Friday, 13 March 2009

The Fall - Levitate (1997) & The Marshall Suite (1999)

Two extremely underrated Fall records (their 19th and 20th studio albums respectively), both of which are sadly out-of-print now. These two take my pick for the Fall's best of the 90s.

Levitate (1997)

Definitely in the top five of my favorite Fall records, this is probably their most inaccesible album. The songs are all very akin to Paintwork, Bonkers in Phoenix or Can Can Summer, in that they feel very sparse and skeletal. The emphasis is often put on "sound" rather than melody, although there certainly is no lack of any, but the songs are still very catchy. If you've heard the Peel sessions from the album, you can tell that these are all very normal songs, they've just been tweaked beyond recognition by MES' very peculiar production. Highly recommended.

The Marshall Suite (1999)

After a gig in NYC, Mark E. Smith beat up his girlfriend (then keyboardist Julia Nagle) in their hotel room, which led to him then being arrested and the entire band (except for Nagle) quitting. MES set out to find an entirely new band, and the result was this fantastic album.  The album is a rock opera suite about the sad life of a Marshall, and mostly features electronic, synth-based songs along with a couple of very fuzzy rockabillyish songs. It is a great starting point for someone new to the band, as it highlights some of the best examples of the Fall's newer sound.


  1. Lucky enough to have both of these CD's. The entire 90's were an underrated time for this group. Lot's of great stuff in these two. Very "experimental" as far as what's typical for The Fall. Marshall is a personal favorite especially the mighty Antidotes, and you won't be able to get Touch Sensitive out of your head for a week. The Fall in one way or another probably influenced nearly every group you guys have posted on this and the other blog.

    If you look at it the Heroine Sheiks in particular use The Fall model. Unique front man who writes great lyrics and orchestrates a group of musicians who come up with great hooks each playing a fairly simple repetitive part that combines into a complex whole. Great post.

  2. repost please