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Fallandpeel

The Fall and John Peel - August 1989

Related pages: Fall: Sessions, Fall: Festive Fifty Entries, and Fall: Show Appearances (Excluding Sessions)

The Fall is a post-punk band, formed in Manchester in 1976. It has existed in some form ever since, and is essentially built around its founder and only constant member Mark E. Smith. Initially associated with the punk movement of the late 1970s, the group's music has gone through several stylistic changes over the years, but is often characterised by an abrasive guitar-driven sound and frequent use of repetition, and is always underpinned by Smith's distinctive vocals and often cryptic lyrics.

Career OverviewEdit

  • The band is noted for its prolific output: as of February 2007 they have released 26 studio albums, and more than triple that counting live albums and other releases. They have never achieved widespread public success beyond a handful of minor hit singles in the late 1980s, but have maintained a strong cult following.
  • The band were long-associated with Peel, who championed them from early on in their career and cited The Fall as his favourite band, famously explaining, "They are always different; they are always the same'. When asked by John Walters why he liked them so much, Peel said:

"They've never disappointed me yet, and I suspect won't...I can't think of any other artist who's managed to do that for 10 years...I simply don't know what it is that I like about the Fall...He (Mark E. Smith) never takes the prevailing trendy attitude...I'm pleased that he does say what he actually thinks...The Fall are always identifiably The Fall, but they do seem to evolve." (Peeling Back The Years 4 (Transcript)

Loaded InterviewEdit

  • Peel's rampant enthusiasm for anything Fall-related hit a fallow period when he gave a qualified welcome to their Levitate LP. This recording experimented with drum'n'bass, but John proclaimed that the cover version of 'I'm A Mummy' was the best thing on it, and wondered whether it was "a brave new change in direction or whether it is the beginning of the end of a legend." [1]
  • Whether this less than enthusiastic opinion permeated to Smith is unknown, but less than two months later, he gave an "interview" with the male entertainment magazine Loaded's John Perry which is notable for its total lack of coherence, its self-pity, and its naked aggression. The latter vented itself on the band Ash, for whose career Smith claimed to be responsible, and on JP. Smith ranted, "Fuckin' John Peel, he's the fuckin' worst, he's worse than Tony Blackburn ever was. Bastard." [2]
  • John's reply (27 November 1997 (BFBS)) was typically generous:

"A hostile opinion of me, I have to say, but nevertheless, bearing in mind that he's not in perfect working order at the moment, and the band have given me intense pleasure over the years, I still love 'em madly."

  • John noted in the same show that Smith had sacked his entire band (in Ireland while on tour, although they were all reinstated days later).

LinksEdit

See Also Edit

Footnotes Edit

  1. See 25 September 1997 (BFBS).
  2. Full interview

Introducing The FallEdit

John Peel - 59:39

John Peel - "The Fall, The Fall, Fall there, Mark E.Smith and The Fall, Fall, The Fall..."

Peel introduces his favourite band.

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