best Fall album for starters

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Help me out. I've decided to take the plunge. I've downloaded a sample platter spanning many different years and I really like all of it. Where should I begin?

Famous Athlete, Sunday, 13 October 2002 17:03 (eighteen years ago) link

hex enduction for the peak of the pre-brix years. this nations saving grace for the peak of the brix years. (slates is still my personal fave though, for various reasons.)

alternately the recent best of for their rough trade era recs or the singles box set.

jess (dubplatestyle), Sunday, 13 October 2002 17:13 (eighteen years ago) link

I'd start with The Early Fall, which compiles their stuff before their album and includes Martin Bramah in the band. "Repetition" sort of sets up the whole aesthetic of the group that would become just the front fro one man and all of the songs are solid.

jack cole (jackcole), Sunday, 13 October 2002 17:16 (eighteen years ago) link

ILM shocka! Like jess, Slates is also my personal favorite. But I'd also recommend Hex Enduction Hour as an ideal place to start.

paul cox (paul cox), Sunday, 13 October 2002 17:18 (eighteen years ago) link


jess (dubplatestyle), Sunday, 13 October 2002 17:22 (eighteen years ago) link

I don't know why but I never really thought you were into the Fall much, Paul -- but then again, that's what I like about you Paul -- you always surprise me -- my own little shock-ah.

Really, both Jess and Paul's recommendations are good too. I guess the Brix period might be a good place to dive in too since it's more "poppy," stuff like Perverted By Language.

I'd also recommend the Blue Orchids comp on Cherry Red, the band Martin Bramah and Una Baines started after leaving the Fall v 1.0 -- moody organ driven pop dirges.

jack cole (jackcole), Sunday, 13 October 2002 17:26 (eighteen years ago) link

is that blue orchis record easy to find jack? i've heard good things about it but have never found it (it doesn't help that the record stores around here are uniformly terrible.)

jess (dubplatestyle), Sunday, 13 October 2002 17:29 (eighteen years ago) link

Jess, I had to finally break down and order it from Insound. Down here in Portland I could never find it any of the stores, but then again, finding stuff here is kind of spotty sometimes. Still, it's more than worth it. I've had the ep on vinyl for a long time so it was great to finally here there first album. The collection basically compiles their first singles, the album, the ep and selected later tracks from their later work when they got back together again.

jack cole (jackcole), Sunday, 13 October 2002 17:32 (eighteen years ago) link

Actually, there are many more Fall albums I haven't heard than those I have heard, seeing as how I've only been listening for a year or two. But in that short time, I've developed a real attachment to the pre-Brix period -- most notably Slates, Grotesque, and Hex Enduction Hour.

paul cox (paul cox), Sunday, 13 October 2002 17:41 (eighteen years ago) link

send me your address Paul and I'll hook you up with a comp of pre-Brix -- just let me know what you have so I dont duplicate.

jack cole (jackcole), Sunday, 13 October 2002 17:43 (eighteen years ago) link

hip priest & kamerads
totales turn its now or never
in palace of swords reversed

and the peel session version of winter (hostel maxi) is essential - whatever comp this is on i guess

gareth (gareth), Sunday, 13 October 2002 18:00 (eighteen years ago) link

This Nation's Saving Grace most accessible, then work back to the early years: Live at The Witch Trials, Dragnet and Grotesque all recommended, plus of course Slates & Hex.
isn't there a box of the Rough Trade singles, too - hands up who has it?

there's a fantastic double career overview singles comp of this band just begging to be made: "No Bulbs" & "Slang King" are 2 alltime faves.

Blue Orchids highly recommended too, to any Fall fan who's not gone the route.

Paul (scifisoul), Sunday, 13 October 2002 18:56 (eighteen years ago) link

I recommend getting all of them.

Martin Skidmore (Martin Skidmore), Sunday, 13 October 2002 19:39 (eighteen years ago) link

I started with The Wonderful and Frightening World Of..., and I don't regret it.

Melissa W (Melissa W), Sunday, 13 October 2002 20:47 (eighteen years ago) link

Wonderful and Frightening is the only one I have yet. It's brilliant (brixliant?), so I expect to become a rabid fan in short order.

Can any Fall experts tell me where that poem on the sleeve ("This pool of disgusting smarm/The form of luke warm/This mod effete of capricious green ham/Who is everybody, yet everybody is him...") comes from? Did Mark E. write it himself? Because I can't hear it on any of the songs.

