Fall Out

From PoliceWiki
"Fall Out"
1977 cover
Recorded by The Police
Released: 1977-05-19

1979-11-02 (re-release)

Recorded: 1977-02-12
Length: 2:01
Album(s): Message In A Box
Label(s): Illegal Records
Writer(s): Stewart Copeland
Producer(s): Stewart Copeland and Bazza
Studio(s): Pathway Studios
Released as single? YES

"Fall Out" is a song written by Stewart Copeland and recorded by The Police on 1977-02-12.

About the song

The Police's very first recorded song was written by Stewart Copeland. Miles Copeland gave this thumbs up that this should be the single on 1977-02-05. Stewart borrowed 150 UK pounds from Paul Mulligan for the recording session at Pathway Studios.

On 1977-02-12 The Police went to Pathway Studios and recorded from 01:00PM to 09:00PM. They started by recording Fall Out "live" with drums, bass and Henry Padovani's rhythm guitar played at the same time. Stewart Copeland later overdubbed the rhythm guitar parts - but Henry Padovani plays the solo on Fall Out, announced by Sting's "Hen-ry!".

They mixed the songs on 1977-02-13 from 11:30AM to 2:00PM.

L'Historia Bandido from 1981 mentioned that Stewart had borrowed 150 UK pounds from Paul Mulligan - by the end of 1977 the sales of Fall Out had reached 10.000.

The Police: A Visual Documentary By Miles also mentions that Fall Out & Nothing Achieving were recorded for 150 UK pounds. Stewart had borrowed 800 from a friend (Paul Mulligan) and with the remaining money he had 2000 copies pressed at the RCA pressing plant near Newcastle and formed his Illegal Records label.

Stewart Copeland's diaries mention that he borrowed £ 500 from Paul Mulligan and paid £ 103 for recording and mixing.

The Police picked up the first 50 records at the RCA pressing plant on 1977-05-05. They already sold some at the next concerts - these had a press-out center hole and no cover yet. Before the single was officially released on 1977-05-19 more than 130 singles were already sold or given to Marc Zermati in Paris.

The Reggatta de Blanc tour program mentions that 2000 singles had "immediately" sold. This seems to be right as on 1977-06-02 Stewart picked up 1100 more Fall Out singles in Slough - that might have been the Linguaphone pressing plant. By 1977-06-22 4500 Fall Out singles had been sold already.

Sting sold a Fall Out in a glossy sleeve and with a press-out center hole on 1977-10-16 at a concert in Maasbree, The Netherlands. This kind of rules out the idea that only the first run of 2000 came with the press-out center hole. The glossy cover back in October rules out the idea that this rare glossy cover was made for the initial run of 2000 copies. Those had sold out long ago.

There are two explanations for the fact that the glossy sleeve came with both press-out center hole and small center hole - either this sleeve version was used every now and then, depending on which printer was available. Or the glossy sleeve was used in the transition phase from the press-out center hole to the small center hole.

If you compare all the various label versions with their Matrix numbers it looks as if this might be the order of release:

  • red label with crude Illegal logo - press-out center hole (from May 1977 until at least October 1977)
  • red label with crude Illegal logo - small center hole
  • red label with neat Illegal logo - with "Made In England" at the bottom
  • red label with neat Illegal logo - without "Made In England" at the bottom
  • grey label with small Illegal logo
  • and then of course the 1979 re-releases, first with green / black cover, then blue / purple and later in 1983 orange / black cover


Release History


Fall Out appears on the following album releases:

Cover art Album title Release date Release country
40px Punk Collection 1977-MM-DD Italy
40px Illegal Greatest Hits 1981-MM-DD The Netherlands, Greece, ...
40px I.R.S. GREATEST HITS VOLS. 2 & 3 1981-MM-DD USA
45rpm.png WBCN Naked Disc 1997-MM-DD USA
Police-album-messageinaboxthecompleterecordings.jpg Message In A Box 1993-MM-DD UK


