This Nation's Saving Grace

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This Nation's Saving Grace
Studio album by The Fall
Released 23 September 1985
Recorded 1985
Genre Post-punk, art punk
Length 47:17
Label Beggars Banquet
Producer John Leckie
The Fall chronology
The Wonderful and Frightening World Of...
This Nation's Saving Grace
Bend Sinister
Professional ratings
Review scores
Source Rating
Allmusic 4.5/5 stars[1]
BBC very favourable[2]
Robert Christgau B+[3]
Drowned in Sound 10/10 (Omnibus Edition)[4]
The Guardian 5/5 stars (Omnibus Edition)[5]
Pitchfork 10/10[6]
The Quietus very favourable (Omnibus Edition)[7]
Record Collector 4/5 stars[8]

This Nation's Saving Grace is a 1985 LP by The Fall. It reached number 54 in the UK charts[9] and is frequently cited, along with Hex Enduction Hour as one of the group's strongest and most consistent. Paul Hanley left The Fall in November 1984, leaving Karl Burns as the group's sole drummer. Bassist Steve Hanley took four months' paternity leave in the early part of 1985 so consequently he took very little part in the writing of the album, ('Bombast' being his sole writing credit). After tours of the North of England and the U.S, the group recorded the double a-sided single "Couldn't Get Ahead/Rollin' Dany" and subsequent single "Cruiser's Creek" with Simon Rogers standing in on bass.[10] The group had met Rogers through ballet dancer Michael Clark and he had already co-produced the early recordings of Brix Smith's side project The Adult Net. When Hanley returned, Rogers remained with the group, switching to guitar and keyboards – Hanley's return was marked with the inscription "S Hanley! He's Back" on the run-out groove of side one of the album.

On 24 January 2011 Beggars Banquet reissued This Nation's Saving Grace in a 3CD "Omnibus Edition" box set featuring rough mixes and outtakes, Peel session recordings, all contemporary single tracks and a 48-page book.

Pitchfork Media listed This Nation's Saving Grace as 13th best album of the 1980s. It ranked at 46 in Spin's "100 Greatest Albums 1985–2005". Slant Magazine listed the album at No. 93 on its list of "Best Albums of the 1980s."[11]

Track listing[edit]


Side one
No. Title Writer(s) Length
1. "Mansion"   Mark E. Smith 1:21
2. "Bombast"   Steve Hanley, M. Smith 3:08
3. "Barmy"   M. Smith 5:21
4. "What You Need"   Craig Scanlon, M. Smith 4:50
5. "Spoilt Victorian Child"   Simon Rogers, M. Smith 4:13
6. "L.A."   Brix Smith, M. Smith 4:10
Side two
No. Title Writer(s) Length
7. "Gut of the Quantifier"   Karl Burns, M. Smith 5:16
8. "My New House"   M. Smith 5:16
9. "Paint Work"   Rogers, Scanlon, M. Smith 6:38
10. "I Am Damo Suzuki"   Burns, B. Smith, M. Smith 5:41
11. "To Nk Roachment: Yarbles"   B. Smith, M. Smith 1:23
  • Several non-UK editions of the LP omitted "Barmy", replacing it with UK standalone single "Cruiser's Creek".


  1. "Mansion"
  2. "Bombast"
  3. "Barmy"
  4. "What You Need"
  5. "Spoilt Victorian Child"
  6. "L.A."
  7. "Vixen"
  8. "Couldn't Get Ahead"
  9. "Gut of the Quantifier"
  10. "My New House"
  11. "Paintwork"
  12. "I Am Damo Suzuki"
  13. "To Nk Roachment: Yarbles"
  14. "Petty (Thief) Lout"
  15. "Rollin' Dany"
  16. "Cruiser's Creek" (edit)

3CD Omnibus Edition[edit]