Justyn Dillingham (Justyn Dillingham), Sunday, 13 October 2002 23:59 (eighteen years ago) link

There's a twofer that has _Slates_ and _A Part of America Therein_ (good live album from 1981) on the same disc. Go for that.

Alternately, _Totally Wired: The Rough Trade Anthology_ is a freshly released double CD with highlights from the above, Totale's Turns and Grotesque, plus a couple of essential singles ("Totally Wired," "How I Wrote 'Elastic Man,'" etc.).

Just to be a contrarian, I started with _Wonderful & Frightening_ and couldn't see what the big deal was (eventually I came to like it a lot, but _Slates_ and _Grotesque_ were the ones that turned me around).

Douglas, Monday, 14 October 2002 03:51 (eighteen years ago) link

yeah, the live versions of "deer park" and "cash'n'carry" on a part... are some of my favorite fall tracks.

jess (dubplatestyle), Monday, 14 October 2002 03:55 (eighteen years ago) link

This Nation's Saving Grace, if you had to choose only one... it has the more ferocious stuff like "Bombast", the rhythmic tracks like "Gut of a Quantifier", and their absolute masterpiece "Paintwork".

Otherwise, I agree with Douglas, Jess, and well mostly everyone else where as far as Slates goes...

I'll put in votes for Early Fall, Live At the Witch Trials, Hip Priest And Kamerids, and Dragnet.

donut bitch (donut), Monday, 14 October 2002 03:57 (eighteen years ago) link

Grotesque was my starting point. However, my single fave fall thing is avidoe with Wings, Eat yrself fitter and Kicker conspiracy thereon.
Now someone tell me the difference between the brix and non-Brix period, because i suspect you could be being arseholes.

threemetalinsects (threemetalinsects), Monday, 14 October 2002 04:39 (eighteen years ago) link

Dragnet. No contest.

Dr. C (Dr. C), Monday, 14 October 2002 08:25 (eighteen years ago) link


N. (nickdastoor), Monday, 14 October 2002 08:44 (eighteen years ago) link

Can't go wrong with Palace Of Swords Reversed, Slates/A Part Of America Therein, Hex Enduction Hour, Early Fall, Totales Turns or Dragnet, though Slates is probably my favourite of that lot. This Nation's Saving Grace is brill too, but they were a rather different band by that point.

RickyT (RickyT), Monday, 14 October 2002 08:56 (eighteen years ago) link

My personal favourite - the Carlins' album of the year 2000, "The Unutterable." A fantastic record, and nobody has caught up with it yet.

Marcello Carlin, Monday, 14 October 2002 09:01 (eighteen years ago) link

nation's saving grace.

Julio Desouza (jdesouza), Monday, 14 October 2002 09:08 (eighteen years ago) link

I'd suggest starting by getting an overview with Early Years 77-79, Palace Of Swords Reversed, Hip Priests & Kamerads (although apparently there's a 2CD comp of their first 11 singles for Step Forward, Kamera & Rough Trade due out on Voiceprint on 11/11 which might be a cheaper alternative to those 3, especially if you're likely to end up going back to buy the albums themselves); Singles458489 covers their period with Beggars Banquet in the 2nd half of the '80's; and there's a cheap 2CD comp about called High Tension Line which does a reasonable job of covering the '90's.

By the time you've listened to all of those you should have an idea of what period(s) in their catalogue interest you most.

Stewart Osborne (Stewart Osborne), Monday, 14 October 2002 09:17 (eighteen years ago) link

I started with The Frenz Experiment cos it was their at-the-time latest record! I'm not sure I'd recommend that though I'm very very fond of it.

Slates is great. I forget which tracks are on which albums to be honest. The one with "Garden", "Smile", "Eat Y'Self Fitter" etc. might be a good start cos it mixes elements from the Brix-era and the pre-Brix era.

Tom (Groke), Monday, 14 October 2002 09:33 (eighteen years ago) link

The one with "Garden", "Smile", "Eat Y'Self Fitter" = Perverted By Language, which is extremely good but not as good as the stuff that preceded it.

Another vote for Slates! That and 'Hip Priest & Kamerads' are the most perfect Fall records I've heard. The latter is the best introduction because it collects lots of the best stuff from the pinnacle period and has plenty of variety. The live version of Who Makes the Nazis on it is far superior to the one on Hex Enduction Hour. It has Room to Live which is one of my faves: best key change evah! The EP it's on of the same name has a bad reputation so best to get it here probably.

