RELEASE DATE: AUGUST 3RD 2023
Formed in 1976, by 1990, The Fall had been through 18 line ups, releasing 14 albums and 24 singles – The only constant was leader, vocalist Mark Edward Smith – welded to the work ethic, creating music that stunned in its obscure brilliance; railing against mediocrity, flailing against the status quo.
It was all change when The Fall signed to Fontana. Guitarist Martin Bramah, who had founded the group with Smith, returned, replacing Smith’s ex-wife Brix, who had been in the group since 1983. There were few cries of sell-out, however, when The Fall signed to a major; it was just part of an evolutionary process. The three Fontana albums, Extricate, Shift-Work and Code: Selfish were stunningly consistent. With Martin Bramah and keyboard player Marcia Schofield dismissed from the band, The Fall worked as a four-piece (Craig Scanlon, guitar; Steve Hanley, bass; Simon ‘Funky Si’ Wolstencroft on drums) for the first time in the group’s career.
Shift-Work from April 1991 is another commercial Fall high-water mark; it contains Idiot Joy Showland, Smith’s rant against bandwagon-jumping Madchester bands (“The shapeless kecks flapping up a storm, look at what they are: a pack of worms.”), the one-time album title track, The War Against Intelligence, and the bucolic Edinburgh Man, a love letter to Mark E. Smith’s then-adopted home city.
This re-issue faithfully replicates the original 1991 Fontana Records UK release and is pressed onto high quality 180g vinyl.