The alternative title of this posting is ‘The day I pissed off my good mate ctel (aka Acid Ted)’.  He just does not like The Fall and there’s no convincing him other wise.

With so many tracks to choose from this could have been a stupidly impossible task.  Instead, I narrowed it down to choosing ten from the forty-seven songs listed as singles on wiki.  It’s also very heavy reliant on what could be broadly termed indie-disco material which I accept isn’t fully representative of the band:-

Side A

1. Touch Sensitive (Artful Records, 1999 : #104)

Hey Hey Hey…..and familiar to millions as that strange song which helped sell cars

2. Oh! Brother (Beggars Banquet, 1984 : #93)

With the best bass guitar lead line outside of Hooky and New Order

3. Hit The North (Beggars Banquet, 1987 : #57)

The single before this and the single after this both made the Top 40 – but they were both covers (There’s A Ghost In My House and Victoria) and while more than decent they’re not a patch of Mark E Smith’s paean to his Lancashire roots. Catchy as fuck chorus.

4. Free Range (Cog Sinister, 1992 : #40)

The best-performing of any of the non-covers, what sounds like a nonsensical almost freeform lyric is actually a superb dissection of political history and a warning about the rise of right-wing politicians across Europe.

5. Theme From Sparta F.C. #2 (Action Records, 2004 : #66)

And jst as indie-guitar rock with catchy choruses briefly came back into fashion again here in the UK, Mark reminded everyone that he’s been doing it for years and that when he turns his mind to it he can outdo any of the young pretenders

Side B

1. Totally Wired (Rough Trade, 1980 : did not chart)

One of the very finest post-punk/new wave songs of all time.  It might sound a bit rough’n’ready nowadays but for something that is now 35 years of age it still feels awfully fresh.  I’m sure every alt/indie/punk band on either side of the Atlantic have been influenced in some shape or form by this

2. Cruiser’s Creek (Beggars Banquet, 1985 : #96)

How this piece of indie-dance magnificence never charted remains one of the great mysteries of life.  I’m dancing away as I type this….it has made for a lot of spelling mistakes that have had to be corrected!

3. Rowche Rumble (Step Forward Records, 1979 : did not chart)

It starts off as if its going to be a great songs to shake your hips to on the dance floor and then it goes all majestic in a noisy way that will annoy your parents who will say ‘can’t play and can’t sing….it’s just a racket and turn it down’  Or if you move forward to 2015 the same words will be uttered by a wife who just doesn’t get them…..

4. 15 Ways (Permanent Records, 1994 : #65)

This is a cracking pop tune that if given to a more orthodox lead singer than our Mark would surely have been a Top 10 single.

5. Hey! Luciani (Beggars Banquet, 1986 : #59)

Because you can never have too many songs about a Pope who died suddenly just 33 days after his election to the position….and also because as my mate Aldo knows I have an alternative rude lyric that I sing while dancing to this!

mp3 : The Fall – Touch Sensitive
mp3 : The Fall – Oh! Brother
mp3 : The Fall – Hit The North
mp3 : The Fall – Free Range
mp3 : The Fall – Theme From Sparta F.C. #2
mp3 : The Fall – Totally Wired
mp3 : The Fall – Cruiser’s Creek
mp3 : The Fall – Rowche Rumble
mp3 : The Fall – 15 Ways
mp3 : The Fall – Hey! Luciani

Bonus track

mp3 : The Fall – No Bulbs 3

One of my favourites but disqualified as it wasn’t necessarily the lead track on an EP from 1984.



  1. Tricky job, would not be able to get it down below 50 essential tracks. I would have to have Kimble in my list.

  2. Excellent. Glad to see Hey! Luciani made the cut. A Fall imaginary comp would’ve taken me a year.

  3. Great selection! What a tight control to only work with singles! Not sure I could do without Lie Dream Of A Casino Soul, Leave The Capital, Fit And Working Again or Big New Prinz – singles or not.

  4. acidted — that’s what i thought about altered images! although it was not so much stamping as curtseying…

  5. I don’t know if I should admit this or not but the night before this was published. I dreamt that mark e smith worked in my local. He was in charge of the dartboard.

  6. Possibly the most difficult band to reduce to ten tracks. I banged out ten on a Fall group page recently. No crossover.
    Mess of My
    Container Drivers
    Spectre vs Rector
    Flat of Angles
    My New House
    Eat Y’Self Fitter
    Mere Pseud Mag Ed
    Who Makes the Nazis?
    Industrial Estate
    All the votes were collated and the result was
    9= Totally Wired/Container Drivers (12 votes each)
    6= Eat Y’Self Fitter/Kicker Conspiracy/Rowche Rumble (13)
    5 New Face In Hell (14)
    4 Fiery Jack (16)
    3 Blindness (17)
    2 Wings (18)
    1 The Classical (30)
    How many bands would have that few crossovers on three lists like this?

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