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Free Range

Written by:

  • Mark E Smith, Simon Wolstencroft
   
Initial release:
  • Free Range,Cog Sinister/Fontana SINS8 7"; SIN8 7" Limited; SIN812 12";  SINCD8 CD (+ promo release on SINDJ812)

Date:
  • 2 March 1992

Subsequent releases:

  • Code: Selfish, Cog Sinister/Fontana 512.162-1 LP; 512.162-4 Cassette; 512.162-2 CD; 9 March 1992
  • Ed's Babe, Cog Sinister/Fontana SINCD912; CD: SINCD9 (track entitled Free Ranger; remix of Free Range; 22 June 1992
  • NME Singles Of The Week 1992, RCA/BMG NMERCACD1; 1993
  • [US promotional CD: The Infotainment Scan, Matador Records/Atlantic PCRD 5094; May 1993]
  • A Past Gone Mad, Artful ARTFULCD30; 19 April  2000 (album version)
  • Code: Selfish, Cog Sinister/VoiceprintCOGVP133 CD; 23 September 2002
  • High Tension Line - Recall/Snapper SMDCD443, 23 September 2002 (album version)
  • Listening In, Cog Sinister/Voiceprint COGVP132 CD; 11 November 2002 (includes Free Ranger)
  • Code: Selfish, Cog Sinister/Voiceprint  VP241005 CD; 22 September 2003 (album coupled with Shiftwork)
  • The War Against Intelligence - The Fontana Years, Universal Music 0770002; 20 October 2003 (single version)
  • 50,000 Fall Fans Can't Be Wrong - 39 Golden Greats - Sanctuary SMEDD017, 31 May 2004 (single version)
  • Code: Selfish, Fontana/Mercury Records 9847302 CD; 7 May 2007 (includes single, album, Free Ranger and Peel session versions; see above and below for more details)
  • The Fontana Years CD574267/8; August 2017; (LP, single and Free Ranger; box set contains Code: Selfish extended CD)
  • The Fall: A Sides 1978 - 2016. Cherry Red CRCDBox 42; 24 November 2017
  • The Fall: Singles 1978 - 2016, Cherry Red CRCDBox 30; 24 November 2017

Officially released live performances:

  • Cheetham Hill, Receiver Records, RRCD247 CD; November 1997
  • Live Various Years - Cog Sinister/Voiceprint COGVP111CD, September 1998 (according to the album this was recorded live in Munich in October 1993, but no record of such a gig exists)
  • Nottingham 92, Cog Sinister/Voiceprint COGVP110CD; November 1998 (recorded at Trent Polytechnic, Nottingham, 15 March 1992)
  • The Twenty-Seven Points - Cog Sinister/Permanent PERMLP36, August 1995 (date and venue unknown)
  • Time Enough At Last - Castle CMETD706, 28 April 2003 (includes Cheetham Hill; details above)
  • Live At The Phoenix Festival - Strange Fruit SFRSCD120, 29 September 2003 (recorded at the Phoenix Festival, 15 July 1995)
  • The Twenty-Seven Points, Castle (CMQDD1351) May 2006 (details as above)
  • Creative Distortion, Secret Records CD; October 2014 (recorded at King George's Hall, Blackburn, 22 September 2002)
  • Best of The Fall & Mark E Smith, Secret Records SECLP192; 18 May 2018 (recorded at King George's Hall, Blackburn, 22 September 2002)

Radio session:

  • The Peel Sessions, Strange Fruit SFRSCD048; 25 January 1999 (recorded 19 January 1992, broadcast 15 February 1992)
  • The Complete Peel Sessions 1978 - 2004, Castle/Sanctuary CMXBX982; 25 April 2005 (details as above)
  • Code: Selfish, Fontana/Mercury Records 9847302 CD; 7 May 2007 (details as above)
  • The Fontana Years CD574268; August 2017 (details as above)
 

DVD release:

  • A Touch Sensitive - Live, Secret Records SECDVD101; 8 March 2004 (recorded at King George's Hall, Blackburn 22 September 2002)
  • Creative Distortion, Secret Records CD; October 2014 (recorded at King George's Hall, Blackburn, 22 September 2002)


Group on initial release:

  • Mark E Smith - vocals; Craig Scanlon - guitar; Steve Hanley - bass; Dave Bush - keyboards; Simon Wolstencroft - drums, keyboards


First played at:

  • 3 August 1991 Cities in the Park, Heaton Park, Manchester

Last played at:

  • 22 September 2002    King George's Hall, Blackburn

Number of known performances:

  • 108

Commentary:

Dave Thompson in "A User's Guide to The Fall": "One of The Fall's most ferocious ...releases, war torn guitars and keyboards cut throught with muttered samples, as Smith's chilling vision of a pan-European society regulated according to the Nazi/Nietzsche-ian ideal was borne out by the near-similtaneous eruption of the war in the Balkans."

