The Fall (band)
The Fall were an English post-punk band, formed in 1976 in Prestwich, Greater Manchester. They underwent many line-up changes, with vocalist and founder Mark E. Smith as the only constant member; the Fall's long-term musicians included drummers Paul Karl Burns. First associated with the late 1970s punk movement, the Fall's music underwent numerous stylistic changes concurrently with changes in the group's lineup. Nonetheless, their music has been characterised by an abrasive, repetitive guitar-driven sound, tense bass and drum rhythms, Smith's caustic lyrics, described by critic Simon Reynolds as "a kind of Northern English magic realism that mixed industrial grime with the unearthly and uncanny, voiced through a unique, one-note delivery somewhere between amphetamine-spiked rant and alcohol-addled yarn." While the Fall never achieved widespread success beyond minor hit singles in the late 1980s and early 1990s, they have maintained a strong cult following. The Fall have been called "the most prolific band of the British post-punk movement."
From 1979 to 2017, they released thirty-two studio albums, more than three times that number when live albums and compilations are taken into account. They were long associated with BBC disc jockey John Peel, who championed them from early on in their career and described them as his favourite band, famously explaining, "they are always different. Smith's death in 2018 put an end to the group; the Fall were formed in Prestwich, Greater Manchester, in 1976 by Mark E. Smith, Martin Bramah, Una Baines and Tony Friel; the four friends would meet to take drugs. Their musical influences included Can, the Velvet Underground, Captain Beefheart and garage rock bands like the Monks and the Stooges; the members were devoted readers, with Smith citing H. P. Lovecraft, Raymond Chandler and Malcolm Lowry among his favourite writers. After seeing the Sex Pistols play Manchester's Lesser Free Trade Hall in June 1976, they decided to start a group. Smith wanted to name the group "the Outsiders", but Friel came up with the name "the Fall" after a 1956 novel by Albert Camus.
Smith became the singer, Bramah the guitarist, Friel played bass guitar and Baines bashed biscuit tins instead of drums. Their music was intentionally repetitive; the song "Repetition", declaring that "we've repetition in the music, we're never going to lose it", served as a manifesto for the Fall's musical philosophy. The group played their first concert on 23 May 1977, at the North West Arts basement, their first drummer was remembered only as "Dave" or "Steve" for thirty-four years, until music writer Dave Simpson discovered that he had certainly been a man named Steve Ormrod. Ormrod lasted just one show, at least in part due to political differences with the other members of the group, he was replaced by Karl Burns. The Fall soon caught the attention of Buzzcocks manager Richard Boon, who funded their first recording session, in November 1977 they recorded material for their debut EP, Bingo-Master's Break-Out! Boon planned to release the EP on his New Hormones label, but after discovering that he could not afford to do so he gave the tapes back to the group.
Thus, the Fall's debut on vinyl came in June 1978 when "Stepping Out" and "Last Orders" were released by Virgin Records on Short Circuit: Live at the Electric Circus, a compilation of live recordings made at the Manchester venue The Electric Circus in October 1977 just before it was closed. The Fall's line-up underwent its first drastic changes in 1977–78. Kay Carroll, Una Baines's friend and colleague at the psychiatric hospital, became the group's manager and occasional backing vocalist, as well as Smith's girlfriend. Friel, unhappy with Carroll's management, left in December 1977, he was replaced by Jonnie Brown, by Eric McGann. The Fall were filmed on 13 February 1978 for the Granada TV show What's On, hosted by Tony Wilson, performing "Psycho Mafia", "Industrial Estate" and "Dresden Dolls", featuring the brief line-up of Smith, Burns, Baines and McGann. Baines left in March 1978 after a drug overdose and subsequent nervous breakdown, was replaced by Yvonne Pawlett. Martin Bramah blamed the dissolution of the original line-up on Smith's style of leadership, together with Carroll's favouring of her partner: "The break-up wasn't so much about the music, though.