Keith McD (Keith McD), Monday, 14 October 2002 10:42 (eighteen years ago) link

I have to vote against This Nation's Saving Grace. It was the one I was told to start with, and I did. But if I'd started with earlier Fall I think I would've appreciated them a lot more. Not that Nation's doesn't have some great songs on it, but it pretty much turned me off to the Fall for a few years afterwards. Finally I broke down and bought some shady-looking best-of type cd on Castle, and that turned me right around.

Anyway, Nation's is a good album to get into later. I'd start with Live at the Witch Trials.

Diego Hadis (dhadis), Monday, 14 October 2002 13:26 (eighteen years ago) link

I'd go with Hex Enduction Hour for pre-Brix era and 458489 singles compilation for the Brix period.

458489 is a good listen, much more consistant than most of the Brix period releases, although I'd say The Wonderful and Frightening World of the Fall is the best album of that period.

earlnash, Monday, 14 October 2002 21:58 (eighteen years ago) link

Obviously I'm in a minority here but I agree with Marcello that "The Unutterable" reigns supreme, with "Levitate" coming a close 2nd. Both combine electronica and garage-rock in chaotic mash-ups; and both are unmarred by bad production (re: "Marshall Suite", "Are You Are..").

tacit (tacit), Tuesday, 15 October 2002 10:40 (eighteen years ago) link

I have Hex Enduction Hour, Frenz Experiment and Grotesque all on vinyl but I haven't been able to play them in a long time. I recently decided that of the three, I would buy Grotesque as a CD. It's the one that I'm most attached to and is most vivid for me.

Amarga, Wednesday, 16 October 2002 11:36 (eighteen years ago) link

I first got "This Nation's Saving Grace", only because I'm a huge Can fan. But I ended up really liking that one. Their first record is quite good and you can't go wrong with "The Wonderful & Frightening World...". The Fall have so many good records its hard to choose. "Perverted By Language" gets overlooked but its a damn fine record.

That is my two cents anyways.

Juan Marquez, Thursday, 17 October 2002 18:14 (eighteen years ago) link

I recommend getting all of them.

I'm with this.

Personal starting point for me was Palace of Swords Reversed. FUCKING GENIUS. Yes. Out of print, though, but I gather other comps nearly cover the same ground -- further wibblings of mine here (and for better or worse, I'd say a good half or more of the reviews of the regular albums are mine as well...).

Ned Raggett (Ned), Thursday, 17 October 2002 19:18 (eighteen years ago) link

I prefer the Brix years (try Wonderful and Frightening, This Nation's, Frenz, etc.) - but I have also been enjoying the (fairly) recent Levitate and Mashall suite. I haven't gotten the latest ones yet. Be warned that a lot of people and most of your friends will not understand or appreciate the Fall.

g (graysonlane), Thursday, 17 October 2002 19:35 (eighteen years ago) link

five years pass...

I mean, really, what could you possibly need out of the Fall that that record doesn't deliver? "Marquis Cha-Cha" is a song I've always considered a primary gateway drug for those unfamiliar with The Fall. And I've already blabbed enough on my blog about "Hard Life In Country", so I'll try to remain silent here.

The More You Live The Faster You Will Die (Bimble Is Still More Goth Than You), Sunday, 28 September 2008 09:01 (twelve years ago) link

Totally agreed. LOVE IT. Always been weird to me that of the EP's bookending Hex, Slates gets so much more notice.

So many peaks. "Solicitor in Studio" always sounds to me like a band that knows how great it is but just can't deal anymore w/ playing cool about it, and it just bubbles over. Also: "Detective Instinct" has to be as concentrated a distillation of the MES Gogol-on-greenies m.o. as exists in the catalog...going to listen now!

Hadrian VIII, Sunday, 28 September 2008 12:34 (twelve years ago) link

my version of this is the Line reissue with the "Lie-Dream"/"Fantastic Life" single added to it. For years I thought those were part of the record proper. With them added, this is an amazing Fall album. Without, well, still good but not in my top ten. "Hard Life In Country" is my fave for some reason, even with its relentless grinding repetition.

sleeve, Sunday, 28 September 2008 17:05 (twelve years ago) link

There really is no wrong place to start with the Fall, pre '90s work at least. About five years ago I just started picking up the '80s albums as I found them used and heard them in the order I did. In general, I strongly believe the best place to start in any catalog is not necessarily the "canonical" album. Nowhere to go but downhill, theoretically speaking, from there.

