Mark E Smith, legendary leader of long-running British post-punk band The Fall, died yesterday. He was 60.
The news came of his death arrived yesterday (January 25) via The Fall Online from Pam Van Damned, The Fall’s manager.
The statement 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.”
Since the news broke, tributes have been pouring in for Smith, with Lauren Laverne tweeting: “Oh man. Mark E Smith. One of my biggest heroes. Had a nightmare interviewing him (of course) but then he put me in a song. So sharp, clever and untouchably cool. Thanks for the music, MES.”
BPI Music wrote: “Such very sad news that Mark E Smith has passed away. Whatever the opposite of Pop is, Mark was it – a complete maverick one off who made music to thrill and to jar the senses. A real loss to music, but a unique talent who leaves a remarkable legacy. RIP.”
Smith formed The Fall in 1976 as a 16-year-old with three friends – Martin Bramah, Una Baines and Tony Friel – after watching a Sex Pistols gig at Manchester’s Free Trade Hall.
Prolific, uncompromising and hugely influential, Smith hired and fired dozens of band members over the course of 37 studio albums and countless live performances.
The Fall were famously John Peel’s favourite band, and they recorded 24 sessions for the late DJ’s radio show over the years.
Here we’ve selected a dozen songs that defined The Fall – though truth told, we could have chosen at least 100.
‘New Puritan (Peel Session)’ (1980)
‘Totally Wired’ (1980)
‘Hip Priest’ (1982)
‘Kicker Conspiracy’ (1983)