A Beginner’s Guide To The Fall: The Essential Albums

John Peel – The Fall’s biggest and outspoken fan – famously claimed they were “always different, always the same”. In many ways, Peel was right. With each new Fall album, you could never guarantee you’d like all of the material; you couldn’t even guarantee you’d remember any of the material after the album finished, but through it all, there would be Mark E. Smith, founder and only constant member, gleefully bamboozling the listener with rambling, obtuse lyrics. A lyricist and performer like no other, Smith’s work balanced precariously between the utterly mundane and bizarre, humorous and spiteful. Such a one-off proposition that even imitators could never quite match his unique style.

Smith steered his artistic vision through forty years and over sixty members. Sometimes the addition of a new band member or even Smith’s current mood could change the sound and fortunes of a new Fall record. The Fall back catalogue is one of the most daunting of any band’s, comprising of thirty two studio albums, as many live albums and over forty compilations to date. Given that Smith himself cared nothing for quality control and released material at a frighteningly prolific rate and then expected fans to work at reaping their own musical reward, finding the genuinely brilliant material within The Fall’s oeuvre can be like panning for gold, especially for newer listeners.

Here is Real Gone’s guide to The Fall essentials!


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City Mouse: US tour throughout February

It’s been a long while since City Mouse released their second EP back in 2011, but it has lost none of its punk-pop cool – especially if you’re a big fan of female fronted bands like Tilt.

While studio recording seems not to be a priority for the band, they’re still busy.  Next month, they head out on a country-wide US tour.   All dates are listed below.  You can also stream the 2011 EP…

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Grab a free download of the new K7s digital single, featuring Kurt Baker

K7s are a new band based in Spain who really deliver when it comes to looking for that classic sounding punk pop hit.   Their debut single ‘Running Back; mixes the pop hooks of ‘Dookie’ era Green Day with the drive of ‘Anthem For A New Tomorrow’ era Screeching Weasel.

If that style does it for you, then the K7s could well become an instant favourite.  What’s more, you can download both tracks of their new digital single from Bandcamp for absolutely free.  Just follow the Bandcamp widget.

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Listen to Gus Ring’s haunting take on a Dusty Springfield classic

“You Don’t Have To Say You Love Me”.  It’s one of those songs that most people over a certain age know.  Dusty Springfield’s aching ballad is considered a classic, but that doesn’t mean it can’t be re-interpreted.

Enter Gus Ring, a Swedish singer-songwriter.  Gus has taken the basic melody and lyric of the track and stripped it right back.  Now, the desperation within the lyric is almost too hard to take.

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After a five year recording break, ‘The Light’ marks the return of one of Greece’s most popular English speaking bands, Tango With Lions. With core sounds rooted within the early mid 90s, Tango With Lions are keeping the flame of European dreampop alive…or so it would seem if you were to only listen to the first few tracks of this 2018 comeback disc. ‘The Light’ presents lots of floaty, dreamy alternative sounds – ’tis true – but it ploughs deeper into bits of alt-folk than most dreampop acts would consider, or even dare.

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