Song of the day: THE FALL – Bill Is Dead (1990)

I’ve known Fall fans who dislike this song, and fans of the song who can’t abide the group. Not a typical track then. “Bill Is Dead” appeared on Extricate, the first record of three that Smith and co. made for Fontana which more or less coincided with the height of the band’s commercial fortunes. The band’s sound during that period was clean, bright and betrayed a lot of dance influence. It was a world away from the percussive grime of Hex Enduction Hour and the noisabilly of the twentyfirst century incarnations of the group. That’s not to say it was better. In fact most of the material from this period seems too polished and not a little tame. “Bill Is Dead” stills sounds great, though. It’s a simple thing built over a repetitive organ riff that isn’t a million miles away from Serge Gainsbourg’s late sixties sound. And the lyric is short and sweet in a literal way. “But just lately seeing you / I rise a.m. off pink sheets / I am renewed / I am aglow…These are the greatest times of my life“. Very un-MES. This is a song that always leaves a warm glow whenever its played.


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