The Fall: “Your Future, Our Clutter”

Posted in Dancing about architecture on February 9th, 2011 by bill

I don’t know how Mark E. Smith does it. Since the Ford administration he’s been the leader of a band whose distinguishing characteristic is forward motion – always changing sounds, always changing members (with MES the only constant), always recording, always touring. Sonically, too, their signature is relentless drive – they find a groove and hammer it until they’re done with it, however long that takes, with Smith not so much singing as spewing his opinions on, well, pretty much everything. He’s probably said something about you and/or your mother at one point or another.

The relevant numbers go something like this:

  • 35 years: Smith formed the Fall in 1976 with Martin Bramah, Una Baines, and Tony Friel.
  • 28 albums: This is the number of official Fall studio releases as of 2010, according to Wikipedia.* Add live albums, compilations, and bootlegs, and the number goes way up.
  • 66 people: Another Wikipedia page contains an extensive list of everyone who’s ever played with the Fall. This number, 66, includes guest appearances and one-offs; limit it to actual members, and it goes down to a relatively modest 39. That’s still a lot of coming and going; there’s even a book out about former Fall members (The Fallen: Life In and Out of Britain’s Most Insane Group), which I intend to read after the Deathmarch is over.

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