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Alternative & Indie - Released March 15, 2019 | Beggars Banquet

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Remastered reissue (newly transferred from original analogue tapes) of The Fall’s ninth studio album, Bend Sinister, originally released in 1986 and remained at the top of the list of favourite Fall albums.
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Alternative & Indie - Released January 17, 2005 | Cherry Red Records

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Alternative & Indie - Released June 10, 2016 | Cherry Red Records

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Punk / New Wave - Released March 15, 2004 | Castle Communications

Distinctions The Qobuz Ideal Discography
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Rock - Released March 1, 2017 | Castle Communications

Originally released in a time when "neither an EP nor an LP" was different and not a marketing gimmick, 1981's Slates was issued as a 10", but its six tight songs didn't have that key track to make it as revered as other Fall releases of the time. "Leave the Capitol," "Middle Mass," and "Prole Art Threat" deserve their place in the Fall's hall of fame, but compared to the second, punchy and polished version of "Lie Dream," they sound a bit anemic. Not a bad taster if you're new and want some post-punk, pre-pop Fall -- and 90 percent of this is prime material. [The 1992 and 1998 reissues added the live and short A Part of America Therein, a worthy complement for which Sanctuary has other plans. For the Fall fan, the bonuses on the 2004 reissue are a mixed blessing. With classic tracks like "Lie Dream of a Casino Soul," "Fantastic Life," and the great "Hip Priest" tacked on, the extras read as if from an early-'80s "greatest-hits" package. Great, but if there's a bummer to be had, they weaken the punch of the original Slates' sprawling attempt to restructure the Fall from punk to prog -- prog in the least pretentious sense of the word. Longtime buyers of the band get better sound quality, great liner notes, and the duplication blues once again.] ~ David Jeffries
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Alternative & Indie - Released October 25, 2010 | Beggars Banquet

The Fall made the leap to a semi-major label -- Beggars Banquet -- with The Wonderful and Frightening World of the Fall, hooking up with noted producer John Leckie to create another smart, varied album. Contemporaneous with the slightly friendlier "Oh! Brother" and "C.R.E.E.P." singles without actually including them, Wonderful and Frightening World makes few concessions to the larger market -- every potential hook seemed spiked with the band's usual rough take-it-or-leave-it stance. Mark E. Smith's audible, tape-distorting spit on the descending chord blast of "Elves" -- already spiked with enough vocal craziness as it is -- gives a sense of where the album as a whole aims. Brix Smith co-writes about half the tracks, creating a strong partnership with many highlights. It may start with a semi-low-key chant, but when "Lay of the Land" fully kicks in, it does just that, Craig Scanlon in particular pouring on the feedback at the end over the clattering din. Smith sounds as coruscating and side-splittingly hilarious as ever, depicting modern Britain with an eye for the absurdities and failures (and crucially, no empathy -- it's all about a gimlet eye projected at everyone and everything). Two further standouts appear on the second half -- "Slang King," a snarling portrayal of a cool-in-his-mind dude and his increasingly pathetic life, and the concluding "Disney's Dream Debased." Though unquestionably the most conventionally attractive tune on the album, ringing guitars and all, Smith's lyrics portray a Disneyland scenario in hell, however softly delivered. Elsewhere, Gavin Friday from the Virgin Prunes takes a bow with his own unmistakable, spindly vocals on the trebly Krautrock chug of "Copped It" and the slightly more brute rhythm of "Stephen Song." ~ Ned Raggett
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Rock - Released August 8, 2013 | Castle Communications

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Alternative & Indie - Released January 24, 2011 | Beggars Banquet

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Alternative & Indie - Released April 19, 1993 | Cherry Red Records

