The Fall: The Wonderful And Frightening World Of Mark E Smith, BBC4

by | Jan 21, 2005 | All, Reviews

What to say if you liked it

A deserved reverential homage to one of music’s most esoteric genii, Fall singer Mark E Smith, scientifically proven to be the most miserable man in music.

What to say if you didn’t like it

A vulgar insight into the twilight world of one of the worst singers in music, whose alleged lyrical gymnastics are actually the crippled gargling of a man with a voice more discordant than a vacuum cleaner.

What was good about it?

• Paul Morley’s authoritative perspective on the post-punk Manchester scene.

• The snarling defiance of Mark E Smith in early Fall performances.

• John Peel’s respectful deification of his favourite band.

• John Peel’s producer John Walters’ contrary compliment to the Fall. “You are the worst band in the history of mankind. Please do a Peel session.”

• Some of the Fall songs were magnificent such as Big New Prinz and Telephone Thing.

• Mark E Smith’s “poetic” lyrics where he adds “-ah” to the end of each line to get the words to rhyme.

• Seeing the purveyors of obscure music and art such as Andy Kershaw and Muriel Gray in their youth.

• After Elton John said he liked the Fall, Mark E Smith remarked: “I thought we were doing something wrong.”

• The comically bizarre I Am Kurious Orange ballet show.

• The on-stage fight between Mark E Smith and the Fall’s drummer.

What was bad about it?

• Mark E Smith now resembles a sozzled night porter killing time between numbing shifts.

• Some of the music was utterly awful.

Luke Knowles

Luke Knowles


Editor of the website and host of the podcast. A general TV obsessive. I've been running the site since 2008 and you can usually find me in front of the TV. My Favourite show of all time is Breaking Bad with Cracker coming a close second. I feel so passionately that television can change the world and I'm doing my little bit by running this site. You're Welcome!


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