16-year-old Marc Riley, the group's roadie, was recruited to the group to play bass guitar. Bingo-Master's Break-Out! Was released in August 1978 on Step Forward Records; the single "It's the New Thing" followed in November 1978, in December the Fall recorded their debut album Live at the Witch Trials, released in March 1979. Burns quit the group shortly after the album was recorded, was replaced by Mike Leigh from
I Am Kurious Oranj
I Am Kurious Oranj is the eleventh studio album by English post-punk band the Fall. It was released on 10 October 1988 through record label Beggars Banquet; the album's release came at the end of a successful year for the group, which had seen the release of an "accessible" album, The Frenz Experiment, a handful of singles in the UK charts. However there was internal strife within the band. Although she wrote many of the most acclaimed songs on the album, including "Overture From Kurious Oranj", "Van Plague?" and "Bad News Girl", she was excluded from the writing and publishing credits. Considered one of the Fall's strongest albums, I Am Kurious Oranj was intended as the soundtrack for the ballet I Am Curious, Orange, a collaboration with the dancer Michael Clark; the music was pre-written by Brix Smith and bassist Steve Hanley. A live version was recorded during an Edinburgh Festival performance of the ballet, issued in 2000 as I Am as Pure as Oranj. I Am Kurious Oranj was intended as the soundtrack for the ballet I Am Curious, produced by contemporary dance group Michael Clark & Company, loosely based on the 300th anniversary of William of Orange's ascension to the English throne.
The album combines studio recordings with tracks recorded live during performances in Edinburgh in August 1988. The opening track "New Big Prinz" is based on "Hip Priest" from the group's 1982 album Hex Enduction Hour. "Jerusalem" is an adaptation of William Blake's hymn using Hubert Parry's original music. "Last Nacht" is a remix of "Bremen Nacht" from The Frenz Experiment. "Dead Beat Descendant" did not make the album. It was re-recorded and released as a track on the Seminal Live compilation. I Am Kurious Oranj's title is derived from Swedish director Vilgot Sjöman's films I Am Curious and I Am Curious, it appears as I Am Kurious, Oranj on some packaging formats. Brix wrote the music for "Bad News Girl". I Am Kurious Oranj was critically well received at the time. NME wrote " retained the power to surprise, to provoke and outrage that only The Smiths could pretend to possess in the'80s." A review of the album by AllMusic, however, is more indifferent, opining, "As a cohesive Fall album it fails I Am Kurious Oranj would have been more interesting to see than hear."
As with other Fall albums released through Beggars Banquet Records, I Am Kurious Oranj featured a different track listing across the various formats on which it was released. In addition to extra tracks "Guide Me Soft" and "Big New Priest", the UK CD featured several alternative and extended versions of songs. In 2013, Beggars reissued the album on CD as a part of the 5 Albums box set. Note: "Van Plague?" is listed as "Van Plague" on the cassette edition. The FallMark E. Smith – lead vocals, production Craig Scanlon – electric guitar, acoustic guitar Brix Smith – electric guitar, percussion Stephen Hanley – bass guitar Simon Wolstencroft – drums Marcia Schofield – keyboards, percussionTechnicalIan Broudie – production Cenzo Townshend – engineering C. J. – engineering Dian Barton – engineering Stu – mastering Kevin Cummins – sleeve photography Richard Haughton – sleeve photography I Am Kurious Oranj at Discogs
Paul Hanley (musician)
Paul Hanley is an English drummer and writer, best known as the drummer for the Fall and the Lovers. He plays with Brix & the Extricated. Paul Hanley was the drummer in the Fall between 1980 and 1985. For much of that time he was part of a two-drummer line-up with Karl Burns and played keyboards, he was preceded as a member of the Fall by his brother, who remained in the band for a further 13 years. They subsequently moved on to the Lovers; the Lovers' first album, Abba Are The Enemy was released in 2004. Their second, was released in March 2008, he was briefly a member of fellow ex-Fall member Martin Bramah's group Factory Star, as was his brother Steve Hanley. He is a member of Brix & the Extricated, who released their first album Part 2 in September 2017. Hanley's first book Leave The Capital, a treatise on the rise of Manchester's recording industry, was published in November 2017 by Route Books. Paul Hanley is married with three children, he is completing an English degree with the Open University
