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 album by The Fall. It reached number 54 in the UK charts[9] and is considered, along with Hex Enduction Hour, as one of their strongest, most seminal works. Paul Hanley left The Fall in November 1984, leaving Karl Burns as the sole drummer, ending their classic dual drummer line up. His brother, long term Fall bassist Steve Hanley, took four months' paternity leave early in 1985 and so played very little part in the writing of the album; 'Bombast' is his sole credit. After tours of the North of England and the U.S, the Fall 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]

Despite the line up changes, vocalist Mark E Smith retained musical control. The managed the return of Steve Hanley; the final album is underpinned by the bassist; Rogers was switched to guitar and keyboards. The Fall marked Hanley's reappearance with the inscription S Hanley! He's Back on the run-out groove on side one.

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



  • Yarbles (from the song titled "To NK Roachment: Yarbles") appears in the novel A Clockwork Orange as Nadsat for testicles or bollocks. That song's lyric, "Everyday you have to die some/ Everyday you have to cry some," alludes to a line that is almost exactly the same in the Lou Reed song 'Home of the Brave', from his 1983 album Legendary Hearts.
  • The CD edition 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 later covered in concert by Triple Gang, featuring members of Faith No More and Fudge Tunnel.
  • The original vinyl album was covered by electronica act Globo, as an "experiment"[12]
  • "I Am Damo Suzuki" is a tribute to the seminal 1970s Krautrock group Can and their occasional 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" is titles after an 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]