The single and LP versions are different edits: the LP version is an edit of a different take (1st half) and the 7" version (2nd half).

In an interview published in issue no. 2 of The Biggest Library Yet (November 19949, Simon Wolstencroft said, "I'm not, nor ever have been, very good at playing them [keyboards] with two hands - although when I write a song - like Free Range, Christmas with Simon, Ladybird etc - I base this around the bass guitar sounds on a keyboard as I used to play a little bass before I took up drums when at school."

In an interview with Andy Darling, published in FHM in May 1993, Dave Bush said, "We tried to record it loads of times but Mark wouldn't let me do it the way I wanted to do it. He wouldn't let us have the click track on and said we couldn't play with sequencers. In the end he said:'Right, I'm going to the fuckin' pub. You've got half an hour. If you don't get it fuckin' sorted out by then we're not doing that fuckin' song.' He went to the pub and we got it down in one go."

Das Katerer is a musical retread of Free Range, and shares lyrics with The Caterer, released on the MES solo album The Post Nearly Man. On the latter, the Free Range riff isn't so obvious, but Simon Wolstencroft still gets a writing credit. https://sites.google.com/site/reformationposttpm/fall-tracks/das-katerer

The song was debuted on 3 August 1991 (details below) and is reviewed thus on this website: "Free Range gets its first live outing which is a glorious tangle of noise, sequenced arpeggiating and visceral animal noises from Craig. Eschewing the later building chord tension Scanlon tends to rely on grunge like noises until the later parts of the song where he drives things on over a vital polyrhythmic tangle from Wolstencroft." https://sites.google.com/site/reformationposttpm/gig-reviews/the-fall-live/1991-gigs/19910803-heaton-park-manchester


The line “insect posse will be crushed” is used in Free Range, So-Called Dangerous, a remix of So What About It? and the John Peel session version of The Mixer.

Free Range reached no. 6 in John Peel's Festive Fifty in 1992. It also reached no 40 in the  UK singles chart, the only Fall original to make the top 40.
 



 

 

Gigs played at:

  1. 3 August 1991     Cities in the Park, Heaton Park, Manchester (review of song in commentary section)
  2. 20 August 1991    The Ritz, Manchester 
  3. 24 August 1991    Reading Festival
  4. 2 December 1991    Coventry Polytechnic
  5. 3 December 1991    Palace Nightclub, Blackpool
  6. 8 December 1991    Hull University
  7. 18 December 1991    Town Hall, Stockport
  8. 23 December 1991    Town Hall, Stockport
  9. 15 March 1992    Polytechnic, Nottingham
  10. 16 March 1992    Polytechnic, Leicester
  11. 18 March 1992 Academy, Manchester
  12. 25 March 1992    University, Bradford
  13. 26 March 1992    Polytechnic, Sheffield
  14. 29 March 1992    Brixton Academy, London
  15. 30 March 1992    Corn Exchange, Cambridge
  16. 21 April 1992    Waterfront, Norwich
  17. 8 May 1992    City Hall, Glasgow
  18. 19 May 1992    Town and Country, London
  19. 20 May 1992    Event, Brighton
  20. 23 May 1992    Ancienne Belgique, Brussels
  21. 25 May 1992    Paradiso, Amsterdam, The Netherlands
  22. 5 June 1992    Live Music Hall, Cologne
  23. 8 June 1992    Huxley's Neue Welt, Berlin
  24. 12 June 1992    Grosse Frieheit 36, Hamburg
  25. 27 June 1992    Glastonbury Festival
  26. 27 July 1992    Slough Festival
  27. 3 August 1992    Pyramid Centre, Portsmouth
  28. 15 September 1992    The Ritz, Manchester
  29. 22 September 1992    Town and Country Club, London
  30. 3 October 1992    Free Trade Hall, Manchester
  31. 15 October 1992    Milos Clyb, Salonica
  32. 19 November 1992    Town Hall, Birmingham
  33. 18 December 1992    Queen Margaret Union, Glasgow
  34. 7 April 1993    Hallam University, Sheffield
  35. 6 May 1993    Student's Union, University, Newcastle
  36. 7 May 1993    University, Manchester
  37. 8 May 1993    Methodist Central Hall, Liverpool
  38. 9 May 1993    University of East Anglia, Norwich
  39. 10 May 1993    Junction, Cambridge
  40. 12 May 1993    Roadmender, Northampton
  41. 13 May 1993    University, Leeds
  42. 15 May 1993    Clapham Grand, London
  43. 16 May 1993    Clapham Grand, London
  44. 17 May 1993    Wulfrun Hall, Wolverhampton
  45. 18 May 1993    Pyramid Centre, Portsmouth
  46. 19 August 1993    Trocadero, Philadelphia
  47. 28 August 1993    Cabaret Metro, Chicago
  48. 29 August 1993    Barrymore Theatre, Madison
  49. 2 September 1993    Backstage, Seattle
  50. 4 September 1993    Slim's, San Francisco
  51. 5 September 1993    Slim's, San Francisco
  52. 7 September 1993    Roxy, Hollywood
  53. 10 September 1993    Trees, Dallas
  54. 11 September 1993    Liberty Lunch, Austin
  55. 14 September 1993 Athens, Georgia
  56. 17 September 1993    Academy, New York
  57. 4 October 1993    Vier Linden, Hildsheim
  58. 11 October 1993    Batschkapp, Frankfurt, Germany
  59. 17 October 1993    Paradiso, Amsterdam
  60. 19 October 1993    Kentish Town Forum, London
  61. 6 December 1993    Roadhouse, Manchester
  62. 7 December 1993    Roadhouse, Manchester
  63. 8 December 1993    Roadhouse, Manchester
  64. 9 December 1993    Roadhouse, Manchester
  65. 27 December 1993    Al's Music Cafe, Manchester
  66. 28 December 1993    Almada, Portugal
  67. 20 January 1994    Lomax, Liverpool
  68. 21 January 1994    Lomax, Liverpool
  69. 22 January 1994    Lomax, Liverpool
  70. 29 April 1994    Shepherds Bush Empire, London
  71. 25 May 1994    Exeter Lemongrove, University of Exeter
  72. 31 May 1994    The Anvil, Basingstoke
  73. 1 June 1994    Queen Elizabeth Hall, Oldham
  74. 3 June 1994    Riverside, Newcastle
  75. 5 June 1994    Assembly Rooms, Derby
  76. 15 July 1994    Phoenix Festival, Stratford-on-Avon
  77. 15 August 1994    The Acropolis, Edinburgh
  78. 1 September 1994    Roadhouse, Manchester
  79. 2 September 1994    Roadhouse, Manchester
  80. 3 September 1994    Leadmill, Sheffield
  81. 7 September 1994    Club Babyhead, Providence
  82. 8 September 1994    Axis, Boston
  83. 10 September 1994    Tramps, New York
  84. 11 September 1994    Trocadero, Philadelphia
  85. 13 September 1994    RPM Club, Toronto
  86. 14 September 1994    Blind Pig, Ann Arbor
  87. 15 September 1994    Bogart's, Cincinnati
  88. 21 September 1994    Backstage, Seattle
  89. 22 September 1994    La Luna, Portland
  90. 24 September 1994    Fillmore, San Francisco
  91. 19 December 1994    Al's Music Cafe, Manchester
  92. 20 December 1994    Northwick Theatre, Worcester
  93. 21 December 1994    Lomax, Liverpool
  94. 22 December 1994    Barbican, York
  95. 10 March 1995    The Forum, London
  96. 20 March 1995    Roadhouse, Manchester
  97. 13 May 1995    Saint Lo Festival, Brittany
  98. 14 July 1995    Phoenix Festival, Stratford-on-Avon
  99. 23 October 1995    Astoria, London
  100. 30 March 1998    Coney Island High, New York
  101. 3 April 1998    Middle East. Cambridge
  102. 7 April 1998    Brownies, New York
  103. 27 April 1998    Dingwall's, London
  104. 28 April 1998    Dingwall's, London
  105. 11 August 1998    University, Manchester
  106. 4 December 1998    Trocadero, Philadelphia
  107. 29 December 1998    Ritz Ballroom, Manchester
  108. 22 September 2002    King George's Hall, Blackburn (released on DVD; details left)

 

 
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