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Hey! Luciani

Written by:
 
  • Mark E Smith, Steve Hanley

Initial Release:
 
  • Hey Luciani, Beggars Banquet Beg176 7";  Beg176T 12"

Date: 
 
  • 8 December 1986
 
Subsequent releases:
 
 
  • (US release of Bend Sinister: The Domesday Pay-Off Triad Plus, Bigtime Records; 1987)
  • Sounds Showcase 1, Sounds SHOW1, 28 February 1987 (given away with magazine; alternate version)
  • 458489 A Sides Beggars Banquet BEGA111 LP BEGC111 Cassette; BEGA111 CD; December  1990
  • Backdrop, Cog Sinister/Voiceprint COGVP127CD; 5 February 2001 (same version as on Sounds Showcase; details above)
  • 50,000 Fall Fans Can't be Wrong - 39 Golden Greats, Sanctuary SMEDD017; 31 May 2004
  • 1986...ein Jahr und seine 20 Songs...SZ Diskothet, SZ Verlag CD:;30 December 2005 (German book with accompanying CD)
  • 13 Killers, Secret Records  SECCDO68; June 2013 (same version as on Sounds Showcase; details above)
  • 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 versions:
 
  • BBC Radio 1 'Live In Concert', Windsong International WINCD038 (recorded 19 May 1987, Rock City, Nottingham) 2 August 1993
  • Live In Cambridge 1988, Cog Sinister/Voiceprint COGVP115 CD; October 2000 (recorded at the Corn Exchange, Cambridge, 19 March 1988)
  • Live In Cambridge 1988/Live Various Years, Cog Sinister/Voiceprint VP241004CD; 22 September 2003 (re-release of above album) 
  • Creative Distortion, Secret Records CD; October 2014 (recorded at King George's Hall, Blackburn, 22 September 2002)
  • Yarbles, Secret Records LP: 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)
 
DVD and video releases:
 
  • VHS8489, Beggars Banquet BB010; 1988
  • A Touch Sensitive - Live, Secret Records;  SECDVD101, 8 March 2004 (recorded at King George's Hall, Blackburn; 22 September 2002)
  • Creative Distortion, Secret Records; October 2014 (recorded at King George's Hall, Blackburn, 22 September 2002)
 
 
Group on initial recording: 

  • Mark E Smith - vocals; Brix Smith - guitar, keyboards; Craig Scanlon - guitar; Steve Hanley - bass; Simon Rogers - bass, guitar, keyboards; Simon Wolstencroft - drums 
 
First played at:
 
  • 6 February 1986 Coronet, Woolwich, London
 
Last played at:

  • 22 September 2002 King George's Hall, Blackburn
 
 
Number of known performances:
 
  • 97
 
Commentary:
 
This track was originally written for the Bend Sinister album but was held back for the play of the same name.
 
From the Story of The Fall website:  http://www.dailyreckless.co.uk/fall/archive/86.htm
 
"Music for a play written by MES centred around the mysterious death of Pope John Paul I in 1978, and incorporating Israeli commandos, demonic possession, Italian fascists, ex-Nazis and a Scottish communist. Described by its author as "a cross between Shakespeare and The Prisoner," it starred Leigh Bowery and ran for two weeks in December 1986 at Riverside Studios, Hammersmith. According to Fall mythology it was written on beer mats and delivered to its director in a shoe box. The disctinct guitar treatment makes it sound like a harpsichord, giving it a medieval vibe. One version here was the original mix by John Leckie, given away free with 'Sounds' magazine, while the crisper single version was mixed by future Lightning Seed, Ian Broudie." 

(Editors Note : Mr Broudie had a fairly substantial career before The Lightning Seeds - viz Big In Japan, Deaf School, Original Mirrors)
 
The following analysis appeared in the series Gladys Winthorpe's Emporium Of Particularly Underacknowledged Fall Compositions and was originally published in Reformation! issue no.1:
 
"Smith, M. E.: vox
Smith, B. E.: guitar, backing vox
Scanlon, C: guitar
Hanley, S: bass
Wolstencroft, S: drums
Schofield, M: keyboards
 
Available only on a free 7" single given away with the music magazine "Sounds" in 1987 until the timely release of the "Backdrop" odds-and-ends compilation released some years later, this is an alternative (and frankly better) version of the 7" single A-side released at the end of 1986. I heard John Peel playing it on Radio One at around this time, recorded it to tape, played it to death, fell in love with it and the rest (as they say) is history.
 
