The FALL – Mark E Smith R.I.P. January 24th 2018

Posted: January 25, 2018 in MUSIC
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To hear of the news that the legendary post-punk singe for The Fall, Mark E. Smith has sadly passed away at aged 60. The singer died at his home.

Smith, the snarling frontman for Manc post-punk band The Fall, Mark E. Smith has been a marauding presence on the music scene for over 40 years, a time in which Smith demonstrated his uncompromising nature by hiring and firing over 60 band members as well as being a part of 30 albums. Having released their 32nd studio album last year.

R.I.P. January 24, 2018 MARK E. SMITH (following a lengthy illness, age 60), best remembered as the irascible lead singer, lyricist, frontman, & only constant member of longstanding, cult fave English post-punk band, THE FALL; the group’s abrasive guitar-driven sound was underpinned by Mark’s typically acerbic & cryptic lyrics – often abstract poetry filled with complicated wordplay, bone-dry wit & cutting social observations, mixing elements of social realism, surrealism & absurdism while addressing topics like drug use, unemployment, football violence, time travel & the supernatural; the prolific band released over 30 studio albums between their 1979 debut ‘Live at the Witch Trials’  & their 2017 swan song ‘New Facts Emerge’ (more than triple that when live albums & compilations are counted); they were the subject of the 2005 BBC TV documentary ‘The Fall: The Wonderful & Frightening World of Mark E. Smith’; the autobiography ‘Renegade: The Gospel According to Mark E. Smith’ was published in 2008; Mark also issued two spoken-word solo albums, ‘The Post-Nearly Man’ (1998) & ‘Pander! Panda! Panzer!’ (2002)…

The band’s manager Pamela Vander released a statement which said: “It is with deep regret that we announce the passing of Mark E. Smith. He passed this morning at home. A more detailed statement will follow in the next few days. In the meantime, Pam & Mark’s family request privacy at this sad time.”

Music DJ, Marc Riley, joined the band as a teenager and played guitar with them from 1979 to 1983. Hearing the news while on air, he told listeners that Smith “taught me a lot about life and he taught me a lot about music… The Fall were my favourite band when I joined and they were still my favourite band when I got kicked out.”

BBC’s Lauren Laverne said he was “untouchably cool” while The Charlatans’ Tim Burgess said he was “a true uncompromising musical maverick”.

In 1983, Smith married Fall member Brix Smith Start; they divorced in 1989. Brix has issued a statement following Smith’s passing:

Mark defied convention and definition – he was a true artist,” she wrote on Twitter.

“When I arrived in Manchester – a young American – he introduced me to pickled onions, pubs and punk. He was my music mentor, my cultural anchor, and my first love. I feel deeply saddened by his passing but I feel a greater joy for having shared his journey. “He never once compromised, how many others can leave this life with such a singularity of vision? “Check the guy’s track record, he is not appreciated”  “Now at last he is…”

He subsequently married Saffron Prior, who ran the Fall’s fan club. He has been married to his current wife, Eleni Poulou – who was a member of the Fall between 2002 and 2016 – since 2001.

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