Returning to the indie label world with a bang, the Fall unleashed a winner and a half with Infotainment Scan, one of the band's most playful yet sharp-edged releases. The choice of covers alone gives a sense of where Smith's head was at -- tackling Lee Perry's "Why Are People Grudgeful?" is one tall order to start with, while a cover of the novelty tripe "I'm Going to Spain" is just silly fun (even if the guitar does sound like early Cure!). Even more astounding, though, is what the band does to the Sister Sledge disco classic "Lost in Music" -- nobody will ever mistake Smith's singing for that of the threesome, but the band's overall performance is an honest-to-god tribute to the tight but full Chic Organization sound. Craig Scanlon throws in some scratchy work around the edges, but otherwise the group takes it as it is and does a great job. As for the originals, Smith and crew are in fine form once again, Scanlon, Steve Hanley, Dave Bush, and Simon Wolstencroft once again a dynamic, inventive unit. After the explicitly techno nods of the recent past, Infotainment balances that off with more straight-ahead rock, though with Wolstencroft's strong, sharp drumming still setting a brisk, danceable pace while Scanlon whips up his usual brand of tight, memorable riffing and Bush adds subtle textures and catchy melodies. One of the best numbers is the explicitly Gary Glitter-styled romp "Glam-Racket," a great shout-along, while the beat-crazy "A Past Gone Mad" wins for this line alone: "And if I ever end up like U2/slit my throat with a garden vegetable." "The League of Bald Headed Men" also deserves note, as does another strong motorik-inspired number, "It's a Curse." Best song title of the bunch? "Paranoia Man in Cheap Shit Room," with a high-strung and aggressive arrangement to boot. ~ Ned Raggett
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Alternative & Indie - Released March 15, 2019 | Beggars Banquet

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Alternative & Indie - Released November 6, 2000 | Cherry Red Records

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Alternative & Indie - Released October 10, 1988 | Beggars Banquet

The last thing most Fall fans expected the group to do in 1988 was provide music for a ballet, but in fact this is what they did. Of course, it helped that the Michael Clark company of dancers were some of the most avant-garde at the time in Britain and were inspired originally by the Fall's "Hey! Luciani" single. The concept, very loosely, centers around William and Mary of Orange, and finds Smith arranging William Blake's "Jerusalem" for the band, adding his own lyrics ("It was the fault of the government," providing ironic contrast to the self-sufficiency espoused in Blake). As a cohesive Fall album it fails: The strongest tracks are those that have little to do with the ballet (and are available elsewhere). "New Big Prinz" updates their own "Hip Priest" into one of their heaviest tracks, full of threat and wonder. "Cab It Up!" features all forward momentum and jingling keyboards. For the first time tracks felt like filler, and indeed they were. The CD booklet contains photographs from the performance full of giant pop-art hamburgers and cans of baked beans, suggesting I Am Kurios Oranj would have been more interesting to see than hear. ~ Ted Mills
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Rock - Released August 8, 2013 | Castle Communications

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Alternative & Indie - Released June 10, 2016 | Cherry Red Records

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Rock - Released May 11, 2015 | Cherry Red Records

A well-rounded and surprisingly busy album from the Fall, Sub-Lingual Tablet finds leader Mark E. Smith taking the producer's chair for LP number 31. Clean-sounding and intricately built tracks suggest he trusts the current lineup of the long-running band, while the return of cassette-taped interludes and other found sounds recall the band's 1984-1988 stretch, a golden age when they were regulars on the indie charts. Follow the wandering, twangy riff of "Venice with the Girls" ("Too beautiful/Best thing for you to do is hide") and it leads Fall fans to a satisfying land where they receive all the drive, the snarl, and tribal drums they require, while late album highlights "Quit iPhone" and "Fibre Book Troll" (which is really "Facebook Troll") are screaming examples of the band's rockabilly-punk in overdrive, both of them bitter with the current climate and tech-aware enough to drop the right names. The rolling robo-bass on "Dedication Not Medication" means there's at least one Burial 12" in the band's record box, while the great and too short "Black Door" is back to the future music with keyboard lines that point to the first two Devo albums. The numerous time changes and song twists are more Captain Beefheart-inspired than Yes- or Genesis-styled show-offery, but this tight lineup of the group could show off if they chose, and sometimes give a hint of it as Smith ascends into a total, roaring performance during both "Augo Chip 2014-2016" and "Pledge." "Jungle Cloth" checks off the simple and pure rock & roll cut while Iggy Pop is the source for this album's excellent cover as the Stooges' "Cock in My Pocket" gets a brilliantly titled redo in "Stout Man." The kids are alright. ~ David Jeffries
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Rock - Released February 22, 2005 | Action Records

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Alternative & Indie - Released June 23, 1986 | Cherry Red Records

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Rock - Released March 1, 2017 | Castle Communications

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Rock - Released November 1, 2019 | Cherry Red Records

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Alternative & Indie - Released January 1, 2004 | Beggars Banquet

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