The Fall Top 5 Vinyl + Top 5 CDs: Honoring Mark E. Smith, frontman of The Fall, Who Died Today At Age 60

Posted by Billyjam, January 24, 2018 04:52pm | Post a Comment
The Fall 50,000 Fall Fans Can't Be Wrong: 39 Golden Greats (Rest In Peace Mark E. Smith)

As this year began, when I made a commitment to document all of the musicians who might pass on in 2018, little did I know how many we would lose just in this first month including Mark E. Smith of The Fall who passed away this morning at age 60. So far no exact cause of death has been officially announced but this upsetting news follows the late 2017 cancellations by The Fall of their scheduled NYC shows; reportedly due to Smith’s failing health. Confirmation of The Fall frontman’s passing came this afternoon from the group’s manager Pamela Vander with the press release; “It is with deep regret that we announce the passing of Mark E. Smith. He passed this morning at home. A more detailed statement will follow in the next few days. In the meantime, Pam & Mark’s family request privacy at this sad time.”

Not merely another great artist taken before their time, but to me (and all other longtime fans) Smith was most special and beloved. He was an anti-hero in music; an artist who didn’t give a fuck about what others thought. He rapped more than he sang in the expected cookie cutter rock singing traditions, he loved football (soccer) almost as much as music (check out below his hilarious art-piece reading of football scores on BBC), he always had his own unique opinions, had a rep for cancelling shows at the last minute due to his whims, and apparently hadn't gone to the dentist in a while.  For four decades he and his (ever shifting lineup) group remained consistently relevant as he marched to his own beat, never compromising or selling out.

I remember years ago (mid eighties I think) going to see The Fall perform in SF at the I-Beam and how, true to form at the time, on stage while singing he turned his back on the audience. The number of crazy funny stories about Mark E. Smith will no doubt be unfolding over the coming days as the inevitable flood of tributes to the man begin to be published. In the meantime in his and his prolific band’s honor I dig into their deep back-catalog to present both a top five vinyl albums list and a top five CDs list of Fall titles currently available from Amoeba including the recently released  box sets from Cherry Red. But first the video clip of him reading the football scores as art piece on BBC. Rest In Peace Mark E. Smith.

The Fall Five CDs

1: The Fall Singles 1978-2016 [Deluxe Edition] (7CD set) (Cherry Red)

2:  The Fall A-Sides: 1978-2016 (Deluxe Edition) (3 CD set) (Cherry Red)

3: The Fall 5 Albums Box Set (Beggars Banquet)
[inc. The Frenz Experiment, I Am Kurious Oranj, Hit The North, Singles 1987-1989, Seminal Live]

4: The Fall 50,000 Fall Fans Can't Be Wrong: 39 Golden Greats (2CD set) (Beggars Banquet)

5: The Fall Grotesque (Expanded Deluxe Edition) (Sanctuary)
includes among its 5 bonus tracks the 7 minute Mark E Smith Self-Interview

The Fall Five Vinyl LPs

1: The Fall This Nation’s Saving Grace LP (Beggars Banquet)
2: The Fall Perverted By Language LP (Superior Viaduct)

3: The Fall Hex Enduction Hour LP (Superior Viaduct)

4: The Fall Dragnet LP (Superior Viaduct)

5: The Fall Room To Live LP (Superior Viaduct)

[Among the other vinyl available from The Fall is the 10" SlatesTablet LP (also on CD), and Yarbles LP]

Relevant Tags

Mark E. Smith (2), The Fall (7), Rest In Peace Mark E. Smith (1), Amoeblog Music In Memoriam (8), Mark Smith (1)