Monday, May 14, 2007


Peel Sessions 53

As our weekly Peel session rendez-vous enthusiastically enters it's second year of existence the thought came to my mind that the band that defined the post punk spirit of the sessions has been until now absent. So now is a good a time as any to remedy this situation, it also comes about because I'm actively trawling through my Fall collection as in a few weeks I shall find myself confronted by the maverick wordsmith genius, Mark E Smith fronting the latest line up of his garage monsters the Fall in Barcelona. Hard as it may seem to believe this will be the first time we meet face to face. I must confess that I am no great fan of the band, though I can remember being taken with the freshness, difference and above all attitude of the early days, that first LP still has a place in my top 1000. I often thought that at times quantity was preferred above quality as to say the least the band has been prolific. Their spells with a major independent, Beggars Banquet and a major, Fontana gave them the taste of chart success and also their most polished recordings. Both before and after this there were spells with different independent labels, the result of this contractual nightmare is that for a band with such an importance to modern music there was no career spanning compilation until 2005 when Castle picked up the rights and released a 6CD box set compiling the bands 24 Peel sessions as recorded over 27 years. The end result probably does the band a better service than a more classic compilation of studio cuts would as the the urgence of the session format appears to suit Mark E Smiths way of working. It goes of course without saying that the Fall became firm Peel favorites and he heaped such praise on the band that he eventually stated the he had "run out of superlatives" to describe them.
I have chose their first session that was recorded 30th May 1978, a mere 23 days after Peel's long time producer John Walters had first seen them playing a gig, and was first aired 15th June the same year. The immediate result was them being heard by Mark Perry who rapidly signed them to the Miles Copeland financed Step Forward. These four songs were to later be featured on their debut album 'Live At The Witch Trials'.

1. 'Futures And Pasts'
2. 'Mother Sister!'
3. 'Rebelious Jukebox'
4 'Industrial Estate'

Listening back to these songs almost 30 years later they still sound fresh and vital to these ears, and strangely enough I would suggest that they, and above all 'Industrial Estate' that despite it's grim subject matter contains a very catchy chorus, would not sound out of place in today's top 40 whereas when they were originally released this would have been impossible. This I guess we could consider as a step in the right direction.

Thanks for this!
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