My favorite Fall album is probably Bend Sinister. I still only have heard a bit of the '90s stuff though. A long way to go!

ilxor, Sunday, 28 September 2008 17:57 (twelve years ago) link

Absolutely agreed on 'Room to Live'. I've only listened to it for the first time very recently, long after I'd absorbed the rest of their pre-Brix material. As much as I love 'Slates', this really does deserve as much attention.

Millsner, Sunday, 28 September 2008 18:08 (twelve years ago) link

Well, 'Room To Live' was my first Fall album, but it didn't make a fan of me. However, the next one, 'This Nation's Saving Grace' did.

zeus, Sunday, 28 September 2008 19:16 (twelve years ago) link

a mate of mine asked me this very question the other week; i gave him a lend of "50,000 fall fans" but said -- and i'd stand by this! -- that "imperial wax solvent" is a fucking awesome place to start.

right, we all start when the drum machine starts, lads (grimly fiendish), Sunday, 28 September 2008 19:39 (twelve years ago) link

fwiw here is the Fall fan site's poll:

After 27 weeks of round robin polls on the forum, the 2008 Fall Albums League has finished. The 27 studio albums (not including Imperial Wax Solvent, which hadn't been released at the start of the competition) finished in this order:

1. Hex Enduction Hour
2. Perverted By Language
3. Grotesque
4. Slates
5. This Nation's Saving Grace
6. Dragnet
7. The Real New Fall LP Formerly C.O.T.C.
8. The Wonderful And Frightening World Of...
9. The Unutterable
10. Bend Sinister

11. Room To Live
12. The Frenz Experiment
13. The Infotainment Scan
14. Live At The Witch Trials
15. Extricate
16. Fall Heads Roll
17. I Am Kurious Oranj
18. Levitate
19. Code: Selfish
20. The Light User Syndrome

21. Shift-Work
22. The Marshall Suite
23. Middle Class Revolt
24. Cerebral Caustic
25. Reformation Post TLC
26. Are You Are Missing Winner
27. Seminal Live

So a pretty high showing for Room To Live. And Fall Heads Roll is not that good, wtf.

sleeve, Sunday, 28 September 2008 19:53 (twelve years ago) link

For Brix-era stuff I've always liked Bend Sinister the most. If you like Wings, there are
plenty of similar dark twisted tales herein, especially the opener R.O.D; plus upbeat organ-driven
Pre-Brix you can't go wrong with the holy trinity: Grosteque, Slates, Hex

Dr X O'Skeleton, Sunday, 28 September 2008 19:54 (twelve years ago) link

it's when i look at lists like that i remember i obviously hear very different things in the fall to a lot of other listeners ;)

right, we all start when the drum machine starts, lads (grimly fiendish), Sunday, 28 September 2008 19:59 (twelve years ago) link

I find that over twenty years of Fall fandom I mostly listen to one album to represent each epoch. Live At the Witch Trials, This Nation's Saving Grace, and Middle Class Revolt cover it for me (although I own a bunch of other great ones). Slates, Hex, Bend Sinister... great albums. I just never play them anymore.

Nate Carson, Sunday, 28 September 2008 20:53 (twelve years ago) link

"Hard Life In Country" folks. They ought to put that out to the aliens from other planets as one of the best things the human race has achieved here on earth.

The More You Live The Faster You Will Die (Bimble Is Still More Goth Than You), Monday, 29 September 2008 08:36 (twelve years ago) link


The More You Live The Faster You Will Die (Bimble Is Still More Goth Than You), Monday, 29 September 2008 08:50 (twelve years ago) link

wait!!! Grimly has a new screen name that involves John Cooper Clarke!! I've been outdone! Oh my god, I've been outdone.

The More You Live The Faster You Will Die (Bimble Is Still More Goth Than You), Monday, 29 September 2008 08:52 (twelve years ago) link

... by everyone....

Mark G, Monday, 29 September 2008 08:55 (twelve years ago) link

Ha, I've had that blog bookmarked for months now and never put two and two together to figure it was by THAT Bimble.

I'll show myself out.

