This Nation's Saving Grace

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This Nation's Saving Grace
This Nation's Saving Grace.jpg
Studio album by The Fall
Released 23 September 1985
Recorded 1985
Genre Post-punk, art punk
Length 47:17
Label Beggars Banquet
Producer John Leckie
The Fall chronology
The Wonderful and Frightening World Of...
This Nation's Saving Grace
Bend Sinister

This Nation's Saving Grace is the eighth studio album by English post-punk band The Fall. It was released in 1985 by record label Beggars Banquet.

The album peaked at number 54 in the UK Albums Chart, and has received acclaim from critics. According to The Guardian, the album "finds [The Fall] operating just on the edge of the mainstream and at the peak of their accessibility and yet strangeness".[1]

Background and production[edit]

Paul Hanley left The Fall in November 1984, leaving Karl Burns as the sole drummer and ending their classic dual drummer line up. His brother, long term Fall bassist Steve Hanley, took four months' paternity leave in late 1984 and so played very little part in the writing of the album. He was replaced by Simon Rogers, a classically trained musician whom the group leader Mark E. Smith knew from working with dancer Michael Clarke. After Hanley's return, Rogers switched to guitar and keyboards. The Fall marked Hanley's reappearance with the inscription "S Hanley! He's Back" on the run-out groove on side one.


Yarbles (from the song titled "To NK Roachment: Yarbles") appears in the novel A Clockwork Orange as Nadsat for testicles or bollocks. That song's lyric, "Everyday you have to die some/Everyday you have to cry some", alludes to a line that is almost exactly the same in the Lou Reed song "Home of the Brave", from his 1983 album Legendary Hearts.

"I Am Damo Suzuki" is a tribute to the seminal 1970s Krautrock group Can and their occasional vocalist Damo Suzuki. The riff descending in semitones is based on the end section of "Bel Air" from the Can album Future Days (a similar progression also features in "Don't Turn the Light On, Leave Me Alone" from the Soundtracks album), while the drum pattern is based on "Oh Yeah" from Tago Mago.

"What You Need" is titled after an episode of The Twilight Zone. The lyric "slippery shoes for your horrible feet" also originates from the plot of this episode.


This Nation's Saving Grace was released on 23 September 1985 by record label Beggars Banquet. It reached number 54 in the UK Albums Chart.[2]

After tours of the North of England and the US, The Fall recorded the double A-sided single "Couldn't Get Ahead"/"Rollin' Dany" and subsequent single "Cruiser's Creek" with Simon Rogers standing in on bass guitar.[3]


Professional ratings
Review scores
Source Rating
AllMusic 4.5/5 stars[4]
BBC Music very favourable[5]
Robert Christgau B+[6]
Drowned in Sound 10/10 (Omnibus Edition)[7]
The Guardian 5/5 stars (Omnibus Edition)[1]
Pitchfork 10/10[8]
The Quietus very favourable (Omnibus Edition)[9]
Record Collector 4/5 stars[10]

This Nation's Saving Grace has received critical acclaim.

Dave Simpson of The Guardian wrote, "this is a group thrillingly subverting the notion of what pop music is."[1]


Pitchfork listed This Nation's Saving Grace as 13th best album of the 1980s. It ranked at 46 in Spin's list of the 100 greatest albums from 1985 to 2005.[citation needed] Slant listed the album at number 93 in its list of the best albums of the 1980s.[11]

The CD edition was covered in its entirety by members of the forum on the band's then-official website, with the approval of Mark E. Smith. The complete album was later covered in concert by Triple Gang, featuring members of Faith No More and Fudge Tunnel. The original vinyl album was covered by electronica act Globo, as an "experiment".[12]

Track listing[edit]

Side A
No. Title Writer(s) Length
1. "Mansion"   Mark E. Smith 1:21
2. "Bombast"   Steve Hanley, M. Smith 3:08
3. "Barmy"   M. Smith 5:21
4. "What You Need"   Craig Scanlon, M. Smith 4:50
5. "Spoilt Victorian Child"   Simon Rogers, M. Smith 4:13
6. "L.A."   Brix Smith, M. Smith 4:10
Side B
No. Title Writer(s) Length
7. "Gut of the Quantifier"   Karl Burns, M. Smith 5:16
8. "My New House"   M. Smith 5:16
9. "Paint Work"   Rogers, Scanlon, M. Smith 6:38
10. "I Am Damo Suzuki"   Burns, B. Smith, M. Smith 5:41
11. "To Nk Roachment: Yarbles"   B. Smith, M. Smith 1:23



  1. ^ a b c Simpson, Dave (15 December 2011). "The Fall: This Nation's Saving Grace Omnibus Edition – Review | Music | The Guardian". The Guardian. Retrieved 6 February 2013. 
  2. ^ "Fall | Official Charts Company". Official Charts. Retrieved 25 March 2015. 
  3. ^ Daryl Easlea – interview with Paul Hanley, "The Fall Box Set 1976 – 2007" accompanying booklet (Castle Music/Sanctuary 2007)
  4. ^ Mills, Ted. "This Nation's Saving Grace – The Fall | Songs, Reviews, Credits, Awards | AllMusic". AllMusic. Retrieved 6 February 2013. 
  5. ^ Aston, Martin (10 January 2011). "BBC – Music – Review of The Fall – This Nation's Saving Grace". BBC Music. Retrieved 6 February 2013. 
  6. ^ Christgau, Robert. "Robert Christgau: CG: The Fall". Retrieved 6 February 2013. 
  7. ^ Perry, Tom (20 January 2011). "The Fall – This Nation's Saving Grace (Omnibus Edition) / Releases / Releases // Drowned in Sound". Drowned in Sound. Retrieved 6 February 2013. 
  8. ^ Tiffee, Bruce. "The Fall: This Nation's Saving Grace: Pitchfork Review". Pitchfork. Archived from the original on 6 October 2001. Retrieved 6 February 2013. 
  9. ^ Middles, Mick (26 January 2011). "The Quietus | Reviews | The Fall". The Quietus. Retrieved 6 February 2013. 
  10. ^ "This Nation's Saving Grace: Omnibus Edition – The Fall". Record Collector. Retrieved 6 February 2013. 
  11. ^
  12. ^