Release Date: Dec 1, 2017
Record label: Cherry Red
Genre(s): Punk, Pop/Rock, Alternative/Indie Rock, Alternative Pop/Rock, Indie Rock, Punk/New Wave, Dance-Rock, College Rock, Post-Punk, British Punk
Joining the ranks of the six-disc The Complete Peel Sessions 1978-2004 and the five-disc The Fall Box Set, Singles 1978-2016 is another ambitious repackaging of the seemingly endless catalog of Mancunian post-punk institution the Fall, collecting seven CDs' worth of tracks from their countless singles and EPs. The first three discs (also released separately as A-Sides 1978-2016) present the A-sides in order, from "Bingo-Master" (which was actually the second track from the group's 1978 debut EP, Bingo-Master's Break-Out!) to 2016's "Wise Ol' Man. " The first disc contains the group's most abrasive, confrontational singles for labels like Step Forward and Rough Trade, ending up during the group's most accessible period, when leader Mark E.
The last thing the world needs is another Fall compilation. The sheer volume of music that Mark E. Smith (and whoever he's barking orders at) has produced over the past four decades has resulted in so many anthologies and quickie collections that you could build a house out of the jewel cases. But Cherry Red's new seven-disc Fall box set instantly crushes them all like Godzilla on Bambi.
A lthough the Fall's formidable reputation was built on classic albums such as This Nation's Saving Grace, this exhaustive compilation traces their slightly lesser-heralded prowess as a singles group. Over 38 years, seven CDs, 51 A-sides and 66 B-sides, the group make dizzying progress, from angular Salford post-punk oddities to alt national treasures. A multitude of lineups hurtle through northern rockabilly (Fiery Jack), hypnotic repetitive mantras (Living Too Late), Brix Smith-era big riffs and tunes (Cruiser's Creek), indie disco floor-fillers (Hit the North), chart hits (Kinks' cover Victoria) and even a song that ended up in a car advert (Touch Sensitive).
The discography of infamous post-punk outfit The Fall is a legendarily unwieldy thing. A cursory glance at the multiple versions of the group's studio albums, live releases, singles and semi-official bootlegs released on a laundry list of different record labels is vertigo-inducing. Unless you have the hours and bank account to commit to parsing it all out, having some kind of road map or throughline is a necessity when approaching their work.