Cerebral Caustic

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Cerebral Caustic
Studio album by The Fall
Released 27 February 1995
Genre Post-punk
Length 42:15
Label Permanent
Producer Mike Bennett, Mark E. Smith
The Fall chronology
Middle Class Revolt
Cerebral Caustic
The Twenty-Seven Points
Professional ratings
Review scores
Source Rating
AllMusic 3/5 stars[1]
NME 4/10[2]

Cerebral Caustic is the seventeenth full-length studio album by British post-punk group The Fall, released in 1995 on Permanent Records. It spent one week on the UK charts at number 67, 19 places lower than its predecessor Middle Class Revolt, marking the end of one of the group's relatively more successful periods.

The album was most notable for the return of Brix Smith to the line-up, the guitarist having rejoined the group for live shows in 1994 after quitting in 1989. Her impact was immediate and she co-wrote 5 of this album's 12 tracks. Other tracks including a Frank Zappa cover and a re-recording of a 1990 b-side; "Life Just Bounces". Nevertheless, sales were lower than on other recent albums and the group, always a busy touring act, performed just 16 times during the year.[3] Cerebral Caustic turned out to be the beginning of a period of considerable turbulence for the group; having not dismissed anyone since 1990, Mark E. Smith sacked keyboardist Dave Bush by letter shortly after the album's completion and guitarist Craig Scanlon, who had been with the band for 16 years and co-authored over 120 songs for The Fall, would be sacked during the sessions for epic single "The Chiselers" at the end of the year. Smith later admitted to MOJO magazine that he had developed a drink problem during this period and he accepted that this had impacted upon the group. Scanlon's dismissal is (as of March 2008) the only sacking that Smith has publicly regretted.

There were long-standing rumours that an alternative, superior mix of this album existed, partly fuelled by Mark E. Smith's statement in an interview released to the press on a promotional cassette that he and Karl Burns had re-recorded the guitars after the rest of the group had been ejected from the studio. This claim was later clarified by Smith in the interview included on the Castle Music reissue's bonus disc as referring only to opening track "The Joke" and also by comments from Dave Bush in Simon Ford's Hip Priest that he had been virtually erased from the album during the mixing process. The original "rough" mixes were included on the 2006 2CD reissue on Castle Music and showed no major differences to the released version; the sound is harsher (possibly the result of being mastered from a copy of the cassette) but Bush is no more predominant.

Track listing[edit]

  1. "The Joke" (Mark E. Smith/Brix E. Smith) - 2:49
  2. "Don't Call Me Darling" (M. Smith/Craig Scanlon) - 3:35
  3. "Rainmaster" (M. Smith/B. Smith) - 3:27
  4. "Feeling Numb" (M. Smith/B. Smith) - 2:45
  5. "Pearl City" (M. Smith/Karl Burns/Mike Bennett) - 2:46
  6. "Life Just Bounces" (M. Smith/Steve Hanley/Scanlon) - 4:47
  7. "I'm Not Satisfied" (Frank Zappa) - 2:56
  8. "The Aphid" (M. Smith/Hanley/Scanlon/Simon Wolstencroft/B. Smith) - 2:46
  9. "Bonkers In Phoenix" (M. Smith/B. Smith) - 6:02
  10. "One Day" (M. Smith/Dave Bush) - 3:31
  11. "North West Fashion Show" (M. Smith/Burns) - 3:30
  12. "Pine Leaves" (M. Smith/Burns/Hanley/Scanlon) - 3:40

2006 reissue[edit]

  • Disc One

As per original release

  • Disc 2
  1. "Glam Racket - Star"
  2. "Jingle Bell Rock"
  3. "Hark the Herald Angels Sing"
  4. "Numb at the Lodge"
  5. "One Day"
  6. "Rainmaster"
  7. "Feeling Numb"
  8. "The Joke"
  9. "Don't Call Me Darling"
  10. "Pearl City"
  11. "Life Just Bounces"
  12. "I'm Not Satisfied"
  13. "The Aphid"
  14. "Bonkers in Phoenix"
  15. "One Day"
  16. "Bonkers in Phoenix"
  17. Mark E. Smith and Brix Smith promo interview

Tracks 1-4 formed the group's 18th session for John Peel, a Christmas themed session first broadcast within the same programme as a similarly festive session from Elastica, whom Dave Bush would join after his dismissal from The Fall. Tracks 5-14 are taken from the early mix of the album (see above), tracks 15 and 16 are alternate mixes and track 17 was a promotional item circulated around the time of the album's release.



External links[edit]

A web page about the launch of Cerebral Caustic from Invisiblegirl.co.uk