The Fall

Formed 1976.
The Fall


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."

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BBC Reviews

  1. Review of Ersatz G.B.

    Ersatz G.B. 2011

    Reviewed by Garry Mulholland
    A poor LP that proves that Mark E. Smith alone does not The Fall make.
  2. Review of This Nation's Saving Grace

    This Nation's Saving Grace 2011

    Reviewed by Martin Aston
    Their ninth album, remastered, still sounds dense, punchy, lean and surly.
  3. Review of The Wonderful and Frightening World of The Fall

    The Wonderful and Frightening World of The Fall 2010

    Reviewed by Chris Roberts
    Every fan of music which breathes fire needs this record.
  4. Review of Your Future Our Clutter

    Your Future Our Clutter 2010

    Reviewed by Kev Kharas
    The Fall have broken out of time, and exist slightly away from the rest of us.
  5. Review of Imperial Wax Solvent

    Imperial Wax Solvent 2008

    Reviewed by Daryl Easlea
    Another compelling episode in that small but thriving outpost of the post-punk empire,...
  6. Review of Reformation Post TLC

    Reformation Post TLC 2007

    Reviewed by Daryl Easlea
    The Fall are the last true perpetrators of the post-punk spirit. It is only you that...
  7. Review of Fall Heads Roll

    Fall Heads Roll 2005

    Reviewed by Nick Reynolds
    Hearing Mark E. Smith shout over a rumbling beat is one of life's singular pleasures.
  8. Review of Are You Are Missing Winner

    Are You Are Missing Winner 2004

    Reviewed by Trevor Lord
    Mark sounds bemused to be in middle class locale; but it certainly doesn't stop him...
  9. Review of The War Against Intelligence - The Fontana Years

    The War Against Intelligence - The Fontana Years 2003

    Reviewed by Nick Reynolds
    Smith has often been (mis)represented as a ranting anger monger. But this new...
  10. Review of Words Of Expectation

    Words Of Expectation 2003

    Reviewed by Nick Reynolds
    Between 1978 and 1985 they were the best band in Britain. They were unique. Now, most...
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