Middle Class Revolt

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Middle Class Revolt
Studio album by The Fall
Released 3 May 1994
Recorded 1993/4
Genre Alternative rock, post-punk
Length 50:08
Label Permanent
Producer Rex Sergeant
The Fall chronology
The Infotainment Scan
Middle Class Revolt
Cerebral Caustic
Professional ratings
Review scores
Source Rating
Allmusic 3.5/5 stars link
NME ("7/10 by their own standards, 8/10 by everyone else's" ) link

Middle Class Revolt is an album by The Fall, released in 1994 on Permanent Records. It spent one week on the UK album chart at number 48, a marked contrast to the top 10 debut of their preceding album The Infotainment Scan. The album's full title is Middle Class Revolt A/K/A The Vapourisation Of Reality. Drummer Karl Burns features for the first time since 1985's This Nation's Saving Grace, having rejoined the band in 1993.

The album spawned two singles, "Behind the Counter" (December 1993 - no. 75) and "15 Ways" (April 1994 - no. 65) although both were included on the album in alternate versions. A further five tracks from the album featured as b-sides across the formats of these singles, and, although most were in alternate versions, this meant that the album only contained seven songs that were new to fans upon its release, three of which were cover versions. In addition, "Hey! Student" is a reworked version of "Hey! Fascist" which The Fall used to play live in their early days (as shown by its inclusion on Live 1977.

The cover versions on the album were notably less mainstream than some of their other recent choices; "War", originally by Henry Cow and Slapp Happy, "Shut Up!", originally by The Monks (whom The Fall had already covered twice on 1990's Extricate) and a bizarre version of "Junk Man", originally by The Groundhogs - according to Daryl Easlea's sleevenote for the 2006 reissue, Smith prevailed upon the group to deliver the song from memory and, as a result, MES is backed by minimal drums, bass, kazoo and some tuneless hollering from Burns. Another track "Symbol of Mordgan" is based upon a recording of Scanlon discussing a football match by telephone on John Peel's Saturday afternoon programme.

Middle Class Revolt is, as Easlea notes, not a uniformly popular album amongst the group's fans. Nevertheless, it houses some popular tracks. Indeed, "Hey! Student" attained the number 2 position in John Peel's 1994 Festive Fifty, beaten to the top only by Inspiral Carpets' "I Want You", which featured Mark E. Smith as guest vocalist.

Track listing[edit]

The album was controversial for its writing credits in which all Fall originals were credited to Mark E. Smith, Craig Scanlon and Steve Hanley, despite some of the tracks having already been credited differently on the preceding single releases. According to drummer Simon Wostencroft (who claimed to have co-written "Middle Class Revolt" and "City Dweller") there was "a misprint on the credits due to a cock-up at the record label".[1] The might refer to the writing credits or possibly just the running order, as the first edition of the CD listed the tracks incorrectly.

  1. "15 Ways" (Mark E. Smith, Craig Scanlon, Steve Hanley) - 3:16
  2. "The Reckoning" (Smith, Scanlon, Hanley) - 3:37
  3. "Behind the Counter" (Smith, Scanlon, Hanley) - 3:09
    • credited on the single release to (Smith/Karl Burns)
  4. "M5#1" (Smith, Scanlon, Hanley) - 3:30
  5. "Surmount All Obstacles" (Smith, Scanlon, Hanley) - 3:53
  6. "Middle Class Revolt!" (Smith, Scanlon, Hanley) - 3:04
  7. "War" (Peter Blegvad/Anthony Moore) - 2:55
  8. "You're Not Up to Much" (Smith, Scanlon, Hanley) - 4:03
  9. "Symbol of Mordgan" (Smith, Scanlon, Hanley) - 3:07
  10. "Hey! Student" (Smith, Scanlon, Hanley) - 4:28
    • credited on The Complete Peel Sessions 1978-2004 to (Smith)
  11. "Junk Man" (McFree - actually Tony McPhee) - 4:20
  12. "The $500 Bottle of Wine" (Smith, Scanlon, Hanley) - 2:33
  13. "City Dweller" (Smith, Scanlon, Hanley) - 4:12
  14. "Shut Up!" (The Monks) - 3:39

2006 edition[edit]

The album was remastered and reissued as an expanded 2 disc set in 2006. The second disc included the group's 17th session for John Peel, alternate mixes of several album tracks previously issued on singles and a clutch of rare or previously unheard remixes.

Disc one

  • As per original release

Disc two

  1. "M5" (Peel Session recording)
  2. "Behind The Counter" (Peel Session recording)
  3. "Reckoning" (Peel Session recording)
  4. "Hey! Student" (Peel Session recording)
  5. "Behind The Counter (single mix)
  6. "War" (single mix)
  7. "Cab Driver" (Smith/Scanlon/Hanley)
    • an early version of "City Dweller"
  8. "M5" (single mix)
  9. "Happy Holiday" (Smith/Hanley)
  10. "Behind The Counter" (remix)
  11. "15 Ways" (single mix)
  12. "Happy Holiday" (Promo mix)
  13. "Middle Class Revolt" (The Drum Club Prozac mix)
  14. "Middle Class Revolt" (The Drum Club Orange In The Mouth mix)
  15. "Middle Class Revolt" (Rex Sargeant mix)
  16. "Surmount All Obstacles" (Rex Sargeant mix)