The Fall: 10 Essential Songs

Hear highlights from late, great post-punk malcontent Mark E. Smith's sprawling four-decade discography

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"15 Ways" (1994)

The Nineties weren't kind to the Fall. After the departure of Brix Smith in 1989 – although she would return briefly from 1994 to 1996 – Smith led an increasingly tumultuous lineup through a series of albums that were sporadically brilliant and just as often mediocre. One such album is Middle Class Revolt, which yielded the standout single "15 Ways." Seemingly riffing on Paul Simon's "50 Ways to Leave Your Lover," Smith dabbles in feminism, kind of, by advising the listener that "There are at least 15 ways to leave your man/Get a flat and magazine." Then he gleefully celebrates the chaos that might ensue: "But you will soon recover/No longer undercover/Branch out into complete disorder." "I Am Woman" it ain't, but the song remains one of Smith's most jarringly upbeat and hopeful. This is, after all, the man who made it clear to NME that "The Fall defies logic."

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