“Fallin'” by De La Soul & Teenage Fanclub (1993)

Sure, we can blame the soundtrack of the forgettable film Judgment Night for spawning the rap/rock movement that gave us Korn and Limp Bizkit. We can also laud it for commendably bridging what were thought of as two disparate musical worlds (save for the Beastie Boys, who defy all logic); alternative rock and hardcore hip-hop.

Of course, the audiences already overlapped to some extent. Both genres had a largely teenage or young adult, male fan base. Both genres were occasionally aggressive to the point of menace. Both genres spoke occasionally to alienation and outsider status. But the Judgment Night soundtrack blew the door open between the two genres in a way that previous attempts at collaboration (whether by cross-genre team ups like the Public Enemy/U2 tour of ’91 and R.E.M.’s “Radio Song” with KRS-ONE or by artists who simply blended those genres like Neneh Cherry, P.M. Dawn, Rage Against The Machine and the aforementioned Beasties).

My favorite Judgment Night song was perhaps the least aggressive and most tuneful. “Fallin” brought together Long Island weirdos De La Soul (a hip-hop group that’s always been as alt/arty as any indie act), Scottish alt-rockers Teenage Fanclub, and an immediately recognizable one-word Tom Petty sample to tell the tale of a rapper who’s slowly watching his career get flushed down the toilet. In a way that’s fairly typical for De La Soul, the serious lyrical content is somewhat tempered by a loosey-goosey, joke-filled delivery. And while the last minute or so of “Fallin'”-which features the two bands riffing on Duice’s then-brand-spankin’-new booty-rap hit “Dazzey Duks”-is kind of unnecessary, it’s a minor blemish in what is otherwise an incredible song.

“Fallin'” was the first I’d heard of Teenage Fanclub beyond maybe an article or two in Spin, but it strangely didn’t compel me to explore their work any further. I ended up finally purchasing Bandwagonesque (the most popular/critically acclaimed album by the band) in the mid 2000s and gave up on it pretty quickly. Apparently, Teenage Fanclub is not my jam unless they’re collaborating with De La Soul or covering Madonna; their version of “Like A Virgin” (from the soundtrack to the 1994 movie Threesome) is the only other song of theirs in my iTunes library.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s