The Frenz Experiment

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The Frenz Experiment
The Frenz Experiment.jpg
Studio album by
Released29 February 1988
RecordedSt John's Wood; Brixton; Manchester
Genre
Length42:20
LabelBeggars Banquet
ProducerSimon Rogers; Grant Showbiz; Dian Barton
The Fall chronology
Bend Sinister
(1986)
The Frenz Experiment
(1988)
I Am Kurious Oranj
(1988)
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.

Background[edit]

Smith originally intended to call the album Gene Crime Experience, until he realised that its acronym is "GCE". The phrase does still feature on the back cover of the CD.

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 that 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]

Brix Smith co-wrote a number of the tracks but is largely omitted from the song writing credits.

Release[edit]

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. They opened the short set with "Cab It Up!", a new song that would appear on the group's 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 the album 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 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.

Reception[edit]

Professional ratings
Review scores
SourceRating
AllMusic4/5 stars[4]
Robert ChristgauB+[5]
Pitchfork7.4/10[6]

The Frenz Experiment was generally well received by music critics. Pitchfork, in a 2000 review, gave the album a positive rating but described it as "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.TitleWriter(s)Length
1."Frenz"Mark E. Smith3:24
2."Carry Bag Man"M. Smith4:00
3."Get a Hotel"Steve Hanley, Craig Scanlon, M. Smith4:29
4."Victoria"Ray Davies2:40
5."Athlete Cured"M. Smith4:45
Side B: Experience
No.TitleWriter(s)Length
1."In These Times"M. Smith3:25
2."The Steak Place"M. Smith, Brix Smith3:56
3."Bremen Nacht"M. Smith7:00
4."Guest Informant" (excerpt)Hanley, Scanlon, M. Smith0:39
5."Oswald Defence Lawyer"Hanley, M. Smith5:59

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

Side C
No.TitleWriter(s)Length
1."Bremen Nacht Run Out"M. Smith4:40
Side D
No.TitleWriter(s)Length
1."Mark'll Sink Us" (live)Scanlon, M. Smith4:42

Personnel[edit]

References[edit]

  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". officialcharts.com. 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". robertchristgau.com. 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]