It's yet another example of a Fall song driven by a great highly-repetitive-yet-melodic bassline. Bookended by ambient keyboard noises to give another example of a song containing "full circledness", Doc Shanley's fluid riff, played quite high and sounding rather different from his usual guttural punch, dominates the majority of the song and is the main focal point. Around him, Simon's clear drums provide a solid superstructure, especially his bass-drum, which ties in exceptionally well with the bass riff. There's also harpsichord-like keyboards (starting at 0:13; assumedly provided by Marcia) and a lowly-mixed rhythm guitar (starting at 0:33 and panned centre; presumably provided by Craig). Variation in this section is provided by the drums; at various times, Simon stops the playing of the main pattern as a pause for breath and provides an alternative pattern of simple double-beats on snare, tom-tom and cymbal (for example, 0:07, 0:58).
 
The single (main) section is broken only by a single visit to a contrasting middle-eight section at 1:43. This section has on-the-beat drums, a different but simlarly melodic bassline (mixed more quietly than in the main section), Brix unmistakedly providing the "twangy" lead melody, Craig playing straight chords on the beat and two separate keyboard parts: a horn-like blare (pretty much only 4 notes for the most part) and a rattle-like underlying riff. To my ears, this section does not work as well as the other - the bass and lead guitar riffs are so melodic that they actually clash against each other, somehow. Anyway, after the main section returns at 2:09, it is supplemented by Brix's backing vocals (starting at 2:41) plus possibly a second rhythm guitar, panned right (played by her, I suppose). The song finishes on an odd note at 3:46 in the midst of another of Simon's drum breaks before the ambient noises surround us again and we're back where we started.
 
MES's vocals, giving the story of Alberto Luciani (the "pope of three-three days", tying in with his play about the same subject which was showing at around this time) are mixed slightly lower than on many Fall songs, but are perfectly hearable. His grappling with the vocal melody provides a few comical off-notes, for example at 0:48 ("the treachery) and 1:16 ("the curio murdered you"). Micro-listening (tm) students may have spotted him counting in the return of the main section with "boop"s at the end of the middle-eight at 2:05.
 
This song attracted me to the band as it has all the elements that for me make up a quintissential Fall song - interesting lyrical content, excellent and muscular accompanying music (especially a great bass riff) and, hovering in the background, perhaps a hint of melody and a touch of pop sensibility!"
 
Sleeve notes for the alternative version of the song on the Sounds Showcase release (details above): "Not the recent single version, but the original John Leckie recording of the track, which presaged the staging of Mark E Smith's play of the same title."
 
 
 
MES speaking on BBC Radio 1 in December 1986: "It's something you wouldn't expect us to do, that's why it's very funny."
 
MES talking to Jools Holland about the play on the opening night (5 December 1986): http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=efeSo884qDA

Discussion of the lyrics on The Annotated Fall website: http://annotatedfall.doomby.com/pages/the-annotated-lyrics/hey-luciani.html 
 
Gigs played at:
 