A Part of America Therein, 1981
A Part of America Therein, 1981 is a live album by the Fall, recorded on their 1981 U. S. tour and released only in the U. S. in 1982. After a tour of Iceland with Paul Hanley on drums, singer Mark E. Smith invited Karl Burns back into the group while retaining Hanley. For this U. S. tour, the group were without Hanley as, at 17, he was refused a visa as he was too young for the clubs the band had been booked to play in. The Fall appeared with both Burns and Hanley on drums for the next three years, though both played other instruments; the album was compiled from recordings of live shows in Chicago, New York, Memphis and San Francisco, between May and July 1981. The quality of recordings is variable, the album was described as a "slap-dash document" of the band's US tour, it includes several songs that had not been released at the time of the performances, including three that would be included on Hex Enduction Hour, "Lie Dream of a Casino Soul", recorded and released as a single on the band's return to the UK.
The album was given its first UK release in 1992, a "2 for 1" CD on the Dojo label alongside six-track mini album Slates. This coupling was reissued in 1998 on Essential with amended artwork, it was released as a standalone CD album in 1998 by Castle, in expanded form in late 2004, adding four additional recordings from the same tour: "Middle Mass", "The Container Drivers", "Session Musician", "Your Heart Out". It was reissued again in 2017, on vinyl by Let Them Eat Vinyl, on CD by Westworld Recordings; the album received a'B' rating from Robert Christgau, who commented "They're as consistent as the Isley Brothers: no notable rise in quality or interest, no falloff." AllMusic reviewer Ted Mills gave it three stars, viewing it as one of the band's best early live albums. Marc Savlov, reviewing the reissued album in 2002 for The Austin Chronicle, gave it two stars, calling it "abrasive", opining that it showed the band "in its early, dismal anti-glory". Alex Ogg, writing for AllMusic, viewed the album as featuring "generally strong performances" but not as good as another live album from that period, Fall in a Hole.
Trouser Press viewed the performances as "uniformly strong the epic'N. W. R. A.'" The Wire considered the album showed the band "achieving its aims, with endless riffs approaching trancelike qualities", with the version of "An Older Lover" included described as "a definitive, hallucinatory live reading". Despite only being available in the UK as an import, the album reached number 9 on the UK Independent Albums Chart in 1983. "The North Side""The N. W. R. A." "Hip Priest" "Totally Wired" "Lie Dream of a Casino Soul""The South Side""Cash'n' Carry" "An Older Lover" "Deer Park" "Winter" Mark E. Smith – vocals Marc Riley – guitar, kazoo, backing vocals Craig Scanlon – guitar, backing vocals Steve Hanley – bass guitar Karl Burns – drums A Part Of America Therein, 1981 Gigography 1981 from the original Fall website
Code: Selfish is a 1992 LP by British rock band the Fall. Their 14th full-length studio album, it entered the UK chart at number 21, although it spent only one week on the chart; the album is characterised by its harsher sound in relation to the previous year's Shift-Work, is influenced by techno music. Despite this, the album has some notably mellow moments, with "Time Enough At Last" and "Gentlemen's Agreement" being at odds with the overall sound of the album. Recorded in a converted church in Glasgow, Code: Selfish features the group's only self-penned Top 40 single, "Free Range"; the album would prove to be their last for the Phonogram label, as the group were dropped following the release of the Ed's Babe EP in 1992. Simon Ford reports in his Fall biography Hip Priest that Phonogram had to compensate the band for the early termination of their five-album deal and that these funds were used to record what became The Infotainment Scan; the album was re-released by Voiceprint in 2002 under license from Phonogram, appeared in a double-CD set coupled with an edition of Shift-Work on the same label in 2003.
