One of rock’s longest lived, most innovative and most prolific cult acts, The Fall are synonymous with founder/vocalist Mark E. Smith. Drawing inspiration from Captain Beefheart, The Velvet Underground, krautrock, rockabilly, and garage rock, yet sounding utterly unique and instantly identifiable, the hallmarks of The Fall are riffs, rhythm, repetition, and Smith’s snarling, half spoken vocals. The band’s lineup could be unstable, with many musicians stepping in and out of the ranks during The Fall’s more than 40 years of existence, yet its aesthetic remained consistent. Legendary British DJ John Peel, who rated The Fall as his favorite band, put it best: “they are always different; they are always the same.” A longtime favorite of intelligent, broad-eared music fans, the influence of The Fall can be heard in the music of Pavement, Sonic Youth, The Pixies, and many other alternative, indie, low-fi, and post-punk acts. The Fall came to an end upon Smith’s death in 2018.
Did you know?
- Roughly 45 musicians were members of The Fall across the band’s 40-year existence, with front man Mark E. Smith as the sole constant
- The Fall released 31 studio albums, 6 part studio/part live albums, and an equal amount of live albums
- The Fall was influential British D.J. John Peel’s favorite band; they recorded 24 Peel Sessions between 1978-2004, more than any other act