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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"Hit the North" (1987)

In 1987, the Fall – more than a decade old – were being surpassed in Manchester. The band's neighbors and contemporaries such as New Order and the Smiths had to make room for a rowdy batch of local youngsters like the Stone Roses and Happy Mondays, whose funky Madchester sound was thrusting indie rock into new, uncharted areas of danceability. Smith rubbed his hands at the challenge, and "Hit the North" was his broadside. Infectious, spliced with electronics and tailored to the dance floor, the song took breaks from its singalong chorus to let Smith mumble warningly about "the reflected mirror of delirium." It was yet another radical departure for the band, not that Smith was worried. "The Fall have always changed, and there's people who can never bleedin' 'andle it," he once remarked to NME. "It's the story of The Fall."

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