Shift-Work (album)

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Studio album by The Fall
Released 22 April 1991
Genre Alternative rock, post-punk
Length 51:54
Label Fontana Records
Producer Robert Gordon,
Craig Leon,
Grant Showbiz
The Fall chronology
Code: Selfish
Professional ratings
Review scores
Source Rating
AllMusic 2.5/5 stars[1]
NME 10/10[2]
Pitchfork 6.8/10[3]

Shift-Work is a 1991 LP (13th) by the British rock band The Fall, released through Phonogram Records. The Fall started working on the album in 1990 while still touring in support of Extricate, however Mark E. Smith sacked guitarist Martin Bramah and keyboardist Marcia Schofield immediately after the Australian leg of the tour, reducing the lineup to the four-piece for the first time in band's history. Only one song ("Rose") from the sessions with Bramah and Schofield eventually appeared on the album (non-vinyl versions also included the single "White Lightning", originally recorded by The Big Bopper), while several more tracks were released as Dredger EP in August 1990, including "Life Just Bounces" which would later be re-recorded for Cerebral Caustic. The Fall's first release with a reduced lineup was single "High Tension Line" in December 1990.

Shiftwork marked, in the opinion of critic Ted Mills, a change in direction for the group, as "repetitious grooves became interspersed with pop song structures."[4] Of the songs on the original track list, several have been noted as being more "introspective" than previous Fall efforts. "Edinburgh Man" for example, in which lead singer Mark E. Smith longs to be in the city of Edinburgh, Scotland has been described as "surprisingly malice-free"[4] and, in one enthusiastic review, as the best Fall song ever.[5]

The album reached number 17 in the UK charts, a two place improvement on their previous best, The Frenz Experiment.

The album was re-released on Voiceprint in 2002 adding 2 additional tracks to the original 14 track CD; "Blood Outta Stone" and "Xmas With Simon". This incarnation was also made available in a 2-CD set with Voiceprint's edition of Code: Selfish in 2003. It was reissued again in an expanded and re-mastered form by Universal on 7 May 2007.

Track listing[edit]

Original UK vinyl[edit]

Side 1 – "Earth's Impossible Day"

  1. "So What About It?" (Mark E. Smith, Craig Scanlon, Simon Wolstencroft) – 3:25
  2. "Idiot Joy Showland" (Smith, Steve Hanley) – 3:43
  3. "Edinburgh Man" (Smith, Scanlon) – 4:44
  4. "Pittsville Direkt" (Smith, Hanley, Scanlon) – 4:02
  5. "The Book of Lies" (Smith, Scanlon) – 2:58
  6. "The War Against Intelligence" (Smith, Scanlon) – 3:17

Side 2 – "Notebooks Out Plagiarists"

  1. "Shift-Work" (Smith, Scanlon) – 4:38
  2. "You Haven't Found It Yet" (Smith, Scanlon) – 4:07
  3. "The Mixer" (Smith, Scanlon, Robert Gordon) – 3:37
  4. "A Lot of Wind" (Smith) – 3:46
  5. "Rose" (Smith, Scanlon) – 3:20
  6. "Sinister Waltz" (Smith) – 4:13

Original UK CD and cassette[edit]

  1. "So What About It?"
  2. "Idiot Joy Showland"
  3. "Edinburgh Man"
  4. "Pittsville Direkt"
  5. "The Book of Lies"
  6. "High Tension Line" (Smith, Hanley, Scanlon) – 3:48
  7. "The War Against Intelligence"
  8. "Shift-Work"
  9. "You Haven't Found It Yet"
  10. "The Mixer"
  11. "White Lightning" (The Big Bopper) – 2:14
  12. "A Lot of Wind"
  13. "Rose"
  14. "Sinister Waltz"

2007 reissue[edit]

Disc One

  • As per original UK vinyl

Disc Two

  1. "White Lightning" (The Big Bopper) – 2:14
  2. "Blood Outta Stone" (Smith, Martin Beddington) – 3:34
  3. "Zagreb (Movements I+II+III)" (Smith, Marcia Schofield) – 5:55
  4. "Life Just Bounces" (Smith, Scanlon) – 4:13
  5. "The Funeral Mix" (Smith, Matt Black, Jonathan More) – 3:31
  6. "High Tension Line" (Hanley, Scanlon, Smith) – 3:47
  7. "Xmas With Simon" (Scanlon, Smith, Wolstencroft) – 3:28
  8. "Don't Take The Pizza" (Smith, Simon Rogers) – 2:37
  9. "So What About It? (Remix 1)" – 4:23
  10. "So What About It? (Remix 2)" – 4:33
  11. "So What About It? (Remix 3)" – 4:11
  12. "The Re-Mixer" (Smith, Scanlon) – 4:08
  13. "Cloud of Black" (Smith) – 4:28
  14. "Arid Al's Dream" (Scanlon, Smith) – 4:48 (from Volume Four)
  15. "The War Against Intelligence" (Peel Session) – 3:03
  16. "Idiot Joy Showland" (Peel Session) – 3:47
  17. "A Lot of Wind" (Peel Session) – 5:25
  18. "The Mixer" (Peel Session) – 4:32


The War Against Intelligence was the original title of the album until the outbreak of the Gulf War convinced Smith to change it to something less controversial. In October 2003 Universal released The War Against Intelligence – The Fontana Years, a collection of Fall songs from the albums Extricate, Shift-Work, Code: Selfish and related singles, even as the United Kingdom was involved in another Gulf War.


The Fall

Additional personnel

  • Craig Leon – production and mixing on all songs except "So What About It?", "The Book of Lies", "The War Against Intelligence", "The Mixer", and "A Lot of Wind"; organ, guitar
  • Cassell Webb – backing vocals
  • Martin Bramah – guitar on "Rose" and "White Lightning"
  • Marcia Schofield – keyboards on "Rose" and "White Lightning"
  • Dave Bush – electronics
  • Robert Gordon – production on "So What About It?", "The Book of Lies", "The War Against Intelligence", and "The Mixer"
  • Grant Showbiz – production on "Edinburgh Man", "Pitsville Direkt", and "A Lot of Wind"
  • Pascal Le Grascover art

Notes and references[edit]

  1. ^ Allmusic review
  2. ^ NME review archived from the original.
  3. ^ The Fall: Extricate/Shift-Work/Code: Selfish | Album Reviews. Pitchfork (12 July 2007).
  4. ^ a b Mills, Ted. Review Allmusic. Retrieved 29 March 2006.
  5. ^ Dalton, Stephen (20 April 1991). "Quiet! Genius at Work...". NME.

External links[edit]