The Fall – Singles 1978-2016 CD Box Set

The Fall - The Singles 1978-2016 7x CD Box set
The Fall – The Singles 1978-2016

So, 50 odd singles and 30 odd albums, over 40 bloody odd years, brings us to this, The Fall – Singles 1978-2016 7x CD Box Set  released by Cherry Red Records.  The first time all of the singles and b-sides have been gathered together, re-mastered and nicely compiled with an illustrated book, just in time for Christmas.  Where do you start with that lot?

Every Fall fan has their favourite period.  For me it’s the drunken chaos years of the late 90s, when they’d fallen so low they had to sell their CDs from the merchandise table.  For others it’ll be the initial fire-and-brimstone-and-speed burst of Bingo Master’s Breakout and Rowche Rumble or the glorious and commanding majesty of the Grotesque, Slates, Hex Enduction Hour albums.  Maybe the Brix-almost-pop-star years of C.R.E.E.P and Cruiser’s  Creek or the Fontana-and-brandy years of Extricate, Shiftwork and Code Selfish.  Quite possibly, the beats-and-ecstasy triumph of the Infotainment Scan or the hangover years, from the brilliant Cerebral Caustic onwards where it all very nearly came apart, or the resurgence of the blinding Touch Sensitive and Theme From Sparta F.C. singles…..or maybe the recent period of relative stability with the current line-up….whatever, it’s a cracking story that’s still unfolding (fingers crossed Mark E Smith comes through his current illness to pull it out the bag, again).

I came to The Fall late….I’d asked for their 2nd album Dragnet as a Christmas present in 1979 but, for an 11 year old, up against London Calling and my brother’s Setting Sons and One Step Beyond, it didn’t stand a chance… far too spikey, far too strange.  It got the odd spin, but it wasn’t something you talked about to your mates (some things don’t change).  But it stayed with me.  I knew there was something there for me. I kept half an eye on them, and then in 2004, I spent a few months on a job that just needed me to get my head down and switch off. I needed something specific to listen to. I popped into the HMV round the corner and, after browsing a fair while, picked up 50,000 Fall Fans Can’t Be Wrong – a double CD of stuff picking through the singles and notables in chronological order.  It was good…weird but good.  I listened again and again for days and days on my CD walkman. I kept coming back for more, trying to find the key to the way in, until….midway through Crop Dust (a sludgy relentless pounding from 2002’s sublime Are You Are Missing Winner), wallop!….the door burst wide open and it was suddenly blindingly obvious that this was a work of towering fucking genius!

So started seven or eight years of joyful obsession.  I didn’t listen to anything else.  I didn’t need to.  There was so much of this stuff and, anyway, everything else sounded unnecessary.  It just wasn’t worth my time.  I’m out of it now, sadly.  You can’t maintain that level of beautifully fierce devotion indefinitely.  But I still bloody love ’em.  I still buy everything the day it comes out, I still adore it, and I think I always will.  But I don’t pin strangers to the walls of pubs anymore, explaining exactly why Hex Enduction Hour is the greatest achievement in recorded history (‘because it just is!’).

But what about the box set? Is it worth having? Well, that’s a difficult one.  It’s thrilling stuff from beginning to end; and for Fall fans, it’s great to have it all on one collection for the first time.  So yes, I heartily recommend you go out and buy it.  But at the same time, those same people are going to have this stuff three times over already (on that note, I was looking forward to seeing Scareball, one of the extended b-sides from 1998’s Masquerade single, get a digital release here, but sadly there’s only room for one b-side per single).

For me, the singles give a patchy view of the real highlights…hats off and raise a glass to Container Drivers, New Face In Hell, The Classical, Eat Y’Self Fitter, No Bulbs, Gross Chapel, The Birmingham School of Business School, M5, Feeling Numb, Cyber Insekt, Blindness, Fall Sound, Auto Chip etc etc.

So if you’re looking for a way in, this probably isn’t the place to start.  Try 50,000 Fall Fans Can’t Be Wrong for that.  Sod it! I’ll even make you a playlist, then you can hunt around for that key to your own way in.  Or kick the door down and demand entrance….it’s a fucking wonderful world. Best of luck!

