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Extricate big.jpg
Studio album by
ReleasedMarch 20, 1990
GenrePost-punk, Madchester
Length40:51 (LP and 2007 CD reissue)
54:32 (MC and 1990 CD)
ProducerColdcut, Craig Leon, Mark E. Smith, Adrian Maxwell Sherwood
The Fall chronology
Seminal Live
Professional ratings
Review scores
AllMusic4/5 stars[1]

Extricate is the 12th album by post-punk band the Fall. It was made immediately after bandleader Mark E. Smith divorced guitarist Brix Smith. Brix's departure helped define the sound of this album: her background vocals and relatively pop-oriented guitar, which had become mainstays of The Fall, are noticeably absent in this release. In one of the more unusual events in the group's career, she was replaced by founding former member Martin Bramah, who had previously left the group in 1979 to form his own group Blue Orchids.

Lead-off single "Telephone Thing" could have been seen as a nod to the Manchester scene of the time as the sound is quite similar to the dance-influenced music that was being released by Happy Mondays and The Stone Roses in 1989. However, its origins were in Smith's previous collaboration with Coldcut on their track "I'm in Deep", which, in turn, led to Coldcut producing the track and "Black Monk Theme Part II", one of two tracks by 60s garage band The Monks to be covered on the album (the other being "Black Monk Theme" – The Fall retitled both tracks). Elsewhere, Bramah, appearing on his first Fall album since Live at the Witch Trials adds a distinctly raw, even rockabilly sound to some of the songs. However, the album's best-known track was one of the least typical of the group's catalogue: "Bill Is Dead", a slow-paced tender love song which topped John Peel's Festive Fifty that year, the only occasion in the DJ's lifetime when his favourite band would do so. Although originally conceived by Smith and Craig Scanlon as a parody of The Smiths, Smith changed lyrical tack when he decided Scanlon's music deserved better, delivering a highly personal lyric. However, at Smith's insistence, it was not released as a single.[4]

The critical reception to Extricate was largely positive, with Melody Maker suggesting that it was "possibly their finest yet"[5] and NME giving the album a full 10/10.[6] During the Australian leg of the tour accompanying the album, both Martin Bramah and Marcia Schofield were sacked from the group.

The album was re-released in an expanded and re-mastered edition by Universal in May 2007.

Track listing[edit]

Original vinyl track listing[edit]

Side 1

  1. "Sing! Harpy" (Martin Bramah (as "M. Beddington"), Mark E. Smith) – 5:24
  2. "I'm Frank" (Craig Scanlon, Smith) – 3:21
  3. "Bill Is Dead" (Scanlon, Smith) – 4:32
  4. "Black Monk Theme, Part I" (The Monks – originally titled "I Hate You") – 4:35
  5. "Popcorn, Double Feature" (Scott English, Weiss) – 3:43

Side 2

  1. "Telephone Thing" (Matt Black, Jon More, Smith) – 4:12
  2. "Hilary" (Smith) – 2:30
  3. "Chicago, Now!" (Smith) – 5:59
  4. "The Littlest Rebel" (Steve Hanley, Scanlon, Smith, Wolstencroft) – 3:36
  5. "And Therein..." (Bramah, Smith) – 2:53

CD and cassette editions[edit]

  1. "Sing! Harpy"
  2. "I'm Frank"
  3. "Bill Is Dead"
  4. "Black Monk Theme, Part I"
  5. "Popcorn, Double Feature"
  6. "Arms Control Poseur" (Scanlon, Smith, Simon Wolstencroft) – 4:44
  7. "Black Monk Theme Part II" (The Monks – originally titled "Oh, How to Do Now") – 2:01
  8. "Telephone Thing"
  9. "Hilary"
  10. "Chicago, Now!"
  11. "The Littlest Rebel"
  12. "British People in Hot Weather" (Hanley, Scanlon, Smith, Wolstencroft) – 3:07
  13. "And Therein..."
  14. "Extricate" (Hanley, Scanlon, Adrian Sherwood, Smith) – 3:46

Of the four extra tracks added, "Arms Control Poseur" and "Black Monk Theme Part II" were released as B-sides to "Popcorn Double Feature", the former in an alternate version. "British People in Hot Weather" was released as the B-side to "Telephone Thing".

2007 reissue[edit]

The first CD is based on the original vinyl issue.

  • Disc 1
  1. "Sing! Harpy"
  2. "I'm Frank"
  3. "Bill Is Dead"
  4. "Black Monk Theme, Part I"
  5. "Popcorn, Double Feature"
  6. "Telephone Thing"
  7. "Hilary"
  8. "Chicago, Now!"
  9. "The Littlest Rebel"
  10. "And Therein..."
  • Disc 2
  1. "Telephone Thing (Extended)" – 4:19 (from "Telephone Thing" 12" single)
  2. "Telephone Dub" – 4:27 (from "Telephone Thing" 12" single)
  3. "British People in Hot Weather"
  4. "Butterflies 4 Brains" (Smith, Scanlon, Hanley, Wolstencroft) – 4:15 (from "Popcorn Double Feature" single)
  5. "Arms Control Poseur" – 5:03 (from "Popcorn Double Feature" single)
  6. "Arms Control Poseur" (CD album version)
  7. "Zandra" (Smith, Beddington) – 2:47 (from limited edition "Popcorn Double Feature" single)
  8. "Black Monk Theme Part II"
  9. "Extricate"
  10. "Theme From Error-Orrori" (compilation track originally credited to "M Smith, M Beddington, S Hanley and S Wolstencroft") – 4:11
  11. "Chicago Now" – 5:34 (Peel Session)
  12. "Black Monk Theme" – 4:07 (Peel Session – this is "Part 1")
  13. "Hilary" – 2:23 (Peel Session)
  14. "Whizz Bang" – 3:01 (Peel Session, not originally broadcast, later reworked as "Butterflies 4 Brains")



  1. ^ Dougan, John. Extricate at AllMusic. Retrieved 2 July 2013.
  2. ^ Tangari, Joe (12 July 2007). "Extricate". Pitchfork Media.
  3. ^ Template:Https://www.nme.com/photos/21-1990s-albums-nme-has-given-10-10-1418946
  4. ^ Simon Ford, Hip Priest, Quartet 2003 pp 200–201
  5. ^ Wilde, Jon (17 February 1990). "Extricate". Melody Maker. p. 32. Archived from the original on 16 May 2008. Retrieved 5 April 2007.
  6. ^ Brown, James (17 February 1990). "Fall's Gold: Top Mark!". New Musical Express. p. 41. Archived from the original on 27 September 2007. Retrieved 5 April 2007.