The Infotainment Scan

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The Infotainment Scan
Studio album by The Fall
Released 26 April 1993
Recorded Suite 16, Rochdale
Genre Post-punk
Alternative rock
Length 40:36 (LP & cassette)
50:08 (CD)
Label Permanent/Matador
Producer Rex Sergeant, Simon Rogers, Mark E. Smith
The Fall chronology
Code: Selfish
(1992)
The Infotainment Scan
(1993)
Middle Class Revolt
(1994)
Professional ratings
Review scores
Source Rating
Allmusic 4/5 stars link
Melody Maker favourable link
The New York Times favourable 11 Jul. 1993
NME 8/10 24 Apr. 1993

The Infotainment Scan is an album by The Fall, released in 1993 on Permanent Records in the UK and by Matador Records in the US. At the time of its release it was considered the band's most accessible album and came when the band were experiencing unprecedented recognition in the media. It entered the UK album charts at number 9.

The album features covers of the Sister Sledge disco track "Lost in Music" and of Steve Bent's "I'm Going to Spain", an obscure song which Bent performed on the British talent show New Faces in 1974 (Bent's version was included on The World's Worst Record album, compiled by disc jockey Kenny Everett in 1978).[1] The CD edition of The Infotainment Scan also includes "Why Are People Grudgeful?", the only track to be released as a single (albeit in a different version). It is based on two reggae songs: "People Grudgeful" by Joe Gibbs and "People Funny Boy" by Lee "Scratch" Perry.[2]

Of the original compositions on The Infotainment Scan, "Glam-Racket" drew much attention for its alleged criticism of Britpop band Suede, with the lyric "you are entrenched in suede". At the time, Suede were regarded as a "nouveau glam rock" band. "The League of Bald-Headed Men", meanwhile – identified variously as a "jokey conspiracy theory" and a "diatribe against gerontocracy" — appears to borrow its riff from Led Zeppelin's "Misty Mountain Hop", despite claims by Fall front man Mark E. Smith that he had never heard the band's music.[3] A remix of "The League of Bald-Headed Men", retitled "League Moon Monkey Mix", is also included on the CD edition.

"Paranoia Man in Cheap Shit Room" adapts its title from Nervous Man in a Four Dollar Room, an episode of The Twilight Zone.[4] Smith had previously borrowed episode titles What You Need and Time Enough at Last (and would later use Kick the Can).

Track listing[edit]

  1. "Ladybird (Green Grass)" (Mark E. Smith, Craig Scanlon) – 3:59
  2. "Lost in Music" (Nile Rodgers, Bernard Edwards) – 3:49
  3. "Glam-Racket" (Smith, Steve Hanley, Scanlon) – 3:12
  4. "I'm Going to Spain" (Steve Bent) – 3:27
  5. "It's a Curse" (Smith, Scanlon) – 5:19
  6. "Paranoia Man in Cheap Shit Room" (Smith, Scanlon) – 4:27
  7. "Service" (Smith, Hanley, Scanlon) – 4:11
  8. "The League of Bald-Headed Men" (Smith, Hanley) – 4:07
  9. "A Past Gone Mad" (Smith, Dave Bush, Simon Wolstencroft) – 4:19
  10. "Light" / "Fireworks" (Smith) – 3:46
  11. "Why Are People Grudgeful?" [*] (Perry, Gibbs) – 4:33
  12. "League Moon Monkey Mix" [*] (Hanley, Simon Rogers, Smith) – 4:36

* track is exclusive to the CD edition

The cassette version credits the composition of Ladybird to Scanlon/Smith/Hanley/Bush/Wolstencroft

Reissues[edit]

The Infotainment Scan was reissued by Artful in 1999 with the same tracklisting as the original CD editions. It was remastered and expanded to a 2-CD set by Castle Music in 2006 in slightly amended artwork. The first disc followed the original CD album programme and the second ran as follows:

  1. "Ladybird (Green Grass)"
  2. "Strychnine" (originally by The Sonics)
  3. "Service"
  4. "Paranoia man in Cheap Shit Room"
  5. "Glam Racket"
  6. "War"
  7. "15 Ways"
  8. "A Past Gone Mad"
  9. "Why Are People Grudgeful?"
  10. "Glam Racket"
  11. "The Re-Mixer"
  12. "Lost in Music"
  13. "A Past Gone Mad (alternate version)"
  14. "Instrumental Outtake"
  15. "Service (instrumental demo)"
  16. "Glam Racket (instrumental demo)"
  17. "Lost in Music (mix 3)"
  18. "Lost in Music (mix 7)"
  19. "Lost in Music (mix 14)"

Tracks 1–4 were the group's 16th John Peel session with tracks 5–8 having also been recorded for the BBC, this time for Mark Goodier's evening programme on Radio 1. Tracks 9–12 are slightly alternate mixes from the album incarnations ("The Re-Mixer" being a new version of "The Mixer" from Shift-Work). The remaining tracks were all previously unreleased studio outtakes. Persistent rumour had it that The Fall had created as many as 17 different mixes of "Lost in Music"; the numbers given to the previously unissued versions on this edition strongly suggest that this was true.

Personnel[edit]

Additional personnel[edit]

References[edit]

External links[edit]