THE FALL SINGLES 1978-2016 CD BOX SET

DISC ONE – SINGLES

  1. BINGO-MASTER
  2. IT’S THE NEW THING
  3. ROWCHE RUMBLE
  4. FIERY JACK
  5. HOW I WROTE ‘ELASTIC MAN’
  6. TOTALLY WIRED
  7. LIE DREAM OF A CASINO SOUL
  8. LOOK, KNOW
  9. THE MAN WHOSE HEAD EXPANDED
  10. KICKER CONSPIRACY
  11. MARQUIS CHA-CHA
  12. OH! BROTHER
  13. C.R.E.E.P.
  14. DRAYGO’S GUILT
  15. COULDN’T GET AHEAD
  16. CRUISER’S CREEK

DISC TWO – SINGLES

  1. LIVING TOO LATE
  2. MR. PHARMACIST
  3. HEY! LUCIANI
  4. THERE’S A GHOST IN MY HOUSE
  5. HIT THE NORTH PART 1
  6. VICTORIA
  7. JERUSALEM
  8. CAB IT UP
  9. TELEPHONE THING
  10. POPCORN DOUBLE FEATURE
  11. WHITE LIGHTNING
  12. HIGH TENSION LINE
  13. FREE RANGE
  14. ED’S BABE
  15. WHY ARE PEOPLE GRUDGEFUL?
  16. BEHIND THE COUNTER
  17. 15 WAYS
  18. THE CHISELERS

DISC THREE – SINGLES

  1. MASQUERADE
  2. TOUCH SENSITIVE
  3. F-‘OLDIN’ MONEY
  4. RUDE (ALL THE TIME)
  5. SUSAN VS YOUTHCLUB
  6. (WE WISH YOU) A PROTEIN CHRISTMAS
  7. THEME FROM SPARTA F.C. #2
  8. DISTILLED MUG ART (MIX 15)
  9. I CAN HEAR THE GRASS GROW
  10. REFORMATION! (UNCUT)
  11. SLIPPY FLOOR (MARK MIX)
  12. BURY! #2+4
  13. LAPTOP DOG
  14. VICTROLA TIME
  15. SIR WILLIAM WRAY (SINGLE MIX)
  16. THE REMAINDERER
  17. WISE OL MAN

DISC FOUR – B-SIDES

  1. PSYCHO MAFIA
  2. REPETITION
  3. VARIOUS TIMES
  4. IN MY AREA
  5. 2ND DARK AGE
  6. PSYKICK DANCEHALL #2
  7. CITY HOBGOBLINS
  8. PUTTA BLOCK
  9. FANTASTIC LIFE
  10. I’M INTO C.B.
  11. LUDD GANG
  12. WINGS
  13. ROOM TO LIVE
  14. GOD-BOX
  15. O! BROTHER

DISC FIVE – B-SIDES

  1. PAT-TRIP DISPENSER
  2. C.R.E.E.P
  3. CLEAR OFF
  4. NO BULBS
  5. ROLLIN’ DANY
  6. PETTY (THIEF) LOUT
  7. L.A.
  8. VIXEN
  9. HOT AFTERSHAVE BOP
  10. LIVING TOO LONG
  11. LUCIFER OVER LANCASHIRE
  12. AUTO TECH PILOT
  13. ENTITLED
  14. SHOULDER PADS #1B

DISC SIX – B-SIDES

  1. HAF FOUND BORMANN
  2. HIT THE NORTH PART 2
  3. TUFF LIFE BOOOGIE
  4. ACID PRIEST 2088
  5. DEAD BEAT DESCENDANT
  6. BRITISH PEOPLE IN HOT WEATHER
  7. BUTTERFLIES 4 BRAINS
  8. ZANDRA
  9. BLOOD OUTTA STONE
  10. XMAS WITH SIMON
  11. EVERYTHING HURTZ
  12. PUMPKIN HEAD XSCAPES
  13. GLAM RACKET
  14. WAR
  15. HEY! STUDENT
  16. THE $500 BOTTLE OF WINE
  17. CHILINIST
  18. MASQUERADE (PWL MIX)
  19. TOUCH SENSITIVE (DANCE MIX)
  20. ANTIDOTE

DISC SEVEN – B-SIDES

  1. PERFECT DAY (NEW VERSION)
  2. I WAKE UP IN THE CITY
  3. JANET VS JOHNNY
  4. (WE ARE) MOD MOCK GOTH
  5. MY EX CLASSMATE’S KIDS (LIVE)
  6. I WAKE UP IN THE CITY (MIX 5)
  7. CLASP HANDS
  8. OVER OVER (ROUGH MIX)
  9. HOT CAKE – PART 2
  10. COWBOY GREGORI
  11. COSMOS 7
  12. MONOCARD (LUNATIC MIX)
  13. TAKING OFF (LIVE)
  14. JETPLANE
  15. HITTITE MAN (SINGLE MIX)
  16. AMORATOR!
  17. ALL LEAVE CANCELLED

The Fall – Singles 1978-2016 7x CD Box Set is due to be released on 24th November on Cherry Red.  All seven discs have been re-mastered by Fall engineer Andy Pearce and come with a newly designed book in a box.

Also available as an edited 3-CD set (CDTRED 700) which features all of the A-Sides and is released on the same day.

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