap. of 58 thousand pounds
They sweat on their way down
Grey ports with customs bastards
Hang around like clowns the
Uh-containers and their drivers
Bad indigestion
Bad bowel retention
Speed for their wages
Suntan, torn short sleeves
Look at a car park for two days
Look at a grey port for two days
Train line, stone and grey
This is not their town
Big cigars come out of the ground
Sweat on their way down
F. Jack's a distant relation
Communists are just part time workers
And there's no thanks
From the loading bay ranks
Look at a car park for two days
Look at a grey port for two days
Train line, stone and grey
RO-RO roll on roll off
The container drivers
Speed for their wages
Uh-and their drivers

Hide Lyrics

06. Impression Of J. Temperance (Smith/Riley/Scanlon) 4:19  Lyrics

Hate wide for dog breeder
in the town of purport
A never seen dog breeder
This is the tale of his replica

Name was J. Temperance
Only two did not hate him
Because peasants fear local indifference
Pet shop and the vet, Cameron

One night vet is called out
from his overpaid leisure
To Temperance household, delivered ran out
and phoned his wife in terror

The next bit is hard to relate
(There are no read-outs for this part of the track)
The new born thing hard to describe
Like a rat that's been trapped inside
A warehouse base, near a city tide
Brown sockets, purple eyes
And fed with rubbish from disposal barges brown and covered
No changeling,
as the birth was witnessed
Only one person could do this:
"Yes" said Cameron
"and the thing was in the
impression of J. Temperance"

His hideous replica
Scrutinise the little monster
Disappeared through the door
His hideous replica

Hide Lyrics

07. In The Park (Smith) 1:43  Lyrics

Night though I do not sleep
I dream of the park up the road
I open the bushes, a couple of lovers
Trying to be [lust-rockers]
And although my spouse is in the other room
I think we can do it here
Yes, uh, and she makes me pay
For every girl I have the guts to look at
Anyway here, quiet here
You thought it'd be great
You thought it'd be great
But a good mind does not a good fuck make

I take you to the park up the road
But here is the rain
Rain makes policemen no threat
Turns cars into little specks
Muffles the shouts of your neighbour
And we will have sex here
Here, here
Couch, shagged out
There's no hard-ons
It's just come and it's gone

I'm becoming everything I used to hate
But I can't go back there
Not back there, I can't go back there
Not back to the park
The brown monk ghost'll catch us
And make us lust-rockers
Make us wear huckleberry masks and, uh, huckleberry masks
You sing you don't believe in [couples]
But I can't believe that
Especially the crap about the huckleberry masks

Hide Lyrics

08. W.M.C. - Blob 59 (Smith) 1:19  Lyrics

Right we'll go here
Where is he?
Just been to the park
Not the pub, the park
Go on
We too do not recognise the M.U.
We come with our hands open in fiendship
We can lead you to proletariat visions of prosperity
[The social alternative was incredibly frequent]
[completely unidentifiable backing singing continues....]
We come with our hands open in fiendship
We can lead you to proletariat visions of prosperity
We merely make cabaret
We are on Gramme Friday

Hide Lyrics

09. Gramme Friday (Smith/Riley/Scanlon) 3:19  Lyrics

The people I like live
in kitchens and halls

I can't reach a decision on this
Can I come back to you on this?
Hitler lost his nerve on it
Dr. Morel prescribed it well
It's fast debts

I am Robertson Speedo
and this is my Gramme Friday
Skin drops slow to the bones

But I've got my hunger anyway
I'm on Gramme Friday
Work and eat spontaneous
Enter the house of weariness
It's Fastnet

Look out
Look down
Look out
Look now
The hunger....

Hide Lyrics

10. The N.W.R.A. (Smith/Scanlon/Hanley, S) 9:10  Lyrics

When it happened we walked through all the estates, from
Manchester right to, er, Newcastle. In Darlington, helped a large
man on his own chase off some kids who were chucking bricks and
stuff through his flat window. She had a way with people like that.
Thanked us and we moved on.

'Junior Choice' played one morning. The song was 'English
Scheme.' Mine. They'd changed it with a grand piano and turned
it into a love song. How they did it I don't know. DJs had
worsened since the rising. Elaborating on nothing in praise of
the track with words they could hardly pronounce, in telephone

I was mad, and laughed at the same time. The West German
government had brought over large yellow trains on Teeside docks.
In Edinburgh. I stayed on my own for a few days, wandering about
in the, er, pissing rain, before the Queen Mother hit town.