Disc One
  • as per original LP
Disc Two – Rough Mixes And Out-Takes
  1. "Demo Suzuki" (Rough Mix) – 5:54
  2. "Wonderful And Frightened Pt 1" ("Mansion") (Rough Mix) – 1:22
  3. "Wonderful And Frightened Pt 2" ("To Nk Roachment: Yarbles") (Rough Mix) – 1:46
  4. "Gut Of The Quantifier" (Rough Mix) – 5:31
  5. "Bombast" (Rough Mix) – 2:48
  6. "Barmy" (Rough Mix) – 4:51
  7. "My New House" (Mark's Mix) (Rough Mix) – 5:52
  8. "Paintwork" (Rough Mix) – 7:08
  9. "Ma Riley" (Rough Mix) – 3:48
  10. "Spoilt Victorian Child" (Rough Mix) – 4:26
  11. "L.A." (Rough Mix) – 5:16
  12. "What You Need" (Rough Mix) – 4:57
  13. "Edie" (Rough Mix) – 4:00 (instrumental version of a song by The Adult Net)
  14. "Cruiser's Creek" (Extended) – 7:35
  15. "L.A." (Take 2) – 4:24
  16. "Bombast" (Blackwing Version) – 3:05
  17. "Paintwork" (Gloss) – 7:03
Disc Three – Singles And Sessions
  1. "Couldn't Get Ahead" – 2:37
  2. "Rollin' Dany" – 2:26
  3. "Petty (Thief) Lout" – 5:23
  4. "Cruiser's Creek" – 6:08
  5. "Vixen" – 4:03
  6. "Ma Riley" – 3:28
  7. "Barmy" (Extended) – 6:02
  8. "Cruiser's Creek" (Edit) – 4:20
  9. "Spoilt Victorian Child" (Peel session) – 4:58
  10. "Gut of the Quantifier" (Peel session) – 4:44
  11. "Couldn't Get Ahead" (Peel session) – 2:36
  12. "Cruiser's Creek" (Peel session) – 5:53
  13. "L.A." (Peel session) – 4:36
  14. "What You Need" (Peel session) – 5:53



  • Yarbles (from the song titled "To NK Roachment: Yarbles") appears in the novel A Clockwork Orange as Nadsat for testicles or bollocks. The song's lyric, "Everyday you have to die some/Everyday you have to cry some," alludes to a line almost exactly the same, in the Lou Reed song 'Home of the Brave', from his 1983 album Legendary Hearts.
  • The CD edition of the album was covered in its entirety by members of the forum on the band's then-official website with the approval of Mark E. Smith. The complete album was also covered in concert by Triple Gang, who featured members of Faith No More and Fudge Tunnel.
  • The original vinyl version of the album has also been covered in its entirety by electronica act Globo, as an "experiment".[12]
  • "I Am Damo Suzuki" is a tribute the 1970s group Can and their sometime vocalist Damo Suzuki. The riff descending in semitones is based on the end section of "Bel Air" from the Can album Future Days (a similar progression also features in "Don't Turn The Light On, Leave Me Alone" from the Soundtracks album), while the drum pattern is based on "Oh Yeah" from Tago Mago.
  • "What You Need" takes its title from an episode of The Twilight Zone. The lyric "slippery shoes for your horrible feet" also originates from the plot of this episode.


  1. ^ Mills, Ted. "This Nation's Saving Grace – The Fall : Songs, Reviews, Credits, Awards : AllMusic". Allmusic. Retrieved 6 February 2013. 
  2. ^ Aston, Martin (10 January 2011). "BBC – Music – Review of The Fall – This Nation's Saving Grace". Retrieved 6 February 2013. 
  3. ^ Christgau, Robert. "Robert Christgau: CG: The Fall". Retrieved 6 February 2013. 
  4. ^ Perry, Tom (20 January 2011). "The Fall – This Nation's Saving Grace (Omnibus Edition) / Releases / Releases // Drowned in Sound". Drowned in Sound. Retrieved 6 February 2013. 
  5. ^ Simpson, Dave (15 December 2011). "The Fall: This Nation's Saving Grace Omnibus Edition – Review | Music | The Guardian". Retrieved 6 February 2013. 
  6. ^ Tiffee, Bruce. "The Fall: This Nation's Saving Grace: Pitchfork Review". Pitchfork. Archived from the original on 6 October 2001. Retrieved 6 February 2013. 
  7. ^ Middles, Mick (26 January 2011). "The Quietus | Reviews | The Fall". The Quietus. Retrieved 6 February 2013. 
  8. ^ "This Nation's Saving Grace: Omnibus Edition – The Fall". Retrieved 6 February 2013. 
  9. ^ "This Nation's Saving Grace". Archived from the original on 19 January 2013. Retrieved 2010-08-01. 
  10. ^ Daryl Easlea – interview with Paul Hanley, "The Fall Box Set 1976 – 2007" accompanying booklet (Castle Music/Sanctuary 2007)
  11. ^
  12. ^

External links[edit]