"From the riot torn streets of Manchester, England to the scenic sewers of Chicago" begins the hoarse American MC introducing The Fall to an audience of appreciative, but probably confused, stateside audience. Of the early live albums, A Part of America Therein 1981 might be one of their best. The sound quality and band mix is fine, though a slight distortion suggests a poor source tape or a vinyl remaster. Above all, the band is in top form, Mark E. Smith amusing in several audience asides while focused and possessed of vitriol in the treatise-like songs ("The N.W.R.A." and "Cash 'n' Carry") that make up a majority of this set. "Totally Wired" can't help but be a lashing out of the scene surrounding him, as Smith changes the lyrics to attack the faux punks in the audience. And the line "When the going gets weird/the weird turn pro" could be The Fall's motto. The double-punch of Craig Scanlon and Marc Riley's guitars add to the fury. Re-released in 1992 sharing a CD with the Slates EP.
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AllMusic Review by Ted Mills