The Fall

Early Fall 77–79

Cog Sinister/Voiceprint

When Lissa the Nurse turned me on to a cassette of Early Fall, 77-79 in 1980, I had no idea it would turn out to be one of my life’s defining moments. In fact, after one listen to Mark E. Smith’s “singing” and his band’s futile struggle to play along, I buried the tape deep in the shoebox that held my record collection. I dug it out maybe a year later, heard Smith declare, “These are the three R’s: repetition, repetition, repetition,” on the opening track, heard the band churning sluggishly away behind him, the sludge broken only by a toy piano guitar lead, and suddenly it dawned on me: This was genius. Smith and band had accomplished what few musicians ever attempt. They had created something entirely different—words and sounds with no reference point to the past or present. My tape was lost in a 1992 fire, but thanks to this reissue, I can safely say this band is still ahead of its time.