The Frenz Experiment

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
The Frenz Experiment
The Frenz Experiment.jpg
Studio album by The Fall
Released 29 February 1988
Recorded St John's Wood; Brixton; Manchester
Genre Post-punk
Length 42:20
Label Beggars Banquet
Producer Simon Rogers; Grant Showbiz; Dian Barton
The Fall chronology
Bend Sinister
The Frenz Experiment
I Am Kurious Oranj
Singles from The Frenz Experiment
  1. "There's a Ghost in My House"
    Released: 27 April 1987
  2. "Victoria"
    Released: 11 January 1988

The Frenz Experiment is the tenth studio album by English post-punk band The Fall. It was released on 29 February 1988, through record label Beggars Banquet.


A strong similarity between "Athlete Cured" and Spinal Tap's "Tonight I'm Gonna Rock You Tonight" has been noted.[1] In his autobiography The Big Midweek, bassist Steve Hanley confirms that the resemblance was not accidental, admitting that the group had been jamming the Spinal Tap song in soundchecks and Mark E. Smith had decided to make use of the results. Hanley also states that producer Simon Rogers had been so annoyed by the lift that he came close to walking off the project.[2]

Smith originally intended to call the album Gene Crime Experience, until he realized that it spelled "GCE". The phrase does still feature on the back cover of the CD.


The Frenz Experiment was released on 29 February 1988. It reached number 19 in the UK album chart, making it The Fall's first Top 20 album.[3] The group promoted the release with a live appearance in HMV's Oxford Street store in London. Typically, they opened their short set with "Cab It Up!", a new song which would appear on their following album, I Am Kurious Oranj.

Like the group's other albums with Beggars Banquet, Frenz has a different track listing across various formats : LP, CD and cassette. A number of tracks are credited exclusively to Mark E. Smith, but also incorporates two cover versions (or one, depending on the format): "Victoria", originally by The Kinks, and "There's a Ghost in My House", a somewhat forgotten northern soul track, first recorded by R. Dean Taylor in 1966. The Fall's version of "Victoria" was released as a single, making it to No. 35 in the British charts. The latter cover only appears on the CD version of the album, having been issued as a single in April 1987, reaching number 30. This was the group's highest singles chart position to date, and remains so.


Professional ratings
Review scores
Source Rating
AllMusic 4/5 stars[4]
Robert Christgau B+[5]
Pitchfork 7.4/10[6]

The Frenz Experiment was generally well-received by music critics. Pitchfork, despite giving the album a positive rating, called the album "a bit of a mixed bag. On no other record than the weak 1994 effort Middle Class Revolt do they sound more like they're on autopilot."[6]

Track listing[edit]

Side A: Crime Gene
No. Title Writer(s) Length
1. "Frenz"   Mark E. Smith 3:24
2. "Carry Bag Man"   M. Smith 4:00
3. "Get a Hotel"   Steve Hanley, Craig Scanlon, M. Smith 4:29
4. "Victoria"   Ray Davies 2:40
5. "Athlete Cured"   M. Smith 4:45
Side B: Experience
No. Title Writer(s) Length
1. "In These Times"   M. Smith 3:25
2. "The Steak Place"   M. Smith, Brix Smith 3:56
3. "Bremen Nacht"   M. Smith 7:00
4. "Guest Informant" (excerpt) Hanley, Scanlon, M. Smith 0:39
5. "Oswald Defence Lawyer"   Hanley, M. Smith 5:59

Bonus 7": Bremen Nacht Run Out (UK/German first pressings only)

Side C
No. Title Writer(s) Length
1. "Bremen Nacht Run Out"   M. Smith 4:40
Side D
No. Title Writer(s) Length
1. "Mark'll Sink Us" (live) Scanlon, M. Smith 4:42


The Fall
  • Mark E. Smith – lead vocals, electric piano
  • Brix Smith – lead guitar, backing vocals
  • Craig Scanlon – rhythm guitar, backing vocals
  • Steve Hanley – bass guitar, backing vocals
  • Simon Wolstencroft – drums, backing vocals
  • Marcia Schofield – keyboards, backing vocals
  • Simon Rogers – acoustic guitar, electric saxophone, keyboards, backing vocals, production on tracks A1, A3–A5, B2, B3 and B5
  • Grant Showbiz – production on tracks A2, B1 and B4
  • I. Grimble (Ian Grimble) – engineering, production on track C1
  • Dian Barton – production on track D1
  • Paul Cox – front cover photography
  • Pyke (Steve Pyke) – back cover photography


  1. ^ Wolk, Douglas (June 2005). "Perverted by Language". The Believer. Retrieved 20 March 2013. 
  2. ^ Piekarski, Olivia; Hanley, Steve (2014). The Big Midweek (First ed.). Route. p. 206. ISBN 978-1-901927-58-0. 
  3. ^ "Fall | Artist | Official Charts". Retrieved 20 March 2013. 
  4. ^ Mills, Ted. "The Frenz Experiment – The Fall : Songs, Reviews, Credits, Awards : AllMusic". AllMusic. Retrieved 20 March 2013. 
  5. ^ Christgau, Robert. "Robert Christgau: CG: The Fall". Retrieved 20 March 2013. 
  6. ^ a b Tiffee, Bruce. "The Fall: The Frenz Experiment: Pitchfork Review". Pitchfork. Archived from the original on 26 February 2000. Retrieved 20 March 2013. 

External links[edit]