Millsner, Thursday, 16 October 2008 05:04 (twelve years ago) link


Steely Dan Is Boring And Oh So Safe (Bimble Is Still More Goth Than You), Thursday, 16 October 2008 05:36 (twelve years ago) link

Also anyone who might want to have long conversations about The Fall's discography up through Extricate is especially welcome to send me emails and/or chat with me. Thank you.

hey Bimble, you out there? What do you think of Dragnet?

Goofus vs. Gallant (Drugs A. Money), Sunday, 19 October 2008 02:34 (twelve years ago) link

I love Dragnet! Yes I'm here. Too bad we can't chat. You need AIM!

Roasted Ghost (Bimble Is Still More Goth Than You), Sunday, 19 October 2008 02:39 (twelve years ago) link

yes...and no...

Goofus vs. Gallant (Drugs A. Money), Sunday, 19 October 2008 03:05 (twelve years ago) link

yes I need AIM but no bcz I fear it...

Goofus vs. Gallant (Drugs A. Money), Sunday, 19 October 2008 03:46 (twelve years ago) link

Dude then like, I dunno...write me an email. Do it right now. Thanks.

Roasted Ghost (Bimble Is Still More Goth Than You), Sunday, 19 October 2008 03:48 (twelve years ago) link

email? how? how, I say?

Goofus vs. Gallant (Drugs A. Money), Sunday, 19 October 2008 03:48 (twelve years ago) link

the email thru yr blog?

Goofus vs. Gallant (Drugs A. Money), Sunday, 19 October 2008 03:50 (twelve years ago) link

yeah, or through ILX. You should know. You sent me one the other day and I responded.

Roasted Ghost (Bimble Is Still More Goth Than You), Sunday, 19 October 2008 03:50 (twelve years ago) link

oh. did you respond...i never found it. how do i find it?

Goofus vs. Gallant (Drugs A. Money), Sunday, 19 October 2008 03:55 (twelve years ago) link

Look in your spam folder? I'm newdawnfades.

Roasted Ghost (Bimble Is Still More Goth Than You), Sunday, 19 October 2008 03:58 (twelve years ago) link

also you keep writing me from that robot address which I don't understand either. I don't think you got the last email I sent back to that address, either!

Roasted Ghost (Bimble Is Still More Goth Than You), Sunday, 19 October 2008 03:59 (twelve years ago) link

yes bcz i sent an email fom the link in one of yr posts, from now on i will just send it from my email address...

also ignore the captchas comment

Goofus vs. Gallant (Drugs A. Money), Sunday, 19 October 2008 04:02 (twelve years ago) link

Arright. :)

Roasted Ghost (Bimble Is Still More Goth Than You), Sunday, 19 October 2008 04:03 (twelve years ago) link

email sent. sry bout that.

Goofus vs. Gallant (Drugs A. Money), Sunday, 19 October 2008 04:13 (twelve years ago) link

I'm listening to Detective Instinct, now, though and I don't hear anyone going "FFfs" in the background. So I'm not sure what you were talking about. Can you describe the sound better?

― Hot Pants Floyd (Bimble Is Still More Goth Than You), Thursday, 16 October 2008 02:57 (3 days ago)

Listen carefully! Or (horror) maybe they've been remastered out! Christ. No, anyway, it's someone in the background going 'ff ff'. I had to have it pointed out to me.

On a connected but more general not, those little sounds and mutterings and strange background washes are often what make Fall songs so good, among all the other things.

And whoever said there are great sonic riches to be had after Extricate is quite Korrekt - I was getting a great deal of enjoyment from the opening 30 seconds of Two Face for example - however, in terms of albums, high-water marks are Levitate, The Unutterable, Are You Are Missing Winner (nay stare not so) and The Real New Fall LP. But of course all of them are necessary really.

I think Scanlon in some ways was more of a loss than Hanley, although both tower above the earth like musical colossussesses-ah.

Von Sudenfed immensely enjoyable. And their gig last year was one of the best I've seen.

GamalielRatsey, Sunday, 19 October 2008 10:54 (twelve years ago) link

How I envy anyone just getting into the Fall for the first time.

First discovered the band in early 87 after buying a copy of It's the new thing 7" from a great record shop in Colne purely on the basis of the cover. Couldn't believe what I was hearing. Went out immediately and bought Bend Sinister which is still one of my all time favourites and ordered copies of Witch Trials and Dragnet along with the German Line records white vinyl copies of Hex Enduction Hour and Room To Live. The whole concept of music just twisted 90 degrees in my head and it's never gone back to how it had been before...Total joy!