  1. 6 February 1986 Coronet, Woolwich, London 
  2. 8 February 1986 Royal Court, Liverpool 
  3. 10 February 1986 Laser's, Haringey 
  4. 11 February 1986 Mean Fiddler, Harlsden 
  5. 13 February 1986 Cat Club, Guildhall, Cambridge 
  6. 16 February 1986 Underground, Croydon 
  7. 28 February 1986 Living Room, Providence, Rhode Island
  8. 1 March 1986 Irving Plaza, New York City, New York 
  9. 6 March 1986 New Century Hall, Milwaukee, Wisconsin 
  10. 10 March 1986 Guthrie Theater, Minneapolis, Minnesota 
  11. 14 March 1986 The Stone, San Francisco, California 
  12. 21 March 1986 Lone Star Cafe, New York City 
  13. 22 March 1986 Larry's Hideaway, Toronto, Canada 
  14. 5 June 1986  Lea's Cliff Hall, Folkestone 
  15. 12 June 1986 Riverside Club, Newcastle 
  16. 13 June 1986 Glasgow 
  17. 12 July 1986 Town and Country, London 
  18. 26 October 1986 Revival, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania 
  19. 29 October 1986 One Step Beyond, Santa Clara, California 
  20. 1 November 1986 Irvine Meadows, Laguana Hills, California 
  21. 6 November 1986 Bristol University 
  22. 7 November 1986 Walthamstow Town Hall, London 
  23. 8 November 1986 Coronet, Woolwich 
  24. 9 November 1986 Powerhouse, Birmingham 
  25. 12 November 1986 Southampton University 
  26. 15 November 1986 Hull University
  27. 16 November 1986 Maxwell Hall, Salford University 
  28. 19 November 1986 Huddersfield Polytechnic 
  29. 20 November 1986 King George's Hall, Blackburn 
  30. 22 November 1986 Woughton Centre, Milton Keynes 
  31. 24 November 1986 Coasters, Brighton 
  32. 25 November 1986 Warwick University, Coventry 
  33. 26 November 1986 Sheffield Polytechnic 
  34. 5 December 1986 "Hey! Luciani" : Riverside Studios, Hammersmith, London 
  35. 6 December 1986 "Hey! Luciani" : Riverside Studios, Hammersmith, London 
  36. 9 December 1986 "Hey! Luciani" : Riverside Studios, Hammersmith, London 
  37. 10 December 1986 "Hey! Luciani" : Riverside Studios, Hammersmith, London 
  38. 11 December 1986 "Hey! Luciani" : Riverside Studios, Hammersmith, London 
  39. 12 December 1986 "Hey! Luciani" : Riverside Studios, Hammersmith, London 
  40. 13 December 1986 "Hey! Luciani" : Riverside Studios, Hammersmith, London 
  41. 16 December 1986 "Hey! Luciani" : Riverside Studios, Hammersmith, London 
  42. 17 December 1986 "Hey! Luciani" : Riverside Studios, Hammersmith, London 
  43. 18 December 1986 "Hey! Luciani" : Riverside Studios, Hammersmith, London 
  44. 19 December 1986 "Hey! Luciani" : Riverside Studios, Hammersmith, London 
  45. 20 December 1986 "Hey! Luciani" : Riverside Studios, Hammersmith, London 
  46. 22 December 1986 Free Trade Hall, Manchester 
  47. 5 February 1987 Batschkapp, Frankfurt, Germany 
  48. 9 February 1987 Roehre, Stuttgart, Germany 
  49. 10 February 1987 Metropol, Aachen, Germany 
  50. 11 February 1987 FBZ Braunschweig, Germany 
  51. 13 February 1987 Markthalle, Hamburg, Germany 
  52. 14 February 1987 HFT Mensa, Bremen, Germany 
  53. 15 February 1987 Metropol, Berlin, Germany 
  54. 18 February 1987 Zeche, Bochum, Germany 
  55. 19 February 1987 Hunky Dory, Detmold, Germany 
  56. 20 February 1987 Kultur Fabrik, Krefeld, Germany 
  57. 21 February 1987 Paradiso, Amsterdam, The Netherlands 
  58. 23 February 1987 Weeshuis, Deventer, The Netherlands 
  59. 24 February 1987 OOC, Venlo, The Netherlands 
  60. 26 February 1987 Luxor, Arnhem, The Netherlands 
  61. 27 February 1987 Paard Van Troje, The Hague, The Netherlands 
  62. 10 March 1987 Metropol, Aachen, Germany 
  63. 20 April 1987 International 2, Manchester 
  64. 30 April 1987 Newcastle University 
  65. 2 May 1987 Strathclyde University 
  66. 5 May 1987 Leeds Polytechnic 
  67. 6 May 1987 Keele University
  68. 11 May 1987 Liverpool University
  69. 13 May 1987 Astoria, London
  70. 14 May 1987 Astoria, London
  71. 15 May 1987 University of East Anglia, Norwich 
  72. 16 May 1987 Union Dance Hall, Essex University, Colchester 
  73. 19 May 1987 Rock City, Nottingham
  74. 22 May 1987 Town Hall, Cheltenham
  75. 1 July 1987 Elland Road, Leeds
  76. 25 July 1987 Finsbury Park, London 
  77. 15 August 1987 Knopf's Music Hall, Hamburg, Germany 
  78. 16 August 1987 Biskuithalle, Bonn, Germany 
  79. 28 August 1987 Reading Festival
  80. 8 November 1987 Stafford University
  81. 23 January 1988 Rodon Club, Athens, Greece 
  82. 15 March 1988 Leeds University
  83. 19 March 1988 Corn Exchange, Cambridge
  84. 3 April 1988 Grosse Freiheit 36, Hamburg, Germany
  85. 4 April 1988 Modernes, Bremen, Germany
  86. 5 April 1988 Biskuithalle, Bonn, Germany 
  87. 9 April 1988 FBZ Buergerpark, Braunschweig, Germany
  88. 13 April 1988  Unterfoerhring Theaterfabrik, Munich, Germany 
  89. 20 April 1988 Rote Fabrik, Zurich, Switzerland 
  90. 22 April 1988 Vooruit Gonzertaal, Ghent, Belgium 
  91. 23 April 1988 Het Noorderligt, Tilburg, The Netherlands 
  92. 24 April 1988 Paradiso, Amsterdam, The Netherlands 
  93. 16 May 1988 St. Andrews Hall, Detroit, Michigan 
  94. 27 May 1988 John Anson Ford Theatre, Los Angeles, California 
  95. 15 December 1988 Newcastle Polytechnic
  96. 17 December 1988 Barrowlands, Glasgow
  97. 22 September 2002 King George's Hall, Blackburn
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