Oh. My. God.

A couple of years ago, when the phenomenon of blogs dedicated to explicating each song of a given artist’s work started appearing (Matthew Perpetua’s “Pop Songs 08,” on R.E.M., was among the first and better examples), I mused aloud about whether I wanted to do one, without naming a particular band (actually I was sorta thinking about XTC). Some joker suggested I do the Fall.

For those who don’t get the joke (five years in a PC camp), the Fall have about 7,392 songs in an incredibly tangled and complex discography, with multiple versions of many tracks, barely distinguishable amongst themselves.

That, however, hasn’t stopped the proprietor of “The Story of the Fall.” He’s spent two years documenting 400-some different songs. I haven’t analyzed my database to eliminate multiple versions of songs, but that sounds about right.

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4 Comments

Filed under insanity, noiselike

4 responses to “Oh. My. God.

  1. 125records

    I haven’t really kept track of the Fall recently, but did they really only release 3 songs in 2006? That sounds low…

    Has anyone tried this with the Guided By Voices/Robert Pollard catalog? I suspect that would be even more daunting than the Fall.

  2. 2fs

    Actually they didn’t really release anything in 2006. Two of those songs weren’t recorded. This page indicates that basically one compilation track was released between Fall Heads Roll in October 2005 and Reformation Post TLC in February 2007.

    As for the Pollard songbook: I think you’re right. Thing about MES: while he’s been very regular he hasn’t been anywhere near as prolific. Plus, nearly all the song’s he’s written have been released under the name of “The Fall” (a solo album or two, the Von Sudenfed collab, and stray appearances on other people’s tracks is about it). Pollard, on the other hand, in addition to GBV and “solo” material, has like a dozen other “bands” and such that he’s released under. My database is arranged such that multiple versions of the same song (on a mix CD and on the original CD, say) count as 2 tracks – but it lists about 830 Fall tracks (I’m missing many, because I gave up collecting all the miscellaneous live releases). Let’s say that with those, and the MES solo & collaborative work, it’s an even 1,000. GBV (whose catalog in my collection is also incomplete) rings up 430 entries, Pollard solo about 250…and I didn’t even begin looking for your Airport 5s, your Lifeguards, your Circus Devils, etc. And of course the Fall have been around more than twice as long…yet even in my (incomplete) collection, there are nearly as many, if not more, Pollard-related tracks. And GBV has far fewer tracks with five or six officially released versions than the Fall does.

    So yeah: doing the Robert Pollard songbook would be even more confusing than the Fall book.

  3. 2fs

    Oh deary me: an alternate sentence structure, later edited into something else, left a stray, evil apostrophe above. Mea culpa!

  4. yellojkt

    For a band with thousands of songs, they’ve managed to elude my notice. I’ll have to pay closer attention.

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