The Fall’s first and only release on the reactivated Jet Records label, The Light User Syndrome is often acclaimed as the last classic-style Fall album, owing both to the presence of longtime personnel including guitarist/singer Brix Smith, multi-instrumentalist Karl Burns, bassist Stephen Hanley and drummer Simon Wolstencroft, as well as its guitar-driven post-punk sound.
The Fall’s 18th studio album, The Light User Syndrome finds Mark E. Smith on top form, including one of his legendary “pre-cogs” in “Powder Keg.” Along with 13 Fall originals, the band deconstructs Johnny Paycheck’s “Stay Away (Old White Train)” and Gene Pitney’s “Last Chance to Turn Around” (aka “Last Exit to Brooklyn”). The centerpiece of the album, and of this period of The Fall, is the multipart “Interlude/Chilinism,” an expansion of pre-album single “The Chiselers.” The Fall claimed three spots on legendary English DJ John Peel’s 1996 Festive Fifty chart of listeners’ favorite songs, more than any other artist; “Cheetham Hill” led the way at #6, followed by “The Chiselers” at #13 and “Hostile” at #16. Simply put, The Light User Syndrome is a great Fall album, and a must for anyone who enjoys the band’s immediately preceding Beggars Banquet, Fontana and Permanent Records periods.
While previous CD reissues of this album have included a mere two bonus tracks, The Light User Syndrome has now been brought in line with the majority of The Fall’s acclaimed catalog reissues as a 2 CD set. This Deluxe Edition includes period-relevant singles, B-sides, alternate versions and live recordings from 1996, newly remastered by Andy Pearce & Matt Wortham; augmented by an expansive booklet including a brand-new 6000+ word oral history conducted by Daryl Easlea, who interviewed the band members in March 2022.