NME ARTISTS

The Fall

Biography

The Fall are an English post-punk band, formed in 1976 in Prestwich, Greater Manchester. With an ever-changing line up, the Fall essentially consists of founder and only constant member, Mark E. Smith, who has quipped "if it's me and your granny on bongos, then it's [the] Fall". The line up has featured a number of significant musicians, including Steve Hanley and Craig Scanlon.

First associated with the late 1970s punk movement, the band's music has evolved through numerous stylistic changes, often concurrently with changes in the group's line-up. The Fall's music is characterised by repetition and an abrasive guitar-driven sound, and is always underpinned by Smith's typically cryptic lyrics, described by Steve Huey as "abstract poetry filled with complicated wordplay, bone-dry wit, cutting social observations and general misanthropy."

The Fall have released thirty-one studio albums , and more than triple that when live albums and compilations (often against Smith's wishes) are taken into account. While the Fall have never achieved widespread success beyond minor hit singles in the late 1980s, they have a maintained a strong cult following. While the critical reception of The Fall's albums in later years has been generally mixed, many of their albums have been met with high critical acclaim, with music critics applauding their uncompromising and original style - Pitchfork Media critic Alex Linhardt has praised the band, saying "The Fall, like all truly great sex, climaxes in rage, regret and release - the three criteria for all utterly essential rock music." They were long associated with BBC disc jockey John Peel, who championed them from early on in their career. Peel described the Fall as his favourite band, famously explaining, "they are always different; they are always the same."

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