Mark E. Smith

Of all the late 70s punk and post-punk bands, none have been longer lived or more prolific than The Fall.

Throughout their existence, the band have undergone a myriad of line-up changes, but at the centre of it all has been vocalist Mark E. Smith. With his snarling vocals and consuming bitter cynicism, Smith has become a legend in indie and alternative rock. Since their inception in 1976, The Fall have been through a number of shifts in musical style, yet the foundation of their sound has always been a near-cacophonous, amelodic jagged jumble of guitars, sing-speak vocals and keyboards.

From early in their career, The Fall were championed by the late great John Peel. Peel cited them as his favourite band, famously observing: “They are always different; they are always the same.” The Fall inspired a new generation of underground bands across the globe, and, through lyrical references and covers, acts such as Suede, Sonic Youth, Pavement and Belle and Sebastian have paid open homage to them. Meanwhile, Mark E. Smith’s unique vocal stylings have been in demand throughout his career and he has collaborated with a huge diversity of artists, Elastica, Edwyn Collins, the Inspiral Carpets and Gorillaz to name but a few.

Through its administration agreement with Cherry Red Songs, the Kassner group represents a number of the songs recorded by The Fall in 1980 for seminal punk label Step Forward and leading indie record company Rough Trade. These include rarities such as “New Puritan” and “That Man” together with key singles “How I Wrote Elastic Man”, “Totally Wired” and “Fiery Jack”.