Gone But Not Forgotten: #3 Mark E. Smith

It’s been a while, I confess, for no good reason since the last post. No good reason includes being busy with work as well failing to get my lazy arse into gear to write something.

Yesterday’s news of Mr Mark E. Smith’s death was the jolt I needed to do. The Fall; archetypal indie band, John Peel’s favourite band. If we asked 100 people over the age of 30 to name an indie band, I’m fairly sure that 50-60 would name The Fall first.

Not a band you can imagine continuing after the death of a band member. Few could match Smith’s grip which has at varying times been called by himself and former band members, dictatorial. There are so many former band members that they have their own Wikipedia page.

The Guardian’s obituary counts there are 66 former members of the band, including Marc Riley who was sacked on his wedding day. So how did that card read? “Glad you’re getting married, you’ll need the extra income, now you’ve got none-ah. All the best, Mark”

Every description of Smith involves a confrontation of some sort. Misanthrope, conflict; I can recall some interviews, mainly from the NME, where he proved sparky company and comes across well. Then there’s The Big Midweek: Life Inside the Fall where he doesn’t…This is his last interview he gave, apparently.

Personally, I don’t like every Fall album; I don’t own all of them either. In the dimness of time, I don’t think I saw them live, I genuinely can’t remember but I think I would have done. Not that my famously unreliable memory can be trusted; I recalled earlier in the week that I saw Dodgy supported by Cast for no good reason. I think Alright came on the radio and the memory popped into my head.

However, whenever a new album by the Fall was released, I listened to it. I may not have taken interest in it any further but I certainly listened, even to the most recent LPs which I found to be hit or miss.

But the Fall, thanks to John Peel’s unswerving loyalty to the group, formed a central plank of my youth through to young adulthood. I’d be interested to find out if there was ever a Radio 1 show from the great man which didn’t feature at least one Fall song. Even when he covered for Jakki Brambles in 1993, he opened with a Fall song…!

Anyway, Mr Smith. Thanks, and it feels sad that another part of my life is being chipped away by death. As I said in this morning’s ACLF post, The Grim Reaper is on a mission: “I see your 2016 and raise it”.

My very best of the Fall:


Artist Title
The Fall Bremen Nacht Alternative
The Fall Telephone Thing – Unedited Version
The Fall Rebellious Jukebox
The Fall Lay Of The Land (remastered)
The Fall Lie Dream of a Casino Soul – 7″ Version
The Fall Jawbone and the Air-Rifle
The Fall Gross Chapel – British Grenadiers
The Fall There’s a Ghost in My House
The Fall Oh! Brother (remastered)
The Fall Idiot Joy Showland
The Fall Industrial Estate
The Fall 2 By 4 (remastered)
The Fall Hip Priest
The Fall White Lightning
The Fall Australians In Europe
The Fall Theme From Sparta F.C.
The Fall Psycho Mafia
The Fall Totally Wired
The Fall Popcorn Double Feature
The Fall The Book Of Lies
The Fall Kicker Conspiracy
The Fall Who Makes the Nazis?
The Fall C.R.E.E.P. (remastered)
The Fall L.A. (remastered)
The Fall Mr Pharmacist
The Fall Hit the North Part 1
The Fall High Tension Line
The Fall Middle Class Revolt
The Fall I Feel Voxish
The Fall Jerusalem


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