Aw sod it...just get the blummin lot of them...they are worth having, even mid 90's stuff and some of the post Scanlan/Hanley, pre, new-millenial-renaissance stuff have tracks of breathtaking scope and imagination.

Sven Hassel Schmuck, Sunday, 19 October 2008 13:35 (twelve years ago) link

I'm sorta getting into The Fall! The three albums I have are The Light User Syndrome (awesome, awesome), The Marshall Suite (pretty good) and Perverted By Language (very cool stuff) and some Fontana years compilation I haven't listened to yet. I will expand my collection at some stage.

100 tons of hardrofl beyond zings (Just got offed), Sunday, 19 October 2008 14:24 (twelve years ago) link

one year passes...

Ned Raggett is an anagram for "Get Dragnet" -- his recommendation?

I just wish he hadn't adopted the "ilxor" moniker (ilxor), Wednesday, 24 February 2010 04:23 (ten years ago) link


Mark G, Wednesday, 24 February 2010 07:39 (ten years ago) link

I'd start with Slates. It's short and sweet, and one of the best things they ever put out. Quite representative, and real variety. There's their angular pop side with Leave the Capitol, the creeping menace of An Older Lover, the 2-chord vamp/rant of Slates, Slags etc, and a glorious blast of punk noise in Pink Press Threat.

Dr X O'Skeleton, Wednesday, 24 February 2010 11:43 (ten years ago) link

> "Personal starting point for me was Palace of Swords Reversed. FUCKING GENIUS."
> Ned Raggett (Ned), Thursday, 17 October 2002 19:18 (7 years ago) Bookmark

koogs, Wednesday, 24 February 2010 12:40 (ten years ago) link

ten years pass...

I think I was pretty much happy with Slates and This Nation's for a long time. Been listening to Dragnet, Perveted by Language, Hex Education, The Wonderful and Frightening World..., Grotesque over the last week and loving it all, mostly. Re-listening to Slates and that is just one of the best records ever, on a track-by-track basis with no hint of a drop-off but its weird to think of The Fall as just a band that releases records rather than a world that was mapped out by MES, Brix and these scruffy looking people from a part of Manchester. I wouldn't want to listen to Slates in isolation anymore.

I'll look at the Unutterable sometime.

xyzzzz__, Wednesday, 14 October 2020 10:48 (one week ago) link

IMO everything they did in the studio from 79-89 is worth your time. After that it's hit or miss, I know there are plenty of people who will rep for individual albums after that but I find the 90s almost completely covered by "A Past Gone Mad" and "A World Bewitched" compilations. Even the esteemed "The Unutterable" is let down by a string of tracks towards the end. I much prefer my 00s playlist, all killer no filler. But then again, no two Fall fans will agree what tracks fall into which category.

Gerald McBoing-Boing, Wednesday, 14 October 2020 15:02 (one week ago) link

Is your playlist public, Gerald?

Guitar Dick (morrisp), Wednesday, 14 October 2020 15:17 (one week ago) link

The run from Dragnet to Bend Sinister made them my favourite band growing up, but there was a really swift drop in quality after that. Smith suddenly seemed to lose intensity and lyrical focus from The Frenz Experiment onwards, with Seminal Live being a particular nadir - the live songs on it weren't seminal, and the few semi-demi-seminal songs weren't live.

Yes, Stewart Lee did a really good job in compiling A Past Gone Mad for the 90s output, and individual 00s songs such as the Peel version of 'Blindness' still have the power to surprise. My attention wanders whenever I try to listen to a whole 00s album though. The best songs on the last few albums tended to be the ones where the band locked into a riff and Smith's vocals were almost incidental, such as this one:

Portsmouth Bubblejet, Wednesday, 14 October 2020 16:37 (one week ago) link

+1 would love to see your playlist gerald

Blues Guitar Solo Heatmap (Free Download) (upper mississippi sh@kedown), Wednesday, 14 October 2020 16:40 (one week ago) link

> "Personal starting point for me was Palace of Swords Reversed. FUCKING GENIUS."
> Ned Raggett (Ned), Thursday, 17 October 2002 19:18 (7 years ago) Bookmark

― koogs, Wednesday, February 24, 2010 7:40 AM (ten years ago) bookmarkflaglink


Deflatormouse, Wednesday, 14 October 2020 17:46 (one week ago) link

I'm old, so when I say 'playlist' I mean 'I cherry-picked these tracks and created my own local MP3 compilation'. I edited a few tracks that went on way too long, too. Here's the tracklisting:

Best Of The 21st Century (6 hours long!)

