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Drink the long draught...Presenting The Ultimate Music Guide to The Fall. It's our overdue attempt to make sense of the visionary and bewildering world of The Fall and Mark E Smith.  All of the albums reviewed, in-depth. The very cream of vituperative pub-based interviews dusted down. The truth behind the "If it's me and your granny on bongos..." remark, unearthed. 

It's all here. Fan already? You'll find plenty of enrichment here, and (probably, since no Fall fan is the same) plenty to disagree with, too. New to the terrain? Consider this our thoughtfully-drawn map of strange and misty territory.  Wonderful. Occasionally frightening. And available with free UK P&P here

So, my question to you - one which could reliably start an afternoon debate in the NME office - is this. Which is your favourite album by The Fall? And why?

 

 

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My favourite album is probably Grotesque. It's the first one where they really sounded like they knew what they were doing (the first couple had charm, were amateurish, but inconsistent). I dig it all the way through. Not that we look to the Fall for ballads or hard rock, but there's a diversity of styles here that we hadn't seen before - the repetitive almost novelty-punk rant of 'Pay Your Rates', the swinging rockabilly of 'Container Drivers', the focused and fiery, military-drum driven 'Impression of J Temperance'. And lyrically, MES was never better. Give 'English Scheme' a listen if you don't believe me - it's extraordinary, a distorted singer's snapshot of the state of the country in 1980, stuffed full of great lines. But truthfully he doesn't put a foot wrong in any of the songs.

I kind of feel out of breath when it ends - you really do feel like you've been somewhere. God bless 'em.

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1 hour ago, JOHNCOAN said:

My favourite album is probably Grotesque. It's the first one where they really sounded like they knew what they were doing (the first couple had charm, were amateurish, but inconsistent). I dig it all the way through. Not that we look to the Fall for ballads or hard rock, but there's a diversity of styles here that we hadn't seen before - the repetitive almost novelty-punk rant of 'Pay Your Rates', the swinging rockabilly of 'Container Drivers', the focused and fiery, military-drum driven 'Impression of J Temperance'. And lyrically, MES was never better. Give 'English Scheme' a listen if you don't believe me - it's extraordinary, a distorted singer's snapshot of the state of the country in 1980, stuffed full of great lines. But truthfully he doesn't put a foot wrong in any of the songs.

I kind of feel out of breath when it ends - you really do feel like you've been somewhere. God bless 'em.

Great thing about The Fall (particularly, I think) is that it's never over. For a long time I couldn't be swayed from This Nation's Saving Grace. Wondering at the moment if Dragnet, even if I haven't quite got the stuff to play it every day, might be the one. We'll never get to the bottom of it, but it's great to travel down. 

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My favourite album is Dragnet. Love the way it captures the sound of the exact year from a very social as opposed to musical way. Sort of lost nondescript year between the 70s / 80s transition. Brooding, topical, honest and arguably experimental. Dig it!

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It has to Hex Enduction Hour. The loudest, nastiest 60 odd minutes by that band or possibly any other. And probably the best ever use of dual drummers. Released in 1982 and if it was released this week it would still make the jaw drop in the same way.....

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While it's almost impossible to choose, and I am a kind of Pre-Brix purist: Slates was my first true love.  I really enjoyed Witch Trials and Dragnet and Hex as well, but Slates had Leave the Capital, possibly my favorite Fall tune, followed closely by Fit and Working Again (it seemed to speak to us blue collar slaves) and a slew of madness around the massive Slates drone itself, and perfect delightful fun (including the lyrics) in Prole Art Threat.  I laughed at the great god pan!

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20 hours ago, Alan Minter said:

While it's almost impossible to choose, and I am a kind of Pre-Brix purist: Slates was my first true love.  I really enjoyed Witch Trials and Dragnet and Hex as well, but Slates had Leave the Capital, possibly my favorite Fall tune, followed closely by Fit and Working Again (it seemed to speak to us blue collar slaves) and a slew of madness around the massive Slates drone itself, and perfect delightful fun (including the lyrics) in Prole Art Threat.  I laughed at the great god pan!

You and Brix have more in common than you might think - it was Slates that she was obsessed with. 

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Ha! I wasn't expecting an UMG about these guys, but this is a great pick.

Despite owning 6 (I think) of their albums, I don't fully 'get' The Fall. I'd appreciate some in-depth analysis of their albums - especially Smith's lyrics!

My personal favourite is Extricate. But Hex Enduction Hour seems to me to be their magnum opus.

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Bought this magazine and very disappointed.  The Ultimate Music Guide??  Possibly for the years 1978 - 1994 which take up 95 pages of this 124 page publication along with 10 pages for live albums and compilations.  So the final 20 years of the Fall can be accommodated in 20 pages.  Completely unbalanced view of the band's output.  If I'd known this I wouldn't have wasted £9 on it and I'm an Uncut subscriber.

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