Mark E Smith, the beautifully unconventional frontman of post-punk band The Fall, passed away yesterday aged 60. The Fall’s band manager, Pam Van Damned, has come forward to state, Smith died at home on Wednesday and a more detailed account will follow in the “next few days”.
The Fall were first discovered, alongside some of the last 30 years’ greats, on the nationally accredited Radio 1 show, conducted by John Peel. Smith, originally from Salford (England) was a different level of musician, to most we see today, he loved music to such a degree, that money was never the driving force of his career. This is clear from the fact that through his extensive career, Mark E Smith, hired and fired over 60 band members, and released 36 albums, between 1979 and 2017. It is a refreshing prospect, when viewing Smith’s career as he was truly impeccable, with his snarling Mancunian sprawl prominent in all songs, when partnered with drinking and fighting will become the stuff of legend.
Dubbed as British Rock’s cult hero, Smith rekindled the genre, bringing to light the fact that when you show the courage and musical talent, you will not be wiped from the music scene. Over the past 30 years’ bands have come and gone, musical trends waxed and waned, but one has remained, But The Fall, Smith in particular, no matter who he had fallen out with, stayed, immoveable and belligerently at the centre of music, popping up each year with a new track to add to the charts – once again. They gained over 27 chart hits between 1984 and 2004.
His consistent releases created a cult like following, to the unconventional frontman, he worked in such an alternate style, people were obsessed, and hopefully this will continue. Being one of the most distinctive Manchester sounds that will ever be, Smith’s single-minded leadership style, has paid off, and will never be forgotten.