One of just two cover versions….
Victoria – The Fall (1988, Beggars Banquet Records, Taken from ‘The Frenz Experiment’)
I was in the Golden Lion pub in St Peter Port holding a pint of French brewed ale and waiting for (I don’t know why) an Arsenal game to kick off on the relatively big screen, when I first heard the news that Mark E Smith has passed away. I was standing on my own in the pub and it came up on my phone via the Guardian’s alert system. Mark E Smith clearly wasn’t famous enough to warrant a breaking news alert from the BBC, unlike weirdly Dale Winton or Barry Chuckle. I read the piece and said “Shit” out loud in the pub. A pub I had never been in before or since for matter. The man nearest to me, who was with a couple of other chaps, looked at me and said that “He couldn’t believe that they’d left out Aubameyang either”. To which I nodded a confused yes and quietly returned to my pint gutted.
‘Victoria’ is of course a cover of a song by The Kinks – you can listen to the original here should you want to – its not a patch on Smiths version, although I strongly doubt that Mark E Smith would have agreed with me.
There were two other songs that I considered for the rundown, neither of which I think would have done as well as ‘Victoria’ they are
Repetition – The Fall (1978, Step Forward Records, taken from ‘Bingo Masters Break Out EP’) – not that I actually own a copy of the ‘Bingo Masters Break Out EP. I’m told its quite hard to get hold of.
Iceland – The Fall (1982, Kamara Records, Taken from ‘Hex Enduction Hour’) and I only considered it because the comedian Stewart Lee once told me it was his favourite song off of his favourite album but that was in 1994, so he might have changed his mind since then if I ever meet him again, I’ll ask him.
There was one other song called ‘Victoria’ that was considered for the rundown but didn’t make the longlist at all and that was this
Victoria – Official Secrets Act (2009, One Little Indian Records, taken from ‘Understanding Electricity’)
Which I’m sure you agree is a pretty decent little tune.