Fred Dellar & Barry Lazell, "Collecting The Fall"

"RH" (Record Hunter?), June 1993, p. 9

Famous more for being John Peel's favourite group than for any kind of commercial success, Mark E Smith and whichever group of musicians he currently prefers to work with as the Fall have nevertheless managed to hold onto a substantial cult following for over 15 years. Although inevitably allied to punk in the early years, Smith and The Fall have always followed their own wayward course with a total disregard for fashion. If, in consequence, the group's records are less sought after by collectors than those made by more fashionable names, it nevertheless remains true that The Fall's sometimes ramshackle sound has had an enormous influence on their contemporaries.


1. Short Circuit-Live At The Electric Circus
Ten-inch LP (Virgin VCL5LX73 1978)

The group's recording debut consisted of two tracks on this various artists album, although the collectability of the record has at least as much to do with the presence of Joy Division in the lineup of artists. Pressings exist in three different coloured vinyls--the common blue edition sells for L15, while orange and yellow versions sell for L30 and L40 respectively.


2. Bingo Master's Breakout
Seven-inch (Step Forward SF7 1978)

The first single by The Fall was this three-track release - worth a modest L8.


3. Live At The Witch Trials
LP (Step Forward SFLP1/ US IRS SP003 7979)

The Fall's debut album is slightly different in its UK and US incarnations - the American edition replaces the tracks 'Mother-Sister' and 'Industrial Estate' with 'Various Times' and also has a different cover. L10 UK; L15 US.


4. Totale's Turns (It's Never Or Never)
LP Rough Trade (ROUGH 10 1980)
5. Grotesque (After The Gramme)
LP (Rough Trade ROUGH18 1980)

Since the collapse of Rough Trade, these records have become increasingly hard to find. L15 apiece


6. Slates
Ten-inch (Rough Trade RT071 1981)

The six tracks that comprise Slates are arguably the best that The Fall have recorded - new listeners should definitely start here. L10


7. Marquis Cha Cha
Seven-inch (Kamera ERA014 1982)

The demise of Kamera meant that very few copies of this single were ever distributed. Two different B sides exist - 'Papal Visit' and 'Room To Live' - either version of the single being worth around L25.


8. Live At Acklam Hall
Cassette (Chaos Tapes LIVE006 1982)

4,000 copies of this 1980 live recording were issued on a cassette of dubious legality. As the recording was clearly taken from the mixing desk, however, it has been accepted by fans of the group as a legitimate Fall collectors' item. L20


9. A Part Of America Therein
LP (US Crepuscule / Cottage LP1 1982)

This is a live recording made at a number of locations in America and not issued in the UK. The Crepuscule original issue is particularly scarce - copies of the Cottage reissue were imported by Rough Trade. L15-20.


10. Fall In A Hole
LP (Flying Nun MARK 1/2 1983)

This double album (one disc playing at 33rpm and the other playing at 45rpm is a live recording from New Zealand and was only issued in that country. Essentially, this is a bootleg issue, but like the Live At Acklam Hall tape, it is one that has managed to acquire the status of an official Fall recording. L30.


11. Kicker Conspiracy + 3 tracks
Seven-inch (Rough Trade RT143 1983)

A double single packaged in a gatefold sleeve. L8.


12. CREEP / Pat-rip Dispenser
12-inch (Beggars Banquet 116T 1984)

Issued in two versions - on green vinyl, or on black vinyl with a free art print. L10.


13. Call For Escape Route
12-inch (Beggars Banquet 120E 1984)

A double pack comprising a three track 12-inch single together with a two track 7-inch single L10.


14. Hit The North / There's A Ghost In My House
Videos (Beggars Banquet 1981)

One-track promotional videos for these singles have been offered on the market recently for around. L20.


15. Extricate CD sampler
CD (Phonogram FALL 1 1980 <sic>)

This four-track sampler taken from the Extricate album is typical of the kind of limited edition promotional issue that can only increase in value in the future. L6.