The Fall are an English post-punk band, formed in 1976 in Prestwich, Greater Manchester. With an ever-changing line up, the group essentially consists of its founder and only constant member, Mark E. Smith. The singer is famously dismissive of musicians and when asked about the high turnover of Fall members said "if it's me and your granny on bongos, then it's [the] Fall". First associated with the late 1970s punk movement, the band's music has evolved through numerous stylistic changes, often concurrently with changes in the group's membership. The Fall's music is characterised by repetition and an abrasive guitar-driven sound, and is always underpinned by Smith's typically cryptic lyrics, described by Steve Huey as "abstract poetry filled with complicated wordplay, bone-dry wit, cutting social observations and general misanthropy."
The Fall have released thirty studio albums as of 2013[update], and more than triple that when live albums and compilations (often against Smith's wishes) are taken into account. While the Fall has never achieved widespread success beyond a minor hits singles in the late 1980s, they have a maintained a strong cult following. They were long associated with BBC disc jockey John Peel, who championed them from early on in their career. Peel described the Fall as his favourite band, whom he said were, "always different... always the same."