The Fall (band)

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The Fall are an English post-punk band, formed in Prestwich, Greater Manchester in 1976. The group has existed in some form ever since, and is essentially built around its founder and only constant member Mark E. Smith. First associated with the punk movement of the late 1970s, the group's music has gone through numerous stylistic changes, often concurrently with changes in the group's membership. However, The Fall's music is often characterised by repetition, an abrasive guitar-driven sound, and is always underpinned by Smith's vocals and often cryptic lyrics, described by critic Steve Huey as "abstract poetry filled with complicated wordplay, bone-dry wit, cutting social observations, and general misanthropy."[1]

The group's output is prolific—as of July 2010 they have released 28 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 BBC disc jockey John 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."[2]

Contents

History

1970s

The Fall was formed in Prestwich, Greater Manchester in 1976 by Mark E. Smith, Martin Bramah, Una Baines, and Tony Friel. Friel came up with the name "The Fall", after a 1956 novel by Albert Camus.[3][4] The original lineup featured Smith on guitar, Bramah on vocals, Baines on drums, and Friel on bass guitar, but Smith and Bramah soon switched roles, and Baines switched to keyboards.[5] The band's unidentified first drummer, whose first name has been given as "Dave" and "Steve" by various sources,[6] was quickly replaced by Karl Burns.[5] From the beginning, the group produced a sound quite unlike anything else being played in the run-down dancehalls of northern England's New Wave scene.

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