Miles Copeland financed the Fall’s debut LP on a shoestring in December ’78. It was recorded and mixed in two days flat — not at a live gig, as the title implies, but live, one-take, in the studio. And it sounds that way. Smith had already fired half his band, including sometime girlfriend and provider of plinky-plonk keyboards, Una Baines, and the other half would be hurled through the Fall’s never-still revolving doors immediately afterwards (they wanted to go New Wave). Here, the Fall sound-world is every bit as gnarly as the wasteland on the front cover. There couldn’t be a starker contrast with the pre-punk idyll of, say, Yes’s Tales from Topographic Oceans. In Smith’s lyrical universe, urban alienation (“Frightened”) and the wretchedness of contemporary pop (“Music Scene”) are each documented with biting austerity. There is, however, unquestionable humour in a rock ‘n’ roll song that just goes “Yeah, yeah, industrial estate” (“Industrial Estate”).
By Wondering Sound Staff on 07.11.13 in Icons
Roughly 75 people have been members of the Fall over the last 35 years or so, but only one of them has been in every lineup: inimitable vocalist/lyricist/ranter Mark E. Smith, whose singular and monomaniacal vision drive...
By Andrew Parks on 09.17.14 in News
As TV on the Radio get set to release their first album in four years on November 18, co-founder/producer Dave Sitek has revealed his latest business venture. Much like his Federal Prism label, the ACME Creative Group is...
By Garry Mullholland on 09.09.14 in Features
The U.K. post-punks on the self-sabotage of their bizarre live album 'Document & Eyewitness.'
By Andrew Harrison on 05.10.13 in Reviews
Like pigeons, the council dog catcher, street drinkers and the Queen, it feels like The Fall have always been with us. One day they will disappear and we will wonder who we are without Mark E. Smith's free-form jeremiads...