The Fall

The Fall Artistfacts

  • 1976-2017
    Mark E. SmithVocals1976-2017
    Martin BramahGuitar1976–1979, 1989–1990
    Una BainesKeys1976-1978
    Tony FrielBass1976-1977
    Marc RileyGuitar, bass, keys1978-1983
    Craig ScanlonGuitar1979-1995
    Brix SmithGuitar1983-1989, 1994-1996
    Steve HanleyBass1979-1998
    Elena PoulouKeys2002-2016
    Pete GreenwayGuitar2006-2017
    Dave SpurrBass2006-2017
    Keiron MellingDrums2006-2017
    Michael ClaphamKeys2017-
  • The Fall were an English post-punk band, formed in 1976 by vocalist Mark E Smith in Manchester, England with three friends: guitarist Martin Bramah, keyboardist Una Baines and bassist Tony Friel.
  • Mark E Smith grew up in Prestwich, Greater Manchester and worked first in a meat factory and then as a shipping clerk on the Manchester docks. In 1976, inspired by a Sex Pistols gig in his home city he quit his job to focus on The Fall.
  • The Fall were named for Albert Camus' 1956 novel La Chute.
  • They played their first gig on May 23, 1977 in the basement of North-West Arts association in Manchester.
  • Smith's authoritarian approach to band leadership led to many line-up changes, with him being the only constant member. A total of 66 different members passed through the group during their 40 year history. By 1979, the other three original members were all gone, leaving the Mancunian maverick to take full charge of the band's future.
  • A-then sixteen year old Marc Riley replaced Tony Friel on bass in 1978. He was kicked out of the band in in 1983, after he and Smith fell out during an Australian tour. Speaking with Adam Buxton in 2016, he said: "The second best thing that ever happened to me professionally was being asked the join The Fall. The best thing was being kicked out".

    Marc Riley has subsequently become a well-known radio personality. He worked with the music presenter Mark Radcliffe on BBC Radio 5 and BBC Radio 1 for 14 years, during which time he was known as Lard.
  • The Fall's biggest hit was a cover of R Dean Taylor's classic northern number "There's A Ghost In My House," which peaked at #30 in the UK in 1987.
  • The late BBC DJ John Peel openly declared The Fall to be his favorite band of all time. The band's "Theme From Sparta FC Part 2" aptly topped John Peel's annual Festive Fifty the year he died.
  • Smith was married three times. Firstly to former Fall lead guitarist Brix Smith from 1983 to 1989, and then to Fall fanclub employee Saffron Prior from 1991 to 1995. His third and last bride was Fall keyboard player Elena Poulou whom he wed in 2001. She quit the band in 2016 after separating from Smith.
  • The Fall's 31st and final studio album New Facts Emerge was released in 2017. Their final public appearance of sorts was at the Fiddler's Club in Bristol on November 29, 2017, where the band were forced to apologize after the gig was canceled just minutes before they were due to perform, due to a downturn in Mark E Smith's health.
  • Mark E Smith died on January 24, 2018 at the age of 60 after a long illness.

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