This edition added "Free Ranger" to the track listing. It was reissued again in expanded and remastered form by Universal in May 2007. According to keyboard player Dave Bush, the song "Immortality" was inspired by Milan Kundera's 1990 novel of the same name. "The Birmingham School of Business School" – 6:45 "Free Range" – 3:58 "Return" – 4:04 "Time Enough at Last" – 3:48 "Everything Hurtz" – 4:07 "Immortality" – 4:30 "Two-Face!" – 6:01 "Just Waiting" – 4:38 "So Called Dangerous" – 3:46 "Gentlemen's Agreement" – 4:33 "Married, 2 Kids" – 2:45 "Crew Filth" – 5:20 Disc Oneas per original edition Disc Two"Free Range" "Return" "Dangerous" "Everything Hurtz" "Ed's Babe" "Pumpkin Head Xscapes" "The Knight, The Devil And Death" "Free Ranger" "Noel's Chemical Effluence" "The Legend Of Xanadu" "Free Range" "Kimble" "Immortality" "Return" The FallMark E. Smith – vocals, tapes Craig Scanlon – lead and rhythm guitars Steve Hanley – bass guitar Simon Wolstencroft – drums, keyboards Dave Bush – keyboards, machinesAdditional personnelCraig Leon – keyboards Simon Rogers – keyboards Cassell Webb – backing vocals Pascal Le Gras – cover art Lyrics
The Infotainment Scan
The Infotainment Scan is the fifteenth album by the Fall, released in 1993 on Permanent Records in the UK and by Matador Records in the US. At the time of its release, it was considered the band's most accessible album and came when the band were experiencing unprecedented recognition in the media, it entered the UK Albums Chart at number 9. The album features covers of the Sister Sledge disco track "Lost in Music" and of Steve Bent's "I'm Going to Spain", an obscure song that Bent had performed on the British talent show New Faces in 1974; the CD edition of The Infotainment Scan includes "Why Are People Grudgeful?", the only track to be released as a single. It is based on two reggae songs: "People Grudgeful" by Joe Gibbs and "People Funny Boy" by Lee "Scratch" Perry. Of the original compositions on The Infotainment Scan, "Glam-Racket" drew much attention for its alleged criticism of Britpop band Suede, with the lyric "you are entrenched in suede", although Mark E. Smith denied it was a reference to the band and asserted that it was an attack on nostalgia.
"The League of Bald-Headed Men", identified by Simon Reynolds as a "diatribe against gerontocracy", appears to borrow its riff from Led Zeppelin's "Misty Mountain Hop", despite Smith's claim that he had never heard the band's music. A remix of "The League of Bald-Headed Men", retitled "League Moon Monkey Mix", is included on the CD edition. "Paranoia Man in Cheap Shit Room" adapts its title from Nervous Man in a Four Dollar Room, an episode of The Twilight Zone. Smith had borrowed episode titles What You Need and Time Enough at Last; the Infotainment Scan was reissued by Artful in 1999 with the same track listing as the original CD editions. It was remastered and expanded to a double-CD set by Castle Music in 2006 with amended artwork; the first disc followed the original CD album track order, while the second added B-sides, alternate versions and radio sessions. The album received positive reviews. Allmusic's Ned Raggett gave it four stars out of five, calling it "a winner and a half" and "one of the band's most playful yet sharp-edged releases", picking out "Paranoia Man in Cheap Shit Room" as a highlight.
