Categories :

Similar artists

Albums

CD$16.49

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

Distinctions The Qobuz Ideal Discography
CD$15.49

Rock - Released August 8, 2013 | Castle Communications

CD$12.99

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
CD$20.49

Rock - Released August 8, 2013 | Castle Communications

CD$12.99

Rock - Released March 1, 2017 | Castle Communications

CD$31.99

Rock - Released August 8, 2013 | Castle Communications

Two clichés to get rid of right away are that Time Enough at Last is another unnecessary outtakes-and-live compilation to clutter the Fall's unwieldy discography and that it's for hardcore fans only. The three discs included were all originally released with little information on when, where, and who by the Trojan Records imprint Receiver. The new liner notes by Record Collector's Daryl Easlea do 'fess up to the dodgy roots of these releases, so at least there seems to be some concern for the fans and the band, but noting "demo," "live," or "instrumental" on the track listing could have raised the credibility a bit more. There's still no explanation of who chose the tracks or put together the interesting segues in between them. The first disc, Oxymoron, draws the bulk of its material from The Light User Syndrome and Cerebral Caustic era, except for a weird remix of the 1979 classic "Psychic Dancehall," now titled "E.S.P. Disco" (hence the claim that the collection covers 1979-1996). A stomping studio recording of "Oxymoron" and an inspired "Chillinism" are highlights, but "Chillinism" will show up twice more in the set under different titles, and the live recordings of the two-drummer Fall that fill the rest of the disc are direct from the soundboard and sound flat and sloppy. The Cheetham Hill disc looks more promising with some mid-'80s tracks listed, but they're live versions that don't live up to their studio counterparts. The final disc, 15 Ways to Leave Your Man, claims to be from a 1996 concert in London, but the sound quality differs from track to track, perhaps another in the long list of bibliographic errors suffered by the Fall. The show does feature a less-sober and looser Mark E. Smith, whose vocal whoops and hollers are as jarring and exciting as ever, but some more room ambience would have gone a long way to make it a more worthy addition. The sonically muddy version of "Hey Student" that closes the set is a prime example of what's wrong here: great song, decent performance, but if it's live, where did the fade-out and the multi-tracking of Smith's voice come from? Time Enough at Last doesn't have enough choice material for the casual fan, but fanatics might benefit from the new liner notes and the convenience of getting it all at once at a fair price. ~ David Jeffries
CD$10.49

Rock - Released March 1, 2017 | Castle Communications

"From the riot torn streets of Manchester, England to the scenic sewers of Chicago" begins the hoarse American MC introducing The Fall to an audience of appreciative, but probably confused, stateside audience. Of the early live albums, A Part of America Therein 1981 might be one of their best. The sound quality and band mix is fine, though a slight distortion suggests a poor source tape or a vinyl remaster. Above all, the band is in top form, Mark E. Smith amusing in several audience asides while focused and possessed of vitriol in the treatise-like songs ("The N.W.R.A." and "Cash 'n' Carry") that make up a majority of this set. "Totally Wired" can't help but be a lashing out of the scene surrounding him, as Smith changes the lyrics to attack the faux punks in the audience. And the line "When the going gets weird/the weird turn pro" could be The Fall's motto. The double-punch of Craig Scanlon and Marc Riley's guitars add to the fury. Re-released in 1992 sharing a CD with the Slates EP. ~ Ted Mills
CD$12.99

Rock - Released March 1, 2017 | Castle Communications

The Fall's first post-Craig Scanlon album also introduced Julia Nagle, who took over keyboards from the departing Dave Bush and also contributed some guitar. Brix Smith and Karl Burns covered the rest of the guitar, and while Scanlon is missed, the end results work well enough. The crisp live edge to the recording is attractive, but oddly enough leaves a lot of space in the mix -- Mark E. Smith and Nagle's keyboards have pride of place along with Steven Hanley's bass guitar (give an ear to "Das Vulture Ans Ein Nutter-Wain" for an example). Smith himself seems to be searching for lyrics more than once, and while he comes up with a usual collection of acid-tongued zingers, other times he seems to be making vocal noise for the sake of it -- nothing wrong with that, but still, one expects more. Though the album takes a little while to get started, when it does, the winners start coming in droves, such as the attractive Smith/Brix duet "Spinetrap" and the nervy, brisk bite of "Oleano," which sounds like an endless alarm bringing out the paranoia. There's some fiery aggression flaring up more than once as well, as "He Pep!" and especially the lengthy, roaring clatter and blast of "Interlude/Chilinism" in particular show. The addition of another pretty/sharp exchange between Brix and Smith makes the latter all the more entertaining. In terms of unexpected covers, the Fall do have another winner -- Johnny Paycheck's "Stay Away (Old White Train)," sung by Smith with an appropriate if terribly amusing drawl. Speaking of singing -- more than once co-producer Mike Bennett shares the vocals with Smith, a surprising change to say the least! The odd geographical confusion track "Cheethan Hill" shows how well that can actually work, with Bennett taking a clearer lead while Smith, unsurprisingly, does the "sing from one room over" approach. ~ Ned Raggett
CD$12.99

Rock - Released September 1, 2016 | Castle Communications

CD$12.99

Rock - Released March 1, 2017 | Castle Communications

Artist

The Fall in the magazine