Cyber Insekt / Two Librans / W.B. / Sons Of Temperance / Dr. Bucks' Letter / Way Round / Ketamine Sun (extract) / Hands Up Billy - The Unutterable
Jim's The Fall / Bourgeois Town / My Ex-Classmates Kids / Reprise: Jane - Prof. Mick - Ey Bastardo - Are You Are Missing Winner
Susan Vs Youthclub - single
Green Eyed Loco-Man / Theme From Sparta F.C. #2 / Contraflow (Country On The Click version) / Open The Boxtosis #2 / The Past (Country On The Click version) / (We Are) Mod Mock Goth / Proteinprotection - The Real New Fall LP
Blindness (version) - Interim
I Wake Up In The City - 2G+2
Pacifying Joint / What About Us? / Assume / I Can Hear The Grass Grow / Bo Demmick / Youwanner / Clasp Hands / Trust In Me - Fall Heads Roll
Reformation! / Fall Sound / My Door Is Never / Das Boat (edit) / Systematic Abuse - Reformation Post-TLC
Alton Towers / Wolf Kidult Man / 50 Year Old Man (edit) / I've Been Duped / Can Can Summer / Tommy Shooter / Senior Twilight Stock Replacer - Imperial Wax Solvent
O.F.Y.C. Showcase / Bury Pts. 1+3 / Hot Cake / Slippy Floor (edit) / Chino - Your Future Our Clutter
Taking Off / Nate Will Not Return / Greenway / I've Seen Them Come / Age Of Chang - Ersatz GB
Sir William Wray / Hittite Man / Victrola Time - Re-Mit
Mister Rode - The Remainderer
Dedication Not Medication (LP version) / Auto Chip 2014-2016 / Quit iPhone - Sub-Lingual Tablet
Wise Ol' Man (edit) / All Leave Cancelled - Wise Ol' Man
Fol De Rol / Brillo De Facto / O! Zztrrk Man / Groundsboy - New Facts Emerge

And these MES guest appearances:
Not Clean - Ghostigital
Fledermaus Can't Get It / The Rhinohead / Family Feud / Duckrog / Chicken Yiamas / That Sound Wiped / Dearest Friends - von Sudenfed
Real Good Time Together / Mettle Claw - MES & Ed Blarney
Blow Up Muscles - MES
Molocular Meditation / VS Cancelled - MES & Jan St. Wener

Gerald McBoing-Boing, Wednesday, 14 October 2020 19:47 (one week ago) link

missing "Loadstones" but lots of great stuff in there!

sleeve, Wednesday, 14 October 2020 20:14 (one week ago) link

Interesting article in Record Collector (Luke Haines) suggesting that "Your future our clutter" was the last one where Mark sounded like himself, and "Ersatz" had a drastically different voice, possibly because illness. Being as how YFOC was the last fall album I got, I'll have to use your picks to catch up with.

Mark G, Thursday, 15 October 2020 08:44 (one week ago) link

Gerald’s selection is missing OFYC’s most breathtaking track! But excellent work otherwise

covidsbundlertanze op. 6 (Jon not Jon), Thursday, 15 October 2020 13:24 (one week ago) link

Great work even though you've missed out loads of my faves etc grumble ;)

Don't sleep on the Imperial Wax (the band) album btw. I think it's their second best behind OFYC, and I LIKE latter-day Fall

Chip-vill-A (imago), Thursday, 15 October 2020 13:44 (one week ago) link

Auto Chip 2014-2016 is miraculous though yeah. I think Smith is a big part of that one though! HOW BAD ARE ENGLISH MUSICIANS!

