ARTIST: The Fall
TITLE: Live at the Witch Trials
YEAR RELEASED: 1979
CHART ACTION: No
SINGLES: The Fall didn’t release any singles from albums until much later in their career
OTHER SONGS YOU MAY KNOW: Probably Not
LINEUP: Mark E. Smith, Martin Bramah, Marc Riley, Karl Burns, Yvonne Pawlette
WHAT’S IT ALL ABOUT: After a debut single / EP, the Fall records their debut in one day and starts an unlikely journey through time. Even early on, nothing sounded like the Fall.
SOME WORDS, PHRASES AND CLAUSES ABOUT THIS RECORD: Repetiton! That was the closing track to their three-song single, and that’s the Fall in a nutshell at this time. They take a theme and motif for a song and just go with it and keep hammering at it until it sticks in your head.
Shambling is the sound I associate with the early Fall. Smith sounds a little unhinged, and the band lumbers along trying to keep up, or getting ahead of Smith. It’s a bit wild but it sounds great for the most part. And already, Smith has great contempt for the industry he’s chosen – the song Music Scene is a diatribe against the music scene. He’s held that grudge (and many others) since.
This isn’t a record if you want something straight forward. But I think you all already knew that. The Fall is the Fall, whether it’s their first record or last.
NOTES & MINUTAE: By the time this album was released, Smith was the only original member left in the band. Bramah was the last one left. Tony Friel and Una Baines were on the original EP, and their original drummer lasted only one gig.
IS THERE A DELUXE VERSION: Yes. It’s got the EP and a single, Peel Sessions, a live show and a bootleg from a TV appearance! Lots of tracks. I’m going to be choosy about that extra stuff.
GRADE: A-: If you like the Fall, you need this album!