7" Singles

Cover art Catalog no. A-side song/B-side song Release date Release country
Fallout 77.jpg IL 001 "Fall Out"/"Nothing Achieving" 1977-05-19 UK
Fallout green.jpg IL 001 "Fall Out"/"Nothing Achieving" 1979-11-02 UK
Fallout blue.jpg IL 001 "Fall Out"/"Nothing Achieving" 1979-11-02 UK
Fallout orange.jpg IL 001 "Fall Out"/"Nothing Achieving" 1983-MM-DD UK


Lyrics are property and copyright of their owners, and provided here for educational purposes only.

I never thought of leading
I've got my own machine
And I've paid my dues all along
All set for breaking
When I missed those other people
'Cause I knew that I was really alone

Fall out
Fall out with all the leaders and gangs
Fall out
Fall out with all the leaders and gangs

I saw my education
It was my indoctrination
Just to be another parking machine
All my sense was breaking
When I missed those other people
'Cause I knew that I was not very clean

Fall out
Fall out with all the leaders and gangs
Fall out
Fall out with all the leaders and gangs

Fall out


  • Ripped & Torn (Summer 1977):

1977 06 Ripped Tor Fall Out ad 77.jpg

  • SOUNDS (July 9, 1977):

1977 07 09 Sounds Fall Out ad 77.jpg

  • NME (July 16, 1977):

1977 07 16 NME Fall Out ad 77.jpg

  • Record Mirror (November 17, 1979):

1979 11 17 Sounds Fall Out rerelease ad.jpg


  • NME - May 28, 1977 review by Charles Shaar Murray:

1977 05 28 NME Fall Out review.jpg

  • Record Mirror - May 28, 1977 review by David Brown:

1977 05 28 Record Mirror Fall Out review.jpg

  • Sounds - May 28, 1977 review by Tim Lott:

1977 05 28 Sounds Fall Out review.jpg

  • Melody Maker - June 4, 1977 review by Caroline Coon:

1977 06 04 Melody Maker Fall Out review.jpg

  • New Rose - July 1977 review:

1977 07 New Rose Fall Out review.jpg

  • Sounds - July 9, 1977 review by Pete Makowski:

1977 07 09 Sounds Fall Out review.jpg

  •  ?- July 9, 1977 review:

1977 07 09 ? Fall Out review.jpg

  • Oor - July 13, 1977 review:

1977 07 13 Oor Fall Out review.jpg

  • Confidential - Summer 1977 review:

1977 summer Confidential Fall Out review.jpg

  • Twist & Shout - August 1977 review:

1977 08 Twist And Shout Fall Out review.jpg

Quotations and trivia

Alternative and cover versions

There are LOTS of different versions of this single.

The original from May 1977 had a dark red label and crude ILLEGAL writing on the label - some had a press-out centre hole, some didn't.

The later edition's label (from around October 1977) was less red - and had a nicer ILLEGAL logo on it. There are different versions with or without a "Made In England" notice.

There are also variations of the black and white cover concerning the kind of paper that was used and the kind of sleeve opening.

This 1977 cover in black and white was also used in combination with a third label variation - the 1979 reprint ILLEGAL label, but with a small logo...

In 1979 the single was re-released with a new cover. The most common one is the green and black version - blue and purple is less common. The rarest of them all is the orange and black version (which is probably the 1983 re-issue that was printed just for the fan club - they sold these for 1,50 UK pounds as mentioned in the Outlandos newsletter from December 1983).

And again there were variations about the labels. The first 1979 ILLEGAL label had a small logo. The other labels with a larger ILLEGAL logo sometimes had a two-stripe design, sometimes they had a three-stripe design.

See also

Fall Out variations

External links

This section needs more information.


sources: Stewart Copeland's diary, L'Historia Bandido, The Police: A Visual Documentary By Miles, Reggatta de Blanc tour program, Stewart Copeland (overdubs)