Saturday, 12 December 2009

Mr Pharmacist




If there is one thing that MES likes doing, it's covering, some would say murdering other peoples songs. Everything from rockabilly to heavy metal  to disco is up for grabs. Some of the time it is just a godawful mess for example White Line Fever; more often than not, the re-interpretations are at least interesting if not wholly enjoyable. The list of diverse artists the Fall have covered include, Deep Purple, Gene Vincent, Franki Valli and William Blake.

The Other Half were a psych-rock band from, where else but Southern California who formed in the mid 60s and released one eponymous album in 1968. The track Mr Pharmacist was released as a single that year on GNP Crescendo Records and was later picked up and included on one of the Nuggets lps in the 80s.

The Fall recorded it for the Bend Sinister album and also released it as a single in 1986 and got to the heady heights of number 75 in the charts. I remember this and the gruppe's cover of There's A Ghost In My House being played at many a scooter dance around 86 - 88 both being tracks that could be slammed to.

The Other Half - Mr Pharmacist

And for those who haven't heard it, the pretty faithful cover version.

The Fall - Mr Pharmacist

6 comments:

Artog said...

This was the Fall song that a girlfriend used to convince me of their genius. I'd never heard the original before so thanks for that - finally cleared up a few of the lyrics for me.

I saw this the other day. I think it's fair to say he comes across better in print.

drew said...

Artog - you needed convincing?

I think I may make this a semi/regular feature as i think the originals of white lightning and f'-olding money may not have been heard by many.

The link won't open for some reason.

Artog said...

And I was so pleased about editing the hyperlink..

http://www.vbs.tv/watch/soft-focus-uk/mark-e-smith

If you haven't seen them before check out the interview with Terry Hall as well. I was shocked - he's so fucked up.

Good idea for a series of posts; there's certainly a rich vein of songs there. Prior to the girlfriend I think I'd only heard "There's a Ghost in my House" and "Victoria" - I didn't know the first was a cover (but didn't like the Fall's version anyway) and even you must prefer the Kink's version of "Victoria"? Can't fault his taste in covers though - the last great one I'm aware of is "Stay Away (Ol' White Train)" - I've never heard the original (which, according to Wikipedia, is by the excellently named Johnny Paycheck).

drew said...

I've got a couple of cd's full of the stuff.

here's the track you mentioned

http://www.box.net/shared/mdbzgeir1u

JC said...

Great stuff.

I wasnt aware until a few months afterwards that it was a cover....I just assumed MES had written a brilliant pyschobilly-pop song.

Chris Von Trapp said...

Hi fellas!
Great Fall conversation going on, here...!
I have a question, was Mr. Pharmacist on the 12" single a longer version or did it just have the extra 3rd song on it, please?
Many thanks,
Chris x