Thursday, April 2, 2015

The Fall - 50,000 Fall Fans Can't Be Wrong, 39 Golden Greats

Label: Beggars Banquet
Year: 2004

"If there is one thing I can't stomach, it's all that retrospective shite. That's something that I have never been into and never will. It represents a trainspotter mentality, little men collecting things. I don't like that at all"
 - Mark E. Smith 2003
So then chalk up this two disc collection, subtitled "The Very Best of the Fall 1978-2003" as yet another thing that Mark E. Smith hates. Add it to the very long and rapidly growing list.
But in reality, to someone approaching this band now, The Fall's discography isn't just daunting, it's downright impenetrable. There are dozens upon dozens upon dozens of releases to sort through, not including the live albums, the compilations, and all that. It's a lot to digest. A compendium of the band's long career is not only justified, it's almost a necessity. Who has the space in their house for all those records?!
You're in luck then. This survey here will take you on a chronological guided tour across an essential band's essential tunes. Starting with their very first single, "Repetition" through the 2003 release "Green Eyed Loco Man". Listen as Mr. Smith (the main Fall guy, no relation to Lee Majors) hones in on a cutting, sharp angularity of repetitive jags which pull you into his dark Mancunian slur (an instrument in and of itself). The wry wit and piercing jabs find their targets early and often, keeping the legion of bands who have tried to assimilate this particular sound at bay. Think about how contrary the band sounded to their punk rock peers in 1978, as the Fall eschewed the grandstanding sloganeering and revved up garage rock of Sex Pistols, Stranglers, Chelsea, or Generation X, and instead deployed droning lurches of black humor and acerbic hatred. And look where it got them...30 years later and Fall are still kicking about in some form or fashion, and Billy Idol is relegated to the County Fair Greatest Hits circuit (Rebel Yell indeed).

DL - disc 1

DL - disc 2


somejinglejanglemorning said...

The Fall's back catalogue isn't impenetrable; it's actually really straightforward - buy and listen to anything they did up to and including 'This Nation's Saving Grace' and ignore/burn everything else.

Gray said...

Pretty solid advice, except that their very recent work stacks up well to the "golden age" stuff.
Or maybe you disagree.

Peter Tron said...

hmm, quite an extreme view of their recorded work since 'tnsg', not sure about that at all, and i don't think that you are either ;)

it's not readily possible for any fall fan to 'ignore' anything mark e. smith has put out, is it?

an there's nowt wrong with 'country on the click'

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