Written by:
Mark E Smith, Brix Smith
 
Initial release:
Escape Route From The Wonderful and Frightening World of The Fall, Beggars Banquet, BEGC58 Cassette
 
Date:
8 October 1984
 
Subsequent releases:
Box One, Beggars Banquet Japan ALCB81/82/83/84; 1988
The Wonderful and Frightening World of The Fall, BEGC58 CD 1988 and 1997
Fiend With a Violin, Receiver Records  RRLP211 LP; : RRCD211 CD; 19 February 1996 (track titled Fiend With A Violin)
Archive Series, Rialto Records, RMCD14, May 1997 (Fiend With A Violin, vox)
Northern Attitude, Music Club, MCCD350, June 1998 (Fiend With A Violin)
Fiend With A Violin,  Sanctuary/Silverline (DVD audio, 288099); 24 September 2002
 
Radio sessions:
The Peel Sessions, Strange Fruit, SFRSCD048 CD; 25 January 1999 (recorded 12 December 1983,  broadcast 3 January 1984)
The Complete Peel Sessions, 1978-2004, Castle/Sanctuary, CMXBX982; 25 April 2005 (recording information as above)
 
Officially released live versions:
Live In Cambridge 1988, Cog Sinister/Voiceprint; COGVP115 CD Recorded at the Corn Exchange, Cambridge, 19 March 1988)
 
Bootleg LP:
C.R.E.E.P. SHOW, Schlick Yarbles Revisited F101, 1984 (recorded in Munich, 4 April 1984)
 
Official DVD release:
 
Live At The Hacienda 1983-1985. Cherry Red CRDVD67, 25 October 2004 (recorded at the Hacienda, Manchester; 18 October 1984)
 
Group on initial recording:
 
Mark E Smith - vocals; Brix Smith - guitar;  Craig Scanlon - guitar ;
Steve Hanley - bass; Paul Hanley - drums; keyboards Karl Burns - drums
 
First played live:
27 September 1983 Nottingham
 
Last played live:
22 March 1986 Toronto
 
Number of known performances:
117
 
Commentary:
 "The Story of The Fall" sums this one up well:
 
"AKA 'Fiend With a Violin' which puts me in mind of Rabbie Burns' Tam O'Shanter. Scottish literature aside, the dominant bass line kicks this into action and keeps it powering along on a very satisfyingly rhythmical vocal course. I love the archaic 'He was agin the rich/He was agin the poor' lines. The Peel version has some added false pigeons on roofs while the Munich version has MES coming in at the wrong place resulting in what sounds like a hit on the mic in frustration. Meanwhile, the jolly singalong chorus of 'Hit him on the head with a 2 by 4' and the domestic violence involving the son in law being clubbed with a table leg is reflected in the violent Cambridge version."
 
http://www.dailyreckless.co.uk/fall/archive/83.htm