Jim Sullivan for The Boston Globe called it "10 tracks of caustic wit set to backing music that swirls one moment and grinds the next". Robert Christgau gave it a three-star "honorable mention", with the comment "great original sound, one hell of a cover band". Ben Thompson, in The Independent, gave it a positive review, stating "Smith's invective has been more honed" and that the band "have sounded brighter". Simon Reynolds, reviewing it for The New York Times, stated it "may be one of the Fall's more approachable records, but Mr. Smith's lyrics are as caustic as ever". Keith Cameron, reviewing for the NME, gave it 8/10, saying the album "stands at the peak of their canon". Chuck Eddy, for Spin, was less enthusiastic, saying Smith "used to seem smarter" and accusing him of repeating himself. Mark Jenkins of The Washington Post stated "the album continues the swaggeringly uncompromising and hopelessly unmarketable mix of Craig Scanlon's scratchy guitar, bassist Stephen Hanley and drummer Simon Wolstencroft's loping thump, Smith's caustic and cryptic, cut-up and spit-out poetry."The album was included in Robert Dimery's 2005 book 1001 Albums You Must Hear Before You Die.
The FallMark E. Smith – vocals, production Craig Scanlon – guitar Steve Hanley – bass guitar, backing vocals Simon Wolstencroft – drums, programming Dave Bush – keyboards, backing vocalsAdditional personnelRex Sargeant – production Simon Rogers – production Pascal Le Gras – cover art
The Light User Syndrome
The Light User Syndrome is an album by the Fall, released in 1996 on Jet Records. It was the group's first album to feature keyboard player and guitarist Julia Nagle and the last to feature Brix Smith, while longtime guitarist Craig Scanlon quit the group in late 1995 during troubled recording sessions for "The Chiselers" single which preceded the album. A version of "The Chiselers" is included on the album as "Interlude/Chilinism". Brix Smith told Simon Ford that The Light User Syndrome was recorded quickly, with Mark E. Smith absent for much of the recording, delivering nearly all his vocals on the final day. Although Julia Nagle remembers recording the vocals took more than a week. Despite this, alternate versions of many of the album's tracks featured across the series of compilation albums issued by the Receiver label in the late 1990s; the album features some vocals from producer Mike Bennett, as well as a rare lead vocal from drummer and guitarist Karl Burns on a cover version of Johnny Paycheck's "Stay Away."
The tour supporting the album was disastrous due to Smith's heavy drinking and misbehaviour, with Brix walking out of the group after the soundcheck at Motherwell Concert Hall and a gig in Worthing being declared by long-serving bassist Steve Hanley to be the worst Fall gig ever. By the end of the year, they were playing without Burns. Burns would return during 1997 for follow-up album Levitate. "D. I. Y. Meat" — 2:37 "Das Vulture ans ein Nutter-Wain" — 3:00 "He Pep!" — 3:07 "Hostile" — 3:59 "Stay Away" — 2:49 "Spinetrak" — 3:08 "Interlude/Chilinism" — 7:05 "Powder Keg" — 3:16 "Oleano" — 3:08 "Cheetham Hill" — 3:31 "The Coliseum" — 8:08 "Last Chance to Turn Around" — 3:21 "The Ballard of J. Drummer" — 4:02 "Oxymoron" — 4:02 "Secession Man" — 4:49 The album has been reissued twice, firstly by Receiver in 1999 and by Castle Music in 2002. Both of these editions added "The Chiselers" single as well as its B-side "Chilinist"; the Fall: Mark E. Smith - vocals, keyboards, production Brix Smith - guitar, vocals Steve Hanley - bass guitar Simon Wolstencroft - drums, programming Karl Burns - drums, lead vocals on "Stay Away", backing vocals on "Interlude"/"Chilinism" Julia Nagle - keyboards, guitar Lucy Rimmer - backing vocals on "Stay Away", "Interlude"/"Chilinism" and "Last Chance to Turn Around" Mike Bennett - production, vocals on "Interlude"/"Chilinism" and "Cheetham Hill" Warren Bassett - engineering Denis Blackham - mastering Phil Rogers - sleeve design Pete Cronin - photography A web page with photos, about the recording of the album The Light User Syndrome from Invisiblegirl.co.uk