Friday Fall-ies: The NWRA

Song: The NWRA

Album: Grotesque (1980)

Number of other compilations/live albums it appears on: 4

Possible Band Names Derived From Lyrics to This Song: Joe Totale, The Future Death of My Father, Government Pap

How-ah many times-ah does MES add his famous suffix-ah: Too many to count; it's a 9+ minute song, after all.

Is the entire song just one part repeated over and over again? No. This is a classic two-parter; at around the three-and-a-half minute mark the song shifts (Mark E. Smith actually calls out "Shift-ah!") and it goes from leisurely shuffle to paranoid, low-end rumble.

Thoughts: Arguably the best song from the Fall's best album, it's a stream-of-consciousness epic about ... well, that's still up for debate. The title is not, in fact, a reference to National Windshield Repair Association, but about some imminent future battle for England. I've always thought of it as comparable to Dylan's "Desolation Row" or "Sad Eyed Lady of the Lowlands," the young genius in storytelling mode, where even if you're not sure what the story's about, the way the words fly out of his mouth is enough to keep you captivated. The definitive version of this song can actually be found on "A Part of America Therein," a live recording from 1981 which is much more fiery than this studio recording. In fact, it may be the most ferocious song ever that features lots of kazoo.

By David Malitz |  December 5, 2008; 1:25 PM ET Friday Fall-ies
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best song on their second best album.

Posted by: seannn | December 5, 2008 6:11 PM

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