Chip-vill-A (imago), Thursday, 15 October 2020 13:45 (one week ago) link

My journey started with this, which I loved and stewed over for a few months:

Then, I just dove into a deep end with this, thanks to a well-timed Borders gift card blessing:

Only then did I start picking up reissues of the older stuff and keeping up with the then current albums as they came out.

soaring skrrrtpeggios (jon /via/ chi 2.0), Thursday, 15 October 2020 14:17 (one week ago) link

tough to go wrong with those at your first two, tbh

sleeve, Thursday, 15 October 2020 14:19 (one week ago) link

*as* your first two

sleeve, Thursday, 15 October 2020 14:19 (one week ago) link

I mean, it worked! Turned me into a huge fan.

soaring skrrrtpeggios (jon /via/ chi 2.0), Thursday, 15 October 2020 14:27 (one week ago) link

Oh the Peel box is absolutely epic, but I always figured it was overdose for a new fan. The two that got me into the fold were "Palace Of Swords Reversed" (still one of my all-time favorite compilations) and "A-Sides 84-89".

Gerald McBoing-Boing, Thursday, 15 October 2020 19:17 (one week ago) link

My first was 458489 A-Sides, which I immediately liked, but I don’t think I truly “got” it until I heard Grotesque.

spastic heritage, Thursday, 15 October 2020 19:18 (one week ago) link

"Words of Expectation" on the first disc in the Peel Set is my very favorite thing in the world

error prone wolf syndicate (Hadrian VIII), Thursday, 15 October 2020 19:23 (one week ago) link

discovered the fall in 89 with bend sinister when i found it on sale at woolworths. quickly acquired all of the beggars banquet albums as they were easily available, then it was palace of swords reversed that introduced me to the early fall stuff.

visiting, Thursday, 15 October 2020 19:36 (one week ago) link

mine was hearing "The Man Whose Head Expanded" on the radio around time of release, first record I heard/got was Wonderful & Frightening World

sleeve, Thursday, 15 October 2020 19:57 (one week ago) link

wonderful & frightening world was for the longest time my least liked album... i had the cassette version with tons of extra tracks and it was just too much to take! now it's my favorite.

visiting, Thursday, 15 October 2020 20:03 (one week ago) link

yep, I love that tape version

sleeve, Thursday, 15 October 2020 20:31 (one week ago) link

Loved the b-sides collection . some weird shit.
first saw them around Xmas 83 then several times over the next couple of years. Probably last in Belfast in like 95.

LOve that Dragnet, Hex Enduction era and a little later. Not really investigated their later years overmuch.

The BBC history documentary was quite good too.

Stevolende, Thursday, 15 October 2020 20:41 (one week ago) link

i started with Grotesque and it worked, had everything in short order afterwards

rip van wanko, Thursday, 15 October 2020 20:46 (one week ago) link

I'd heard "Bingo Master" on the Rhino DiY Uk Punk II comp in the mid-'90s and the way MES's vox didn't quite sit on the beat unnerved me a bit. Nonetheless in 2000, when Early Years 77-79 was reissued, I decided to take the plunge and found I liked this slightly off-center approach, with the dinky electric piano and this guy who sounded kind of punk but seemed to put himself somewhere above it, and I wanted more. A year as a student (MES be not proud) in England then made it possible to track down most of the studio albums, where the real catalyst for my fandom was 458489 A-Sides.

For me one of the magical things about a lot of Fall albums (Hex, Frenz, Unutterable, and Reformation were examples) was how they would be opaque at first, still baffling on the second listen, and then would suddenly click on the third. Some were more immediate (Infotainment, Marshall Suite, Dragnet), a few never quite got there (Kurious Oranj, Middle Class Revolt) and one seemed like a dud but after several listens over a few years eventually became a lower-tier favorite (Cerebral Caustic).

I'm not sure the post-YFOC stuff has that thing there that takes extra listens to "get," though I quite like a couple of these (Re-Mit is a bit skimpy but fun, SLT has the best overall quality of the Cherry Red albums).

I think if I were advising a newcomer who was actually interested in physical product (do these exist?), you could do a lot worse than Cherry Red's singles box, despite its somewhat dubious logic in terms of B-side selection — you could choose the A-sides only option. The first disc of both comps, from "Bingo Master" through "Cruiser's Creek," makes about as good a case for the greatness of The Fall as any single disc I've heard.

eatandoph (Neue Jesse Schule), Thursday, 15 October 2020 21:05 (one week ago) link

Cassette version of wonderful and frightening was my intro to the fall as well
True it’s an enormous amount of music but you only had to listen to one side at a time

covidsbundlertanze op. 6 (Jon not Jon), Friday, 16 October 2020 00:35 (six days ago) link

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