I'm Joe Totale
The yet unborn son
The North will rise again
The North will rise again
Not in 10,000 years
Too many people cower to criminals
And government crap
The estates stick up like stacks
The North will rise again X4
Look where you are
Look where you are
The future death of my father


Tony was a business friend
And was an opportunist man
Come, come hear my story
How he set out to corrupt and destroy
This future Rising

The business friend came round today
With teeth clenched, he grabbed my neck
I threw him to the ground
His blue shirt stained red
The north will rise again.
He said you are mistaken, friend
I kicked him out of the home

Too many people cower to criminals
And that government pap
When all it takes is hard slap

But out the window burned the roads
There were men with besom sticks [1]
The fall had made them sick
A man with butterflies on his face
His brother threw acid in his face
His tatoos were screwed
The streets of Soho did reverberate
With drunken Highland men
Revenge for Culloden dead
The North had rose again
But it would turn out wrong
The North will rise again

So R. Totale dwells underground
Away from sickly grind
With ostrich head-dress
Face a mess, covered in feathers
Orange-red with blue-black lines
That draped down to his chest
Body are a tentacle mess
And light blue plant-heads
TV showed Sam Chippendale
No conception of what he'd made
The Arndale had been razed
Shop staff knocked off their ladders
Security guards hung from moving escalators

And now that is said
Tony seized the control
He built his base in Edinburgh
Had on his hotel wall
A hooded friar on a tractor
He took a bluey and he called Totale
Who said, "the North has rose again"
But it will turn out wrong

When I was in cabaret
I vowed to defend
All of the English clergy
Though they have done wrong
And the fall has begun
This has got out of hand
I will go for foreign aid
But he Tony, laughed down the phone
Said "Totale go back to bed"
The North has rose today
And you can stuff your aid!
And you can stuff your aid!

Note: [1] A besom is a long handled broom with the head made out of pieces of twig lashed together.

Hide Lyrics

(LP side 1: tracks 1-5; LP side 2: tracks 6-10)

Mark E Smith - vocals, kazoo, tapes
Marc Riley - guitar, vocals
Craig Scanlon - guitar
Steve Hanley - bass
Paul Hanley - drums

Produced by: The Fall, Grant Showbiz, Mayo Thompson and Geoff Travis (Side 1); Geoff Travis and The Fall (Side 2)
Engineered by: John Brierley
Cover artwork: Suzanne Smith

Recording info & notes
Recorded at Cargo Studios, Rochdale and Street Level Studios, London mid 1980.

Some editions of this album have a 2-3 second gap between C'n'C-S Mithering and The Container Drivers; other editions run the two tracks together without a gap.

Overseas releases
Released in Australia and New Zealand in 1980 on GAP Records on LP (RTGAP 1001) and cassette (TC-RTGAP 1001). Released in Italy in 1980 on LP on Base Records (ROUGH 18 Y5) with black labels, and Go International (GI LP 18) with pink labels. In Japan, a promo LP was issued in 1981 on Rough Trade Japan (RTL-6). All with the same tracklisting and cover as the original UK LP.

1993 Castle reissue
Reissued on 8 November 1993 on Castle CD: CLACD391 with the original tracklisting and cover.

1998 Voiceprint reissue
Reissued in 1998 on Cog Sinister via Voiceprint, CD: COGVP106CD with the original tracklisting and cover.

Warning: This edition is poorly mastered from vinyl. It contains skips and drop-outs and the start of English Scheme has been trimmed.

1998 Castle reissue
Reissued on 27 June 1998 on Castle/Essential CD: ESMCD640 with the original tracklisting plus bonus tracks:

01. How I Wrote 'Elastic Man' (Riley/Scanlon/Hanley/Smith) 4:19
02. City Hobgoblins (Riley/Scanlon/Hanley/Smith) 2:20
03. Totally Wired (Scanlon/Riley/Smith) 3:25
04. Putta Block (Scanlon/Riley/Smith/Hanley, S/Hanley, P) 4:35

The bonus tracks were placed prior to the album tracks, on the logic that the singles from which the bonus tracks were taken were released prior to the album, so people should hear the songs in the order they became publicly available. Tracks 1-2 are from the How I Wrote 'Elastic Man' single and tracks 3-4 are from the Totally Wired single. City Hobgoblins is not listed on the CD back inlay - the track numbers go 1, 3, 4, 5 etc.

2002 Turning Point vinyl reissue
Reissued in October 2002 on Turning Point (Italy) LP: TPM02210 with the original tracklisting and cover. A 180gm vinyl pressing.

2004 Sanctuary reissue
Reissued on 15 March 2004 on Castle, a label of Sanctuary Records Group, CD: CMRCD883 with the original tracklisting plus bonus tracks:

11. How I Wrote 'Elastic Man' (Riley/Scanlon/Hanley/Smith) 4:19
12. City Hobgoblins (Riley/Scanlon/Hanley/Smith) 2:20
13. Totally Wired (Scanlon/Riley/Smith) 3:25
14. Putta Block (Scanlon/Riley/Smith/Hanley, S/Hanley, P) 4:35
15 Mark E Smith Self-Interview 1980 (Smith) 7:18

Tracks 11-12 are from the How I Wrote 'Elastic Man' single; tracks 13-14 are from the Totally Wired single; track 15 comes from a self-interview recorded in 1980 for Tapezine. First pressing came in a cardboard slipcase (see image gallery).

2004 Earmark vinyl reissue
Reissued on 13 September 2004 on Earmark (Italy) LP: EAR40038LP (2 LPs) with the same tracklisting as the 2004 Sanctuary reissue minus the MES self-interview. A 180gm vinyl pressing. Earmark is a joint venture between Sanctuary Records Group and Get Back Records of Italy.

© The Fall online. Email Conway about this page. to top of page