Stand or Fall

Album: Shuttered Room (1982)
Charted: 54 76
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  • Like most songs by The Fixx, "Stand or Fall" was composed by the band and produced by Rupert Hine, who told us: "'Stand or Fall' was always a lovely composition. And I knew from the very beginning of the first rehearsal that it was all going to be down to just these two guitar chords. And they are the two chords that open the song by way of an intro. But they're also the same two chords that permeate the entire track. They just played the two separate chords that really needed to stand out and be a hook in themselves, not just be two chords in a pop song. They really needed to stand out as two sonic moments that you would hopefully get tingles. And I tried to get them to have this sort of hair-on-the-back-of-the-neck quality just being played on a guitar.

    But of course, to devise that, we spent quite a few hours working on how we were going to create this unusual impression from sounds like a guitar player just playing two sprangy chords, when in fact it was quite cleverly crafted by a few tracks and a few different methodologies. It was constructed to produce that effect. I remember that most of all. And also the singing from Cy (Curnin) became a definitive vocal performance, the backing vocals particularly on the outro became a hook in themselves. It sounds like backing vocal, which became also a kind of… not a template, but certainly a subplot for lots of the production with the Fixx - I was always working very closely with Cy on completely fresh backing vocal ideas that came about during the recording process. But 'Stand or Fall' is still one of my most favorite production tracks, there's no doubt about it."
  • Rupert Hine also directed the video, which he considers one of his favorites, despite running into a problem with the horse. Said Hine: "It was a specially trained circus animal that often 'acted' in movies. However, as is so often typical, in these circumstances it proved to be difficult when asked to 'fall' (lie down), despite that being a very particular request upon booking. In the end, it had to pulled down with a rope.

    Interestingly, at the time the video was banned from UK showings... because, believe it or not, these scenes were deemed to look too much like the horse was dying! You have to remember that in those pre-MTV days (in Europe) the main shows for music on TV were all the 'kids' shows'."
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Comments: 2

  • Stephen from Temecula, Ca@Jim, I believe this song setting is in Europe during WWII. The Euro Theater is a term used to describe Europe which was being consumed by and involved in war. Stand or Fall is likely a reference to Hilter's march on the surrounding countries and how they either stood up to him or fell to his military power. The rest of the songs meaning takes off from there.
  • Jim from Pleasant Hill, CaIs this song about anything specific, or just general notions of rebellion in Europe? I always thought they were saying "stand up for" (which didn't make sense) when I hadn't seen the title or lyrics. But the meaning is still elusive.
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