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Former Members of the Fall Curate New 'Slates' Live EP

Marc Riley, Craig Scanlon, Paul Hanley and Steve Hanley have taken it upon themselves to personally curate and release 'Slates (Live).'

Source: POPSTOCK/Bella Union

'Slates (Live) release April 26.

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Aside from the late Mark E. Smith, the membership of legendary post-punk band the Fall was notoriously variable. As Smith himself once put it: 'If it's me and yer granny on bongos, it's the Fall." Nonetheless, four surviving members of the band have curated an official live release of the Fall's iconic 1981 EP Slates, announced on April 10.

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Source: Mirrorpix/Newscom/The Mega Agency

Mark E Smith in 1988.

Once described as a "strange kind of antimatter national treasure," the combustible Smith passed in 2018 at the age of 60. Long known as a difficult person to get along with, his death nonetheless saw an uptick in interest in the Fall's vast recorded output. But the haphazard state of the band's discography -- full of official bootlegs, live show releases and whatever was cobbled together to create releases by various individuals -- presented quite a task for anyone looking to curate new releases.

However, Marc Riley, Craig Scanlon, Paul Hanley and Steve Hanley have taken it upon themselves to personally curate and release Slates (Live), a six-song EP that, according to a press release, was "variously recorded in Holland, Hamburg, Glasgow and London, with these singular versions chosen to present the songs at every stage of their live performance, both pre and post-recording." (Fall uber-fan Stewart Lee composed the release's liner notes.)

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Source: ℗ © Cherry Red Songs/The Fall/YouTube

The Fall - Totally Wired (Live in New York, June 1981)

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In an interview with The Quietus, Scanlon explained the the incentive for the release was, in essence, to reign in all the far-flung discrepancies that come along with the Fall catalog. "We're taking control," Scanlon explained. "There is so much rubbish being released by carpetbaggers who don’t give a s--t about it at all – and that's our stuff they're dealing with." With no quality control, credit or input, the band members were at a loss. However, they were able to attain the services of another key collaborator, Barrie Reilly, who dug into the recordings and came up with enough live recordings to recreate the original EP.

Source: Paul Husband

Marc Riley, Paul Hanley, Steve Hanley, Craig Scanlon.

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Smith was once quoted as saying the original Slates EP was his favorite. It suffered from the restrictions of being a 10" vinyl and could not be on the Official Album or Singles Charts in 1981. However, the songs have proven to have plenty of staying power to this day, and as Riley said, "It's just nice to be involved in something that we've got some control over."

Slates (Live) is released on April 26 via Popstock. To pre-order it, click here.


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