Middlemass
Fall Tracks A-Z

Written by:
Mark E. Smith, Steve Hanley, Craig Scanlon, Mark Riley

Initial release:
Slates, Rough Trade RT07! 10"

Date:
24 April 1981

Subsequent releases:
Live In London 1980, Chaos Tapes LIVE006, March 1982 (live version from Acklam Hall, London, 11 December 1980)


Slates, (in double CD pack with A Part Of America Therein) DOJO Records. CD: LOMACD10 December 1992

The Collection, Castle CCSCD365 CD; CCSMC365 Cassette; March 1993

The Legendary Chaos Tape (first released as Live In London) . Scout Releases/Rough Trade SAR1005, 1 November 1996

Slates (in  CD pack with A Part Of America Therein) Castle/Essential.CD: ESMCD637 24 April 1998

The Legendary Chaos Tape (first released as Live In London), Cog Sinister/Voiceprint, COGVP101 CD; 19 November 1999

Psykick Dance Hall, Eagle EEECD010, August 2000

Totally Wired - The Rough Trade Anthology,Castle CMDDD461, 15 July 2002

Totally Wired . The Rough Trade Anthology, Earmark 40006 180gm vinyl; 4 August 2003

Live In London, Castle, CMRCD1005 27 September 2004

Slates, Castle CMRCD1052 22 November 2004 (original album track plus John Peel session version)

Live In London, Earmark EM307 LP 12 September 2005

Live From The Vaults - Glasgow 1981, Hip Priest/Voiceprint HIPP009CD, 21 November 2005 (Live at the Plaza, Glasgow 23 February 1981)

Radio session:
Recorded 24 March 1981, broadcast 31 March 1981
Released on;
The Peel Sessions, Strange Fruit SFRSCD048 CD 25 January 1999
Words Of Expectations - BBC Sessions, Castle CMEDD696 CD 26 May 2003
The Complete Peel Sessions 1978-2004, Castle CMXBX982 25 April 2005

Group on initial recording:


Mark E Smith - vocals ; Marc Riley - guitar, keyboards ; Craig Scanlon - guitar; Steve Hanley - bass ; Paul Hanley - drums

First played live:
1 November 1980 London

Last played live:
2 May 2004 Houston

Number of known performances:
105

Commentary:

Middle Mass was revived by the group for live performances in 2004 a full 20 years after its previous appearances in the set.

In an interview conducted with Marc Riley for the Pseud Mag no. 6 (October/November 2005) the former Fall member had this to say about the song: "Mark and I weren't getting on at all. He'd pull all sorts of stunts. You'd get a record back from the pressing plant and the writing credits bore no resemblance to the people who wrote it - stuff like that - so I used to argue with him a lot. I overheard him saying to someone (Grant Showbiz I think) that Middle Mass was about me. I approached Mark about it and he denied it - that was it for me. Not that he'd written the song about me - just that he didn't have the balls to admit it. 'The boy is like a tape loop?! Ha? I took that as a compliment - and 'he has cider mates'...well, Steve, Craig and I were inseperable and had the same tight circle of friends so that seemed a bit of a misguided dig at me personally."

Interesting production on this one on the initial recording - lots of studio techniques used to apply multiple vocals etc. Starts with a rising bass riff clashing with atonal Scanlon riffs. There would appear to be a distant organ patch amongst the clashing guitars. The guitars/bass play a contrapuntal skank type rhythm against a fairly straight rhythm. This provides a lot of tension until about half way through when